Home wasn’t so sweet for the University of the Fraser Valley baseball club on the weekend, nor for their opponents, the Vancouver Island Baseball Institute Mariners.
The Cascades and Mariners split their four-game home-and-home weekend series, with each team winning its road games. VIBI took both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader at Chilliwack’s Fairfield Island Park by scores of 7-5 and 5-3, with UFV bouncing back for 9-5 and 12-8 victories on Sunday in Nanaimo.
The results left the Cascades with an 8-6 record, good for third place in the Canadian College Baseball Conference. The Mariners are fourth at 9-7.
MARINERS 7, CASCADES 5
Both teams’ pitching staffs struggled with command in the opener, as a combined 27 walks were issued (15 by the Mariners, 12 by the Cascades). The Mariners plated a single run in each of the last three innings to edge the Cascades, who got three hits from leadoff hitter Josh Berenbaum and two RBI from Colin Kellington.
MARINERS 5, CASCADES 3
Of VIBI’s five runs, just two were earned, as the Cascades had their hiccups in the field with three errors. Trailing 5-0 through seven innings, UFV mounted a comeback against the Mariners’ bullpen which fell just short. Kellington, Riley Jepson and Ryan West had two hits apiece, and Jepson drove in two runs on a ninth-inning triple.
CASCADES 9, MARINERS 5
The top of the Cascades’ order excelled in Sunday’s first game. Berenbaum reach base four times (one hit, three walks) in five plate appearances, scoring three runs. Brody Vogel drove in three runs, and Jepson had a pair of hits. UFV starter Dylan Emmons picked up the win, registering eight strikeouts while allowing two earned runs over his five innings.
CASCADES 12, MARINERS 8
Jepson leads the CCBC with a .468 batting average, and the UFV first baseman padded his impressive stats further with a 2-for-3 performance with two RBI. West and Stephen Horner also posted a pair of hits apiece – Horner added two RBI and scored three runs – and Walter Eschner had a solid showing out of the bullpen, keeping the Mariners off the board for three innings.
The Cascades return to Nanaimo on Wednesday for a return engagement vs. the Mariners, followed by a four-game series vs. the first-place Okanagan College Coyotes (11-5). The two teams clash on Friday in Kelowna (1 p.m. and 4 p.m.), followed by a Saturday doubleheader at Fairfield Island (12 p.m. and 3 p.m.).