Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart
October 10, 2021, Kelowna, BC – The new kids on the Canadian College Baseball Conference (CCBC) block, the Victoria Golden Tide, battled hard, but eventually dropped an 11-5 decision to the Okanagan College (OC) Coyotes in semi-final action Sunday night at the CCBC Fall Championship Tournament at Elks Field in Kelowna.
The scrappy Tide, who earlier in the day ousted Thompson Rivers from the tournament with a 13-4 win, actually took a 5-4 lead into the bottom half of the seventh inning against the Coyotes, but then ran out of gas, and watched as the host squad would score two in the bottom of the seventh and another five in the bottom of the eighth to cruise to what appeared to be an easy win.
That was anything but the case, as the tide battled back from an early 3-0 deficit with two runs in the third and another in the fourth to tie the game and then after Okanagan plated a run in the bottom of the sixth to re-take the lead, the Tide scored another two in the top of the seventh to vault into a 5-4 lead.
The Tide would also outhit the Coyotes 8-5 on the day, but seven Victoria errors, combined with 12 passed balls and five wild pitches, would be the ultimate undoing for Victoria, as the Coyotes scored five of their final seven runs, including the tying and go-ahead runs in the seventh, courtesy of passed balls and wild pitches.
McCoy Pearce, who had an RBI single as part of a Coyotes three-run first inning, would be the offensive catalyst for OC, finishing with three hits, including a triple, two RBI and a pair of runs scored. Nolan King would also have a hit, two walks and a pair of runs scored.
For Victoria, leadoff hitter Tyler Burton led the way with a pair of singles, a walk and two runs scored, while Brendan Morrison continued his hot streak with a hit and pair of RBI. Will Podmoroff also had a single, walk and run scored in the losing effort.
On the mound OC’s Aiden Mordecai gets the win in relief of starter Adam Sarafinchin. Jesse Poniewozik pitched the ninth inning to close out the win.
For the Tide, starter Triston Seitz would settle down after a tough first inning and not allow another run after that in his five innings of work, walking five and striking out six. Nick Lee, who pitched 1.2 innings in relief gets tagged with the loss, while Wyatt Mohr-Royer and Ben Havelock also saw work on the hill.
The Coyotes will now move on to the finals at 12 Noon on Monday where they will play the winner of the game between the Prairie Baseball Academy and the University of the Fraser Valley. That game was in progress at press time with PBA leading UFV 1-0 in the fourth inning.
The Tide will now head home to Victoria and continue their fall season this Saturday, October 16th, with a Black vs Gold intersquad doubleheader and then Sunday, the top college baseball program in Canada, the UBC Thunderbirds come to town for a pair.
All games Saturday and Sunday will be at Wilson’s Group Stadium with both doubleheaders scheduled to start at 1:00 pm. Tickets are $5.00 and $10.00 and will be available at the gate. Children 12 and under get in free!