In Pacific International League action (PIL), the AM Ford Trail Orioles hung in and picked up a win in a four-game stint in Kelowna over the weekend.
The Orioles dropped a pair of games to the Langley Blaze 4-0 and 8-2, sandwiched around a 9-5 loss to the Kamloops Sundevils, before salvaging a 3-2 win over the Kelowna Jays.
“Our record isn’t great, but again, we’re up against pretty tough competition,” said O’s manager Jim Maniago. “We’re in every game, our pitching has been excellent but when you don’t hit it puts a lot of pressure on your pitching and defense.”
In the opening 4-0 loss, Kellen Jones pitched well for the O’s but a costly error led to three runs that blew the game open. Similarly, against Kamloops, the Orioles jumped out to a 4-1 lead but Kamloops responded with an eight-run inning that killed any Oriole momentum.
“Mistakes are going to be made and when they have it seems to cost us runs every time,” said Maniago.
The O’s finished off the series on a positive note, getting a solid performance from Kyle Paulson in the 3-2 win over Kelowna. Paulson went the distance, keeping the Jays off balance and scattering seven hits and striking out four in the victory.
Kellen Jones started things when he doubled in brother Connor to make it 1-0. The Jays answered scoring two runs to go up 2-1, but in the top of the fifth back-to-back singles by Ryan Lavigne and Brady Glover started an O’s rally. Jesse Rypien then bunt singled, scoring Lavigne. A Connor Jones walk put Glover on third and he scored on a fielder’s choice for the winning run.
The O’s have had difficulty plating runs, and with an abundance of left-handed hitters every team they face seems to march out its best left-handed pitcher in response to the O’s left-leaning lineup.
“Word gets around so we’re seeing everyone’s best left-handed pitchers, which hasn’t helped. Our young guys are showing that they can play at this level so we’re working on getting better every weekend and building toward the end of the year.”