Midget AAA Mustangs looking to regroup

A difficult phase continued for the Mustangs as they lost a pair of games at home against Richmond at Evans Park on Saturday.

A difficult phase continued for the Cowichan Valley Mustangs in the B.C. midget AAA baseball league as they lost a pair of games at home against the Richmond City Chuckers at Evans Park on Saturday.

“We’re in a rough stretch right now,” manager Tod LeSergent said. “After a nine-game win streak, you expect some ups and downs. Our schedule is quiet for the rest of June, so hopefully we can regroup and get back on track for the busy month of July leading into provincials.”

Since the end of the winning streak that ran from May 4-29, Cowichan has won just two of eight games, including Sunday’s doubleheader against Richmond. Due to high school grad celebrations, the Mustangs were missing a few veterans.

The day started with a 10-2 loss to the Chuckers. Richmond scored four runs in the first two innings, four in the fifth, and two in the sixth, and the Mustangs plated both theirs on a fifth-inning single from Cam LeSergent.

Brayden Radcliffe went 2-for-3 at the dish, Andrew Strobl was 1-for-3 with a stolen base and a run, and Brandon Langer had the other run. Radcliffe pitched four innings, allowing two hits and seven runs (six earned). Langer and James McMahon threw the last three innings.

The Mustangs looked certain to win the second half of the double header after scoring half a dozen runs in the bottom of the first, but couldn’t hold on and ended up losing 11-8 in extra innings.

Cowichan led 6-0 in the bottom of the first, and 8-2 after five, but saw Richmond tie it with two in the sixth and four in the seventh to force extras. The Chuckers then scored three unanswered in the top of the eighth.

Nearly everyone in the lineup contributed to the hot start as the Mustangs sent nine men to the plate in the first inning. Jayden Hamm finished 2-for-4 with a double and two runs, Radcliffe was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and one run, and Dyson Kew was 2-for-3 with two RBIs, a run and a tremendous diving catch in the top of the first. Odhan Manhas went 1-for-3 with two RBIs, Kale Eddy was 1-for-3 with two runs, and Cole Anderson was 1-for-4 with one run. Jacob Montague was 0-for-3, but earned an RBI when he was hit by a pitch, then picked up a run of his own, and McMahon was 0-for-4 with an RBI. Mahnas and LeSergent had stolen bases.

Anderson pitched six innings, allowing just four hits and four runs (three earned) with five strikeouts. Hamm, Langer and McMahon pitched in relief.

Up next is a prolonged home-and-home series with Nanaimo. The teams play in Nanaimo Wednesday, then wait two weeks before reconvening at Evans Park on July 6.