by Larry Read, TRU Sports Information Officer
Kamloops, BC---The season is over for the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack bseball team. And for the second year in a row, their campaign has been shut down by the Prairie Baseball Academy Dawgs. The Dawgs, the defending Canadian College Baseball Conference champions, beat the WolfPack twice to close day three of the 2012 CCBC Championship Tournament.
PBA downed the WolfPack 3-1 to close out the round robin. Kyle Paulson was the winning pitcher. He went five innings giving up a run, eight hits, striking out one and walking three. Mike Juarez (RHP, Calgary, AB) took the loss for Thompson Rivers. He went four innings giving up two runs, six hits and striking out one.
Cody Wood was three for three for the Dawgs while Declan Murphy was 2 for 3 for the ‘Pack.
The result left PBA, the University of Calgary Dinos (who had beaten both the Vancouver Island Baseball Institute 16-0 and the Okanagan College Coyotes 5-0) and VIBI with identical 3 and 1 records. The WolfPack finished at 1 and 3. A tie breaking mechanism was used to separate the three teams. Since they were tied in head to head competition, the tie break was on runs against. PBA had four, the Dinos seven and VIBI had 16. The result put the Dinos and Mariners into Sunday mornings (May 13) semi final. The other semi had PBA doing battle with the WolfPack on the final game of Saturday.
That game saw the Dawgs hammer the WolfPack 15-6. Thompson Rivers got on the board first but then surrendered two runs in the bottom half of the first. With the teams tied 3-3 after three and a half innings, PBA exploded for eight runs in their half of the fourth inning. They sent 13 batters to the plate. They added two runs in the sixth and one in both the seventh and eight innings. The ‘Pack scored three runs in their half of the seventh inning. But it was too little, too late.
Cody Wood hit a three run homer in that eight run fifth inning. That sent losing pitcher Travis Nevakshonoff (RHP, Castlegar, BC) to the showers. He was one of four TRU pitchers used in the contest.
Shane Dawson got the victory going six and a third innings giving up five hits and three runs.
Wood was one for six with three runs batted in for PBA. Catcher Luke Barry was two for three with three runs scored and two runs batted in while first baseman Mitch Dorblut was one for three with two runs batted in. Kyle Sandulescu (right field/catcher, Victoria, BC) was one for four with two runs batted in.
WolfPack head coach Ray Chadwick: “We just didn’t hit the whole tournament,” he said reflecting on his team’s showing. “ When you don’t hit you have to pitch and play defence a lot better. We didn’t do that. We were lucky to get into the semi finals.”
The WolfPack battled adversity right from the start of the campaign—including losing pitcher Kevin Cramer (Camp Verde, AZ) with a broken neck and then having Tyler Lowey (Calgary, AB) lose an eye after being hit by a ball in October. Lowey made a ‘Hollywood style’ recovery which included him being named a CCBC first team all star at the utility position.
“They didn't give up,” Chadwick reflected. “ We lost three pitchers to injuries—two of them starters. We actually won a lot more games with the pitching we had than I thought we would. The last month of the season we were really rolling: swinging the bats, pitching well and playing defence. We got here and went backwards. It wasn’t the time to do it.”
The other pitcher that Thompson Rivers lost was Danny Moore (RHP, Victoria, BC). He was the top pitcher in the CCBC two of the last three seasons.
The victory by PBA puts them into the championship final on Sunday (May 13) against the winner of the other semi final (10 am PDT on Sunday) which has Calgary taking on VIBI.
The championship finale is a 1 pm PDT start time at Norbrock Stadium.