Studs, Merchants ground Trail Orioles
Despite a good start, the Trail AM Ford Orioles will not be in the money this year at the Grand Forks International Baseball Tournament.
The Orioles opened the tournament with a decisive 17-6 victory over the West Coast Guns out of Stockton, Calif. on Wednesday at James Donaldson Park in Grand Forks, however, a pair of losses to Pacific International League nemeses the Seattle Studs and Everett Merchants would send the Trail team packing.
The Orioles were playing in arguably one of the toughest pools having to face the PIL leading Everett Merchants and perennial favourite Seattle Studs.
On Friday The Orioles hung in with the Studs who were up just 9-6 after four innings, but a three-run fifth broke it open as Seattle would go onto a 14-9 victory. Chris Florko hit two doubles and went 4-for-5 at the plate for the O’s, while Joey Underwood was 4-for-6 and Kyle Mace and Josh Lowden went 3-for-5 including back-to-back doubles in the ninth. Scott Davidson took the loss on the mound for the O’s.
It was a must-win match for Trail then, when they played the Merchants Saturday morning, but the Merchants Jason Lotzer kept the Oriole hitters off-balance all night throwing a two-hitter over seven-and-two-thirds innings pitched for a 10-2 Everett win. The Merchants led just 3-1 going into the seventh but a four-run outburst would ice it for the Washington State crew.
In the playoff round Sunday the Parkland White Sox face the Thurston County Senators, the Studs play the North West Honkers, the Lacey Saints take on the Burnaby Bulldogs, and Everett plays the undefeated Langley Sr. Blaze.
The GFI winds up on Monday with the final going at 2:30 p.m.