Trail baseball fans can celebrate Canada Day at Butler Park with a special doubleheader between the Trail U18 Orioles and the Kelowna COMBA Sun Devils.
The doublebill is a crucial opportunity for Trail to move up the standings, as they head out on the road to complete their final four games of the 40-game season July 9-10 in Chilliwack.
“Another really good team,” said Trail coach Jim Maniago. “Those are our last home games as we are in Chilliwack next weekend and then on the road for playoffs. All games are very important because the standings are very tight.”
Trail lost a doubleheader to the second place Chilliwack Cougars on Sunday, June 26. The first game was close through five innings, but the Cougars broke a 1-0 game open in the sixth, scoring three runs for a 4-0 lead.
The Orioles Logan Bradford struck out seven over six innings but Trail only mustered one hit and didn’t capitalize on the six walks in the 7-1 Chilliwack victory.
The Cougars then came back to defeat the U18 Orioles 5-3 in an entertaining and gutsy effort in Game 2 of the doubleheader Sunday to complete the sweep.
Trail held on to a 2-1 lead into the fifth, but a two out, two strike double scored two putting the Cougars ahead. Chilliwack cashed in two more against Nathan Dann who came on in relief in the seventh.
Orioles pitcher Jake Maniago pitched six innings, giving up six hits and striking out six. But it was the bats that let the Orioles down.
“Reid Gerrand and Jake both had two hits but we only managed five in total, so you just don’t win many games with six hits over two games,” said Maniago. “Pitching and defense was really good as it has been, but we need some guys to get hot.”
With the wins, Chilliwack improves their record to 25-5. Despite sitting in second place behind Cloverdale in points with 50, Chilliwack has the highest winning percentage in the league at .833. First place Cloverdale has a 27-6-1 record with a .794 winning percentage, and have played four more games than the Cougars.
The Orioles are currently in seventh place with a 15-19 record, yet, are just eight points out of third place in the tight College Prep division. The games against fourth-place COMBA are critical for the Orioles to stay among the top eight teams vying for a playoff spot.
The Sun Devils are 18-9 with 13 games remaining and will prove a challenging and exciting match up for the Orioles.
Game time vs the Sun Devils on Friday is at noon and 2:30 p.m. at Butler Park in Trail. Admission is free and the concession is open to the public.