The White Rock Tritons earned yet another split on the weekend – something they’ve done with regularity all season – but considering the opposition, it’s a record they’ll take.
On Sunday, the Tritons hosted the Parksville Royals, one of the Premier Baseball’s League’s top teams, and opened with an 8-1 victory, before losing the nightcap, 7-1.
“We actually had a pretty good chance to win both,” explained White Rock coach Russ Smithson, whose team only trailed 2-1 heading into the seventh inning of Game 2, before the Royals broke the game open.
“That second game was close, but in the last inning, our pitchers just couldn’t find the (strike) zone, and when they did, Parksville pounded us.”
In the first game, White Rock was led by pitcher Josh Larsen, who struck out 11 and allowed just three hits.
Larsen, who struck out 13 in a game earlier this year, leads all PBL pitchers with 31 strikeouts.
“He’s unbelievable right now – he’s just been lights out,” Smithson said. “He’s kept us in every game, and given us a chance to win.”
Offensively, the Tritons pounded Parksville for 10 hits and were aided, too, by four Royal errors.
Four Tritons hit doubles – Josh Sigurdson, Jackson Temple, Evan Douglas and Brandon Novak.
In Game 2, the Tritons still managed seven base hits – all singles – led by Tony Tabor, who had two.
Joel Lamont started on the mound for White Rock, going five innings before four pitchers combined to get through the last two innings.
Smithson was impressed with the play of Douglas, his catcher. He had five hits in the doubleheader, including two doubles.
Douglas has been the Tritons’ lone man behind the plate lately, as the team’s other catching options, Nathan Ackerman and Brandon Sonnenberg have both transfered to play with the Okanagan A’s.
Smithson wouldn’t comment on the pair, except to say they chose to leave for “personal reasons.”
“Catcher is the toughest, most demanding position in the game, and Evan has been great, even taking on such a big load for us,” the first-year Tritons coach said.
Douglas will get some help behind the plate soon, when Dustin Dhahani, a Blaine, Wash. resident, joins the team upon the completion of his high school season.
In addition to Dhahani, pitcher Nathan Trueblood will also join the team this month.