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Jets dominate opposition at Best of the West

Posted on April 27, 2017 by Vauxhall Advance

By Trevor Busch
Vauxhall Advance
tbusch@tabertimes.com

Taking the moniker of a recent tournament to heart, the Vauxhall Academy of Baseball Jets have proven themselves Best of the West.

The Jets would post an impressive 5-0 record in the annual tournament in Kamloops, which spanned April 12-16.

“It’s a top tournament in the country, or at least in Western Canada, to play well at, and we certainly did play well,” said head coach Les McTavish. “We had three shutouts on the week, the kids played really well.”

The Jets opened up the tournament on April 12 with a 9-0 victory over Badlands Academy. Adam Macko started on the mound going four innings allowing one hit with one BB and five K’s to earn the victory.

Chase Florendine finished things off going two innings allowing three BB’s with four K’s. Offensively, the Jets were led by Liam Vulcano who was one for four with an RBI. Damiano Palmegiani was two for four with a double. Victor Cerny was one for two with three RBI’s. Dayton Peters was one for four. Brett Mercier was two for four with an RBI to round out the offense.

April 14 saw the Jets down early to the Victoria Mariners 2-1 before breaking it open with seven runs in the bottom of the 4th inning leading to a final score of 10-2 for the Jets.

Garrett Nicholson started on the mound going four innings allowing three hits, two runs, and one earned run with two BB’s and two K’s. Connor Green finished things off going one inning with one K.

Offensively, the Jets were led by Owen Harms who was one for four with a double and two RBI’s. Palmegiani was three for four with a double and an RBI. Cerny was one for two with a double and an RBI. Peters was two for three with an RBI. Kaiden Cardoso was one for three with an RBI and Ty Penner rounded out the offense going one for two.

Championship Saturday in Kamloops featured two semi-final match-ups between the Jets and the North Shore Twins as well as Okotoks Dawgs versus the Langley Blaze. The Dawgs beat the Blaze in extra innings while the Jets beat the Twins 4-1 in the semi final.

“The semi-final and the final were both very good competitors,” said McTavish.

“We faced North Shore Twins from the lower mainland (B.C.) in the semi-final, and beat them 4-1, but it was a tight ball game all the way through. We pitched well and played good defense, and had some timely hitting.”

Wesley Moore started on the mound going four innings allowing three hits, one run with one BB and four K’s to earn the victory. Zach Newman earned the save going three innings allowing two hits with two BB’s and two K’s.

Offensively, the Jets were led by Cerny who was one for four with two RBI’s. Matt Rath was two for three. Mercier was one for two. Jared Binsfeld was one for three and Owen Harms was one for three. Palmegiani was zero for one with an RBI but also three HBP’s.

The semi-final victor earned a birth in the final versus Okotoks Dawgs. The game was knotted at zero-zero until the bottom of the 6th inning when the Jets scored four runs that made the difference in the game. Jaden Griffin got the start going with four and a third solid innings allowing no hits, five BB’s with three K’s.

Griffin developed a blister when Garret Hawkins entered the game with a 2-1 count and runners on 1st and 2nd with one out. Hawkins struck out two batters to finish off the inning and earn the victory going two and two-thirds innings allowing two hits with six K’s and no BB’s.

Offensively, the Jets were led by a pitch hit sacrifice fly by Binsfeld which went on to be the winning run. Owen Harms was one for two with a double. Cerny was one for two. Rath continued with a two for three effort and an RBI.

“We went into the final against the Okotoks academy,” said McTavish.

“It was a zero-zero game in the sixth inning, and we scored four runs in the bottom of the 6th, and we were able to hold them.”

2017 marks the Jets third Best of the West Tournament victory, having come out on top in 2009 and 2015.

“It was certainly a good weekend, I think we scored about 37 runs and only allowed four. It was a balanced offensive attack, but we really pitched well. All nine guys we pitched during the week all certainly pitched very well,” said McTavish.

On April 22-22, the Jets travelled to Great Falls, Mont. to take on the Chargers and the Missoula Mavericks, earning two additional victories.

“It’s a lot more challenging now, because after Kamloops — we have five players that are on Team Canada so they flew out to Florida — so we’re a little bit shorthanded when we’re missing five guys, three pitchers and two position players,” said McTavish.

The first game the Jets fell behind early before chipping away and scoring late to beat the Great Falls Chargers 8-5. Florendine started on the mound going two innings allowing five hits, and five runs with three BB’s and two K’s. Newman threw four innings allowing three hits with four K’s. Ben Erwin threw the final three innings earning the victory allowing no hits with five K’s.

Offensively, the Jets were led by Harms who was two for four with a double. Binsfeld was one for four. Cooper Jones was one for four. Peters was one for three with a double and two RBI’s. Mercier was two for four with a bases-clearing triple. Penner was two for five with an RBI and Matt Gough was one for five to round out the offense.

“We game up some runs early in the first game against Great Falls, and then came back to win 8-5,” said McTavish.

The second game versus Missoula Mavericks was tight until the 6th when the Jets broke it open. Adam Macko started on the mound going three innings allowing six hits, two runs, and one earned run with one BB and five K’s.

Green threw two innings allowing no hits with one BB and three K’s. Hawkins threw the final two innings allowing one hit with two K’s.

Offensively, the Jets were led by Mercier who was two for three with an RBI. Binsfeld was two for three with a double and an RBI.

Peters was one for three with a double and an RBI. Jones was one for three. Penner was one for three with an RBI. Cardoso was one for three to round out the offense.

“Against Missoula, it was a tight ball game all the way through, and ended up scoring a bunch late to win 6-2,” said McTavish.

“Overall, it was a solid effort. We are shorthanded, and it’s a challenge when you’re missing some guys. But it just allows some other guys to step up.”

This weekend, the Jets are headed to the Prairie Baseball Academy for a tournament (April 28-30).

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