After a narrow loss in the opening game, the midget AAA Cowichan Valley Mustangs came back to earn a split in their doubleheader against the Central Okanagan Sun Devils at Evans Park on Sunday.
The Sun Devils scored all of their runs in the top of the second inning as they won 7-5 in the first baseball game of the day. The Mustangs were better on both offence and defence in the second game, prevailing 9-2.
The Mustangs had bounced back from an eight-run deficit to beat the Victoria Eagles on Wednesday, but they were unable to recreate that magic on Sunday.
“The team was pretty disappointed that one bad inning cost us the sweep,” assistant coach Tod LeSergent said. “We couldn’t quite complete a second huge comeback in consecutive games. Billy Ramwell’s pitching got us back on track and we had a solid performance in game two.”
The Mustangs gave up only four hits in the opening game, including two in the high-scoring second inning as the Sun Devils reached first base on four walks, two singles, a hit batter and two errors.
Cowichan came back to score twice in the fourth and three times in the fifth. Unfortunately, they couldn’t get a man on base in either the sixth or seventh innings.
Matteo Ioroio went 2-for-3, Cam LeSergent was 2-for-4, and Nolan Fothergill was 1-for-3. Cameron Linn was saddled with the loss, while Hayden Plester gave up two hits and struck out five over five innings of relief.
Ramwell pitched four innings in the second game, striking out four and giving up five hits on his way to the win. The Mustangs scored two in the first, three in the second and one in the third to lead 6-0 before Central Okanagan got on the board with two in the top of the fourth. Cowichan led 8-2 after four, then added one more in the bottom of the sixth.
LeSergent and Tyler Dobson were both 2-for-3 at the plate, and Dobson knocked in two RBIs. Morley Scott was 1-for-4 with an RBI triple in the second inning. Iorio, Linn, Curtis Butler, Josh McCann and Andrew Strobl all had singles.
Scott also pitched the last three innings, holding the Sun Devils hitless while issuing four strikeouts.
Now 10-2 on the season, the Mustangs will get their first look at undefeated Kelowna as they travel to Kamloops for a tournament this coming weekend.
“We want to be ready for that showdown,” LeSergent said.