The White Rock Tritons opened the BC Premier Baseball League season this weekend with a split – two of them, in fact.
On Saturday, the under-18 baseball team played a doubleheader in North Vancouver against the North Shore Twins, losing the opener 14-4 before rebounding in Game 2 to win 5-2. A day later, back at their home diamond at South Surrey Athletic Park, the reverse happened – the Tritons won the first game, 4-3 over the Coquitlam Reds, but lost the nightcap, falling to the Reds 5-1.
Chase Marshall – who is also a member of Canada’s junior national program – got the opening-day start for White Rock Saturday, striking out five while walking three and allowing five hits in four innings of work before giving way to relievers Matteo Manzi and Reid Turner.
Offensively speaking, the Tritons managed just four hits in Game 1 Saturday, highlighted by a double from Ty Fluet.
The second game of the day went better for White Rock, with the team combining for nine hits and five runs – led by catcher Mackenzie Lake, who had two hits and two runs-batted-in.
Pitchers Daniel Orfaly, who struck out four in five-and-one-third innings, and Evan Tordiffe combined to hold the Twins to just three hits.
In Sunday’s win over Coquitlam, Tordiffe earned the win in relief, pitching the bottom of the seventh inning, striking out two while allowing one run. Leif Friedrich started the game on the mound and pitched five innings, allowing just one earned-run while fanning five batters.
The Tritons scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh, when Bailey D’Cruze scored on a wild pitch.
For the Tritons – who are coached again this season by former player Chad Stang – and their PBL brethren, this season is set to be the first full season of play since before the pandemic. The team played a 25-game schedule last season.
And for the first time since early 2020, the Tritons also managed to take their pre-season training south to warmer climes. Earlier this spring, the team travelled to Arizona for a series of training sessions and exhibition games against America junior colleges.
In 2020, the team returned home from Arizona just as COVID-19 was causing shutdowns – from sports to travel – across both Canada and the U.S.
This time, White Rock earned two wins over Dakota College (North Dakota) as well as one against the North Dakota State College of Science, while losing to Miles Community College (Montana) and Lake Region State, another North Dakota school that had travelled south.
The Tritons also got to tour the spring training facility of the Milwaukee Brewers.
“The boys really got after it – we scheduled lots of baseball in a week,” said Tritons general manager Kyle Dhanani.
“The week gave us as a coaching staff a really good look at where our boys are at, strides they have taken and directions we need to go.
“Our staff was super satisfied with the results.”
This weekend, the Tritons have another two doubleheaders on tap – both in Kelowna. On both Saturday and Sunday, the Tritons and Okanagan Athletics will play a pair of games at Elk Stadium.