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U18 Trail Orioles play home opener this weekend

Orioles host the South Fraser Giants in a pair of doubleheaders Saturday and Sunday at Butler Park
Trail U18 Orioles coaches Wes Dann, Jim Maniago and D.J. Ashman prepare the team for two doubleheaders in their home openers at Butler Park this weekend. Photo: Jim Bailey

The Trail U18 Orioles are practiced up and set to play their first games at home this weekend.

Following two weekends on the road, the Orioles had no BC Minor Baseball games scheduled on the weekend and prepared for their home opener this Saturday.

“We had this weekend off which gave us time to practice and get some work in,” said Orioles coach Jim Maniago. “Our next month we are at home so hopefully we can add up some wins - and hopefully it warms up!”

The Orioles are coming off another split in the College Prep Division after going 2-2 in their opening games April 9-10.

Trail played a doubleheader against the Tri City Thunder on April 16 and North Fraser Nationals April 17 and earned a split on both days.

The Orioles lost 9-7 in Game 1 and then took the second game 8-5 in a thrilling come-from-behind victory over the Thunder.

“We actually played terrible both games but got out with a split,” said Maniago.

Owen Dickson earned the win in relief as Trail rallied and scored five runs in the sixth inning for the comeback win, while Landon Uzeloc had three hits in the game.

On Sunday, the Orioles won the first game 4-2 against the Nationals, before falling 9-2 in the fourth game of the weekend.

Dickson earned the win in that one too, after a bizarre call by the umpire forced him into action, relieving starter Jake Maniago.

“The umpire made us change pitchers because one of our infielders picked up the ball from the mound on his way out to shortstop so the umpire said we made a pitching change,” explained coach Maniago. “After a long exchange he wouldn’t move from his call, which was totally unnecessary but it seemed to motivate our kids and we came back and won the game.”

Kullen Benbow, Connor Stainer and Jake Maniago all had two hits, while Dickson gave up two hits and one run, struck out four and walked one over four innings.

Trail had a tough time in the second half of the double bill, falling behind 5-0 in the first inning on the way to a 9-2 loss.

“The last game we ran out of gas again and lost although the score sounds worse than it was.”

Reid Gerrand went 3 for 3 and Jake Maniago was 2 for 2. With the split, the U18 Orioles record goes to 4-4, and sit in a tie for fifth place with the Nationals in the 11-team league.

“The standings are going to be very close, lots of parity in the league and lots of double header splits so anytime we have a chance to sweep teams, especially at home, we have to take advantage,” added Maniago.

The Orioles invite residents to come out and support the U18 Orioles in their home opener Saturday, April 30. The O’s face the South Fraser Giants with a doubleheader at noon and 2 p.m. at Butler Park, and will play the same Giants on Sunday, May 1 at 10 a.m. and noon.

Read: Trail U18 Orioles open season on high note

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Jim Bailey

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