The Vauxhall Academy of Baseball Jets’ runway had had to be cleared of plenty of snow to start its spring season.
The results had been little to no outdoor practice at Jets Stadium and that rust showed in the takeoff to start its tournament slate as the Jets returned home from tournaments in Kamloops, B.C. (Best of the West Tournament) and Las Vegas, Nevada (Bishop Gorman Easter Classic).
“Early on, when we went to Kamloops, we didn’t play very well. We came out of the gates like we had been training indoors and hadn’t been outside. That was probably the most glaring weakness,” said Les McTavish, head coach of the Vauxhall Academy of Baseball Jets. “Couple that with the pressures of a pretty high-profile tournament with opponents who are not pushovers and plenty of scouts in the stands, it was challenging.”
McTavish added the Jets did not come out of the Best of the West Tournament with a lot of confidence, but began to find it when they arrived in Las Vegas for the Bishop Gorman Easter Classic.
“It was good, we had a really good practice the first day we got there, it was our first full practice all year,” said McTavish, adding the Jets finished off the tournament playing its two best games in April.
They included an 11-3 win over Page High School from Arizona. Jesse Borden started on the mound, going four innings, allowing two hits, one earned run while walking none and fanning seven. Jared Kennedy threw 1 2/3 innings in relief, allowing zero hits, one run, two walks and three strikeouts. Brody Burnett threw the final 1 1/3 innings, allowing one hit to close out the game.
Offensively, the Jets pounded out 13 hits in total. Tyler Scott was 2-for-4 with an RBI. Wyatt Schlosser was 2-for-2 with a double and two RBI. Nolan Rattai was 2-for-4 with an RBI. Trey Grant was 2-for-3 with two RBI. Brett Harrison was 1-for-3 with an RBI. Joel Mazurkewich was 2-for-4 with a triple. Mike Holmes was 1-for-3 with an RBI and Jay Oram was 1-for-2.
The Jets finished off the Las Vegas trip with a strong performance on Saturday against Riverton from Salt Lake City, winning 6-1.
Josh Burgmann started on the mound, going four innings, allowing six hits, one run, walking one and striking out seven. Jake Cook threw 2 1/3 innings in relief, allowing two hits. Brody Burnett finished things off throwing 2/3 of an inning, allowing 1 hit.
Offensively, the Jets were led by Brayden Resch who was 2-for-2 with an RBI. Brett Harrison was 1-for-1 with an RBI double. Joel Mazurkewich was 1- for-2 with an RBI double. Alex Bishop had two RBI.
“Our last game in Vegas was our most complete game. It was good, we had our bumps in the road, but I give the guys credit. They stuck with it and got better and didn’t roll over,” said McTavish. “At the end of the day, we are getting better which is what it’s all about. We got better and I still think there is a lot of room for growth with this club.”
The Jets host Prairie Baseball Academy this weekend for two doubleheaders. Both doubleheaders start at 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday at Jets Stadium.