Sports

Mariners in BCPBL championship, Eagles out

After a 48-game regular season and a best-of-three playoff round, the Victoria Mariners have qualified for the B.C. Premier Baseball League (BCPBL) championship tournament next weekend at Whalley Stadium.

The Mariners swept the White Rock Tritons in two straight games at Henderson Park on Saturday, riding the ace pitching of Colton Wood 5-1 in the first game 8-1 behind starter Chris Fougner in the second game. A third game wasn't needed.

Conversely, the Victoria Eagles will not be defending their 2013 BCPBL championship.

Despite jumping ahead with a 2-0 win over the North Shore Twins on Saturday, behind a great pitching effort by Erik Skuja, the Twins came back with a walloping 9-0 win to even the best-of-three series. Sunday's game was close, with the Twins edging the Eagles 2-1 to eliminate the Eagles from the playoffs.

The five-team tournament runs B.C. Day long weekend, Friday to Monday, with the Mariners, Twins, host Whalley Chiefs, Langley Blaze and Vancouver Cannons competing for the championship of the elite 18-and-under league.

A round robin goes through Sunday, with the top three teams playing off Monday.

The Mariners, Blaze and North Shore and the Mariners were the top three teams in the PBL over the past four months by a wide margin. Langley finished atop the standings with a 35-12 (win-loss) record, but needed three games to eliminate the eighth-place Nanaimo Pirates in their playoff series last weekend in Langley. The Twins were in second place at 32-12 and the Mariners third at 34-14.

Victoria led the league with a 1.93 ERA, followed by the Blaze at 1.95 and the North Shore at 2.10.

All games will be televised live via VBN Sports at http://client.stretchinternet.com/client/vbn.portal, a first for the PBL playoffs. All games will also be available for viewing for 90 days following the tournament.

- With files from the Leader

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