A split in a doubleheader against an Island rival wasn’t what the midget AAA Cowichan Valley Mustangs were looking for last Sunday.
The Mustangs struggled in the opening game against the North Island Cubs and ended up losing 5-3. Although they bounced back to mercy the Cubs 11-0 in the second game, head coach Ken Ramwell wasn’t satisfied.
“We didn’t want to split one with them so close to the end of the season,” he said.
The Mustangs trailed 5-1 after the fifth inning of the opener. They managed to get two more runs across in the top of the sixth, but that was as close as it would get.
“We let them squeak a win by us,” Ramwell lamented. “It wasn’t like their pitcher was lights-out; we just weren’t hitting.”
Cowichan mustered just seven hits in the game as Hayden Plester had a double and Morley Scott, Billy Ramwell, Matteo Iorio, Cameron Linn, Andrew Strobl and Cam LeSergent each had a single. Ramwell added a stolen base to his efforts.
The Mustangs’ pitching was better than their hitting. Scott pitched the first five innings and gave up four earned runs despite striking out seven, and Iorio struck out two in the sixth.
The Cowichan players were much better at the plate in the second game, outhitting North Island 11-2. LeSergent, Tyler Dobson and Josh McCann each had two singles, Iorio and Owen Ketch had one double apiece, and Scott, Linn and Curtis Butler each had one single. Scott also had two steals, Ramwell had two, and Dobson, Plester, Ketch and Butler one each.
As good as the team was at the plate, Plester was also outstanding on the mound as he pitched a five-inning, two-run shutout.
The Mustangs crushed the Cubs again on Wednesday night, prevailing 12-0 in a quick five innings.
Nolan Fothergill was masterful with nine strikeouts, allowing only two hits.
Scott went 2-for-2 with a double and four RBIs, Cam LeSergent was 2-for-2 with two RBIs, and Iorio was 2-for-3 with two RBIs.
Ramwell also had a hit and one RBI, and Plester and Dobson plated one run apiece.
LeSergent stole a pair of bases, and Plester finished with one steal.
At home last Wednesday, the Mustangs got a huge outing from Billy Ramwell, who celebrated his birthday by striking out eight Victoria Eagles and blasting a solo homer in a convincing 10-1 win.
Ramwell allowed one run over five innings, but made up for it by leading off the bottom of the second with a home run. Iorio rounded out the shutout with three strikeouts over the last two innings.
Eight players combined for Cowichan’s 14 hits: Iorio had three; Scott, Dobson and Plester had two apiece, and Ramwell, Ketch, Linn, Strobl and Fothergill had one each. Iorio and Dobson each included a double among their knocks, and Dobson finished with three RBIs. Scott, Iorio and Strobl also had steals.
Cowichan remains second in the B.C. midget AAA league with 21 wins and seven losses, trailing only the unbeaten Kelowna Sun Devils
The Mustangs’ schedule is only getting bigger as provincials approach later this month. They host the Kelowna Sun Devils for a crucial doubleheader this Saturday, with games at 1 and 3:30 p.m., then host last-place Vernon on Sunday at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
The Mustangs are home again against North Island next Wednesday at 6:30 p.m., then visit Vernon and Kelowna the following weekend before starting provincials on July 25.