Submitted by Jennifer Doubinin Gravel
The Comox Valley peewee A Jets baseball team attended at 10-team tournament in Pitt Meadows July 12-14. They finished fifth with a record of 2-1-1.
Having attended a tournament in Mission over the Canada Day long weekend with a record of 2-2, the Jets faced some opponents they have played before. Their first game was against the Highland Selects 12s, a team from Squamish/North Van. The Jets had beat them in a close game in Mission, and they tied 8-8 in a very tight game.
The Jets started the game with three runs in the top of the first with stand up doubles by Lincoln Fugle and Luc Gravel. This game saw two perfectly executed run-downs by the Jets on a runner between third and home, and on a runner between first and second. Aryo Behzad hit a stand-up double, and quick stealing and base running by the Jets added to their run count and they were ahead 5-2 in the middle of the third inning.
Pitcher Josh Tobacca held the Selects with nine strikeouts, but the Selects came back and after five innings the score was 7-7. A lead-off double by Luc Gravel started the top of the sixth inning, and he was moved to third by a single from Dexter Mulrooney. Dexter stole second and a sacrifice fly by Connor Martens scored Luc to put the Jets ahead 8-7. The Selects were determined to tie up the game and in the bottom of the sixth they had two runners on base and none out. After the Selects were able to score the runner from third and a couple of strikeouts by Milo Coghill, third baseman Lincoln Fugle ended the inning and the Selects’ hopes of winning with a beauty scoop and a rocket of a throw for the third out. The game MVP chosen by the Selects’ coach was pitcher Josh Tobacca.
The Jets’ second game was against a juggernaut of a team, the Cloverdale Red Spurs. The Jets met the undefeated Spurs in Mission, and the Spurs steamrolled them. In an effort that not only surprised the Spurs but the Jets too, the Jets beat the Spurs 7-5.
In the top of the first, the Jets scored two runs when Andon Bayles stole home on a passed ball and an RBI single by Luc Gravel brought in Lincoln Fulge. Connor Martens was the starting pitcher for the Jets and held the Spurs with three up, three down. In top of the second inning the Jets scored one run by Milo Coghill when he got on base and stole second, got to third on an overthrow, and stole home on a passed ball. The bottom of the second inning saw a nice defensive effort by the Jets. They had a pick-off attempt that turned into another run-down and an out. Pitcher Connor Marten ended the inning with only one run scored by the Spurs. By the top of the fourth, the Jets were up 6-2 with RBIs by Dexter Mulrooney and Connor Martens.
The Spurs fought back in the bottom of fifth, scoring a run and then two solo home runs. Catcher Luc Gravel picked off a runner stealing third for the first out, Tristan Stanley made a game-saving catch in centre for the second out, and a grounder to Milo Coghill at shortstop ended the inning with the Jets hanging on to the lead, 6-5. In the top of the sixth, the Jets had a runner on base when Jairus Rhone hit a single. A two-out single by Luc Gravel brought in Jairus, and the Jets were up 7-5. Andon Bayles was brought in to pitch in the bottom of the sixth, and he rung up the lead-off batter, threw out the second batter when a grounder was hit to him, and third base Jairus Rhone cashed in the third out with a ground out. The seventh inning saw no runs and no runners stranded on base for the Jets. All they had to do now was hold those Spurs. Andon Bayles struck out the first batter, and the second batter hit a double. A pop up to first baseman Josh Tobacca was the second out, with the Spurs’ runner still on second. A weak infield hit by the Spurs and they had runners on first and third. The Jets’ coach called for a pitch-out to load the bases, and the next batter hit a grounder to Dylan Matthews on second for the third out. After pitching five intense innings, Connor Martens was awarded the game MVP by the Spurs’ coach.
The Jets played the Chilliwack Cougars in their third game. Chilliwack was 1-1 so far in the tournament and the Jets were 1-0-1, so this was an important game for both teams. The Jets hadn’t faced the Cougars yet, but with their tournament experience, the Jets know how to face unknown teams. Unfortunately, the Jets couldn’t quite hold the Cougars down, and the Jets lost 8-5.
The Jets started strong in the top of the first with RBIs by “Bash Brothers” Lincoln Fugle and Luc Gravel, and the Jets were up 2-0. The Cougars answered with three runs of their own, and after the first the score was 3-2 Cougars. In the top of the second, Connor Martens beat out a dropped third strike and ended up scoring on an RBI by Josh Tobacca. With the bases loaded, Andon Bayles hit a sacrifice fly and the Jets scored another run. After the top of the second, the Jets were up 4-3. In the bottom of the second the Jets had great defensive inning with a sweet pick-off by pitcher Lincoln Fugle. The Chilliwack Cougars were three up, three down. Milo Coghill hit a lead-off double to start the third, but the Jets couldn’t bring him home. Dylan Matthews came in to pitch in the bottom of the third, and the Cougars fought back to take the lead, 5-4. Luc Gravel led off the top of the fourth with a single, and the Jets were able to cash him in and tie the game 5-5. The Cougars scored three runs in the bottom of the fourth and took the lead 8-5. A super snag by first baseman Josh Tobacca ended the inning. Due to the time limit the fifth inning was the last, and our Jets tried, but couldn’t manufacture a comeback rally. Game MVP chosen by the Cougars’ coach was Luc Gravel.
The Jets had their fingers crossed they’d make the playoffs with their record of 1-1-1 and make it to Sunday. Crossing their fingers worked, and the Jets were scheduled to face Fort Langley Trappers to play for fifth and sixth. This was another team they hadn’t met before, but our Jets were ready for the challenge and wanted to finish the tournament strong. And they did just that, handing the Trappers a 10-5 loss.
The Jets maxed out with the four-run limit in the top of the first with a single by Lincoln Fugle that scored two. Milo Coghill stole home on a passed ball for the third run, and the Jets finish the inning 4-0. The Trappers came to play, and in the middle of their at-bat, the Trappers had two in and a runner on third. Pitcher Jairus Rhone fought hard, and the Jets turned a 6-4-3 double play for the first and second out. The third run for the Trappers scored during the double play and the score was now 4-3. Jairus struck out the next batter and ended the inning.
The Jets had Connor Martens as a base runner in the top of the second, but they couldn’t bring him in. For the Trappers’ at-bat, pitcher Jairus Rhone made a nice scoop and throw to first for the first out and a strikeout for the second out. A pop-up to Connor Martens at shortstop ended the inning. The Jets were still ahead 4-3. In the third inning, the Jets were three up, three down. Luc Gravel came in to pitch for the Jets in the bottom of the third. Super tracking on a foul ball by Josh Tobacca at first base recorded the first out. Luc Gravel struck out the next two batters for the second and third out to retire the side. In the top of the fourth with the Jets ahead 4-3, lead-off batter Josh Tobacca is walked. An RBI single by Lincoln Fugle scored speedy Josh, and the Jets end their bats ahead 5-3. In the top of the fifth, the Jets brought home Dylan Matthews with a stand-up double by Connor Martens. Connor then stole home on a passed ball, and the Jets scored one more run to increase their lead to 8-3. The Trappers scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth, to make the score 8-5. In the top of the sixth, Dylan Matthews batted in two RBIs and increased the Jets’ lead to 10-5. Owen Stewart pitched for the Jets in the bottom of the 6th against the Trappers, and he struck out two batters. A ground out to short made the third out, and the Trappers are shut down. Milo Coghill was chosen the game MVP by the Trappers’ coach.
With the win, the Jets finished fifth out of 10 teams with a record of 2-1-1. They are hosting a 10-team tournament at Aspen Park, July 19-21, with teams from Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland. The Jets play 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Friday, and noon and 6 p.m. Saturday. The Jets, who are led by coaches Rob Mulrooney, Jamie Tobacca, and Darryl Matthews, are getting a lot of game experience and setting their sights on the zone playoffs in Parksville July 27-28, and on the provincials in Abbotsford Aug. 8-11.