An adventurous travel weekend for the University of the Fraser Valley baseball club ended on a happy note, as they won three of four games on the road vs. the Thompson Rivers WolfPack.
The Cascades had been slated to travel to Lethbridge to face the Prairie Baseball Academy Dawgs, the first-place team in the Canadian College Baseball Conference (CCBC). But their bus broke down at Salmon Arm at 11 a.m. Friday, and they had to wait six hours to get a new bus. When they finally got back on the road, they were delayed on their way to Revelstoke by a flash flood. After detouring around that, they were stalled once again by a landslide with no ETA on when the highway would reopen. So the decision was made to turn around and head home, and the Cascades stopped at a hotel in Kamloops at 3 a.m.
On Saturday morning, head coach Shawn Corness’s phone rang with news that the Cascades had a chance to play TRU. The Calgary Dinos had been scheduled to face the WolfPack, but were stuck on the other side of the landslide. So that set the table for Saturday and Sunday doubleheaders in Kamloops.
When the dust had settled, the Cascades (10-6) owned the second-best win percentage in the CCBC heading into the conference’s championship tournament which opens Wednesday in Kelowna.
“With all the weather issues, the guys have really shown that they can mentally play through any adversity and showed a great compete level in Year 1,” Corness said. “We now have to maintain that mentality and go compete for a championship.”
CASCADES 7, WOLFPACK 6
Working on just five hours’ sleep, the Cascades managed a victory in Saturday’s opener at TRU. Starting pitcher Dylan Emmons went six innings with three strikeouts, and Dan Rogers came on to close it out, notching two strikeouts over three innings. Rogers, Nick Laflamme and Brennan Hegel had two hits apiece, and Trevor Brammer had a huge pinch hit to drive in two runs.
WOLFPACK 8, CASCADES 6
On weary legs, the UFV squad fell in extra innings in Saturday’s second game. Starter Evan Peterson went six innings with two strikeouts, and Hegel and Riley Jepson each had two hits and an RBI.
CASCADES 6, WOLFPACK 2
John Lipp had a strong outing on the mound in the first game on Sunday, allowing just one run over five innings to go with six strikeouts, and Rogers came on for two more strong innings of relief. Jepson went 4-for-4 at the plate, highlighted by a grand slam.
CASCADES 10, WOLFPACK 3
In his first start of the season, UFV’s Jeevan Hayre came through with a pair of strikeouts over five strong innings. Laflamme went 4-for-5 with two RBI, and Colin Kellington drove in two runs of his own as the Cascades swept the Sunday set.
The following is the Cascades’ schedule at the CCBC championship tournament in Kelowna. For a full schedule, visit the CCBC website.
Wednesday, May 10
1 p.m. – University of the Fraser Valley (#2) vs. Thompson Rivers University (#4)
7:30 p.m. – University of the Fraser Valley (#2) vs. Okanagan College (#3)
Thursday, May 11
4 p.m. – University of the Fraser Valley (#2) vs. University of Calgary (#6)
Friday, May 12
4 p.m. – University of the Fraser Valley (#2) vs. Vancouver Island University (#5)
Saturday, May 13
4:30 p.m. – Play-In / Tiebreaker (if necessary)
7:30 – #1 vs #4 semifinal
Sunday, May 14
10 a.m. – #2 vs #3 semifinal
1:30 p.m. – Championship Final