The Trail All Stars took a giant step forward at the BC Little League Major Provincial Championship at Zuehlke Park in North Van on Tuesday with a close 14-13 win over Kerrisdale.
The Trail All Stars jumped out to a 7-1 lead after two innings on the strength of a Darren Issel three-run bomb in the first inning, but the Kerrisdale team chipped away at the lead, turning a potential blowout into a butterfly inducing thriller.
“We didn’t want to burn anymore pitching so we took two of our better guys out,” said All Stars coach D. J. Ashman. “It ended up backfiring a little bit, but thank God our bats were there to just outscore them.”
Kerrisdale scored seven runs in the top of the fourth to grab an 8-7 lead, but Trail answered back in the bottom half of the inning. With runners on the corners, Issel stepped up and hit another three-run homerun to give the All Stars at 13-8 lead.
Trail scored another in the fifth, then hung on in the top of the sixth and final inning as Kerrisdale plated five runs to draw within one, but with two out and runners on second and third Trail pitcher Brayden DeWitt was able to get out of the inning on a comebacker to the mound.
“It was one of those games that we needed all 13 guys,” said Ashman. “We were re-entering guys, that was the most amount of changes I made pitching wise and on offence and defence, it was one of those chess matches today.”
Ashman used six different pitchers with Kelton Forte getting the start and pitching three-and-a-third strong innings, giving up just one run on two hits, a walk and four strike outs. Issel was a giant at the plate going 3-for-3 with two home runs, and seven RBIs, while DeWitt and Tayten Dewar went 2-for-2.
Trail at 2-1 is tied for second place and will play Beacon Hill tomorrow at 2 p.m.
“Our big game to win is tomorrow, because after that we have Whalley, who is a powerhouse, and North Vancouver who is pretty good too,” said Ashman. “So we just have to take care of business.”