Cascades baseball club splits with Mariners to open inaugural CCBC season

Nick Laflamme was one of four Cascades to connect on a home run on Sunday. (File photo)

The clouds finally parted for long enough to allow the University of the Fraser Valley baseball team to make its Canadian College Baseball Conference (CCBC) regular-season debut.

The Cascades split a pair of games against the Vancouver Island Baseball Institute in Nanaimo on Sunday, dropping the opener 11-5 before bouncing back for a decisive 13-1 triumph.

Over the course of this soggy spring, the UFV club saw its first 10 games postponed due to rain, including its first two home weekends of the season and Saturday’s scheduled doubleheader in Nanaimo. On Sunday, though, the weather cooperated.

“Leading up to Sunday, guys were frustrated, and we did our best to keep them focused and motivated through the wet weather,” Cascades head coach Shawn Corness said. “In the first game we were a bit overanxious, trying to do too much. But in Game 2, they just relaxed, came out and played the way they can.”

MARINERS 11, CASCADES 5

The Cascades found themselves trailing 5-0 through three innings, but rallied to knot the score with a five-run sixth, highlighted by a grand slam by designated hitter Evan Smith. The Mariners, though, scored four runs of their own in the bottom of the sixth and tacked on two more in the seventh to provide the final margin.

UFV starter Dylan Emmons notched six strikeouts while giving up four earned runs over five innings, and his VIBI counterpart Austin Gurr gave up one earned run and posted 10 strikeouts in seven innings.

CASCADES 13, MARINERS 1

The UFV bats came to life in the back half of the doubleheader – Garner Chudyk, Jordan Sass, Nick Laflamme and Brennan Hegel all blasted home runs to power the team’s first-ever CCBC win.

The Cascades out-hit the Mariners 13-2, and starting pitcher Jake Gill pitched six innings of no-hit ball while striking out 10 and walking seven.

ON DECK

The Cascades (1-1) are back in Nanaimo for a Wednesday doubleheader, making up for Saturday’s rainout. The first game starts at 12:30 p.m. On Friday, they visit the Okanagan College Coyotes for games starting at 3:30 and 6:30 p.m.

On Sunday, the UFV club is back home at Chilliwack’s Fairfield Island Park for noon and 3 p.m. games against the Coyotes.

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