The Trail U18 Orioles all star team opened their season in the BC Minor Baseball League on a winning note last weekend.
The Orioles are playing in the 11-team U18 College Prep division and swept the Penticton U18 Tigers on Saturday 6-1 and 10-8 in their opening matches.
“Our team should be solid although we lack the depth other teams have,” said Trail coach Jim Maniago. “We are waiting on a couple of returning players who have some conflicting schedules right now. If we can get everyone back I think we can compete with the top teams this year.”
The O’s pitcher Jake Maniago earned the victory in the first game, giving up just four hits while striking out 10 batters. Landon Uzeloc, Connor Stainer and Maniago all had two hits in the match.
Logan Bradford was the winning pitcher in the second game, throwing 6 2/3 and giving up six hits. Stainer had two hits and drove in four runs, while Owen Dickson had three hits to lead the offence.
On Sunday the Orioles faced a solid Kelowna (COMBA) Sun Devils team and lost the first match 8-5.
Levi Konken pitched five innings and kept it close, before leaving the game with the score 5-2. Stainer had two hits and Dickson had three more on offense.
Owen Dickson kept Game 2 close through four innings with Trail trailing 5-2. However, a short bench hurt the Orioles down the stretch in the final game of a four-game weekend, and they came out on the losing end of a 12-2 drubbing.
“Our older kids are among the best in the league and some of our rookies have already shown that they can play at this level,” said Maniago. “We just got on the field last week and had our first games right away so some practice and work and we will improve.”
The Orioles are on the road this weekend for four games in Vancouver then are home for most of the next month.
“It’s a busy 40 game season and then playoffs,” added Maniago. “The top eight make it and play a best of three series and then the winners advance to the ‘Final 4’.”
Trail Youth baseball opens up next week with three Trail junior teams along with one Castlegar team and two from Nelson competing in the U15 category.
The senior league, which is U18, has two teams in Trail and one in Castlegar and Nelson so Maniago expects a good full season for the first time in three years.
“We’ve had to rebuild a bit after losing kids due to COVID but we are happy where things are at right now.”
The Trail Youth Baseball League starts on April 30 and runs through to mid-June when playoffs are held at Butler Park.