The midget AAA Cowichan Valley Mustangs earned their first sweep of a doubleheader since late May when they beat the North Shore Padres in a pair of baseball games at West Vancouver’s Ambleside Park last Saturday.
The wins, by scores of 5-2 and 10-4, marked the first time since May 26 that they’ve beaten the same team twice in one day, although the Mustangs did go 6-4 between sweeps, including season-best four-game winning streak from June 3-17.
Nolan Fothergill did most of the heavy lifting in the first game against North Shore, pitching a strong five-and-two-thirds innings, stealing three bases and scoring two runs, including the winner.
Fothergill struck out seven Padres batters, and only one of the two North Shore runs was earned. Cam LeSergent pitched to the last four Padres batters and earned the save.
The Padres opened the scoring in the bottom of the first, but the Mustangs answered in the top of the second when Fothergill walked, stole second, then scored on a single by Billy Ramwell.
There were no runs until Cowichan struck again for three in the top of the sixth: Owen Ketch walked, Mateo Iorio doubled, Ketch scored on a single by Fothergill, Fothergill stole second and then third, then scored on Josh McCann’s single, with Hayden Plester adding a run on a throwing error.
The Padres scored once in the sixth. In the seventh, Strobl walked, stole second and third with LeSergent up to bat, and scored on LeSergent’s groundout.
The Mustangs never trailed in the second game, as they took a commanding lead with four runs in the third and three in the fourth. The Padres got one back in the bottom of the fourth and added another in the fifth. The Mustangs added another three to their lead in the sixth, then allowed the Padres to add two more in the bottom.
Seven Cowichan players combined for 14 hits: Morley Scott was 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles, Strobl went 2-for-3, and Ketch and Cameron Linn were both 2-for-4. LeSergent, Plester, Ramwell, McCann and Curtis Butler added one hit apiece. The Mustangs also racked up nine steals: two each by Ketch, Ramwell and Strobl, and one each by Linn, Butler and McCann.
Linn started on the mound and went four-and-one-third innings with two strikeouts and one earned run. Iorio pitched one-and-two-thirds innings with two strikeouts and two runs, and Plester shut down the Padres in the seventh, allowing one hit.
The Mustangs went into Wednesday evening’s home game against the Victoria Eagles with 22 wins and eight losses this season. Their 19-6 record in league play was the second-best in B.C., half a game ahead of North Fraser, while the first-place Kelowna Sun Devils remain unbeaten at 23-0.
The Mustangs are away again this Sunday, visiting North Island for a doubleheader.
Cowichan will host North Island at Evans Park next Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.