By Cole Parkinson
For Taber Times
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
While spring weather has been challenging for the past several weeks for the Vauxhall Academy of Baseball Jets, a trip down south to Las Vegas seemed to come at the right time.
While the plan was to play games in Twin Falls, ID and Salt Lake City, UT, the weather didn’t allow for it, so the Jets instead played in a pair of exhibition games against Bishop Gorman and Desert Oasis before the tournament got underway. After winning the first game 4-3, the team saw a lacklustre result in game two with a 15-14 loss.
In the first game, Keegan McNeil got the start on the mound, giving the Jets two innings with a walk and four strikeouts. Parker Austin came in next and threw a single inning allowing three hits, two runs, a walk and two punchouts. Jacob Burgess was the next pitcher up as the Jet went three innings allowing a single hit, one unearned run, and a strikeout. Kyle Yip closed it out on the mound with one inning, one walk, and one K. In the batter’s box, Stevyn Andrachick was 1-2, Brennan McTavish went 1-4, Cardel Dick and Colin Fisher were each 1-3 with an RBI, Raphael Ranger and Carson Boyko were 2-3, and Eric Reiling was 1-3.
In the second exhibition game, Jack Baxter threw a clean inning before making way for Huson Kozicki who threw 2/3 innings allowing three hits, three earned runs with five walks. Pat MacInnis came in and gave the Jets two innings allowing two hits, one earned run with five walks and 3 punch outs. Jimmy Boulanger threw a single inning allowing two hits, two earned runs with two walks and a pair of strikeouts. Yip and Andrachick had two hits a piece.
After regrouping, the Jets were ready to get the All Faith Classic underway. The first game of the tournament saw the Jets line up against the eighth nationally ranked team Archbishop Moeller, OH. Thanks to a great offensive led by Andrachick, the Jets were able to scratch out an 8-6 win. Drew Lenehan started the game and went three and two-thirds allowing a hit, two earned runs, five walks and two strikeouts. Rory MacDonald earned the save going three and one-third innings allowing one hit, one earned run with four walks and 5 Ks. Offensively, Andrachick went 2-3 with a double and RBI, Fisher was 2-3 with an RBI, Yip was 1-4 with a double and RBI, McTavish was 1-3 with a double, and Ranger had a single hit in the game.
Looking to build off their first game win, the Jets were in tough against St. Laurence, IL. Due to plenty of walks and errors, the Jets fell 13-1. Brett Getz started for the Jets and gave them two innings while allowing four hits, two earned runs with five free passes and two strikeouts. Burgess came in in relief and threw three innings allowing five hits, four earned runs with a pair of strikeouts. Andrachick continued to mash at the dish as he went 2-3 with a double, Yip was 1-3 with a double, Ranger was 1 for 2, and Reiling was 2 for 2.
The Jets would bounce back in game three against John Caroll, MD as VAB would collect an 8-6 W. Baxter got the start on the mound for VAB and gave them three innings, allowing two hits, two earned runs with three walks and a pair of Ks. Austin came out of the bullpen and went two innings, allowing a single base on balls and one strikeout. Keegan McNeil was the next pitcher up and the Jet went two innings allowing two hits, two runs with three walks and a single punch out. Looking at the offence, Fisher was 1-3, Yip was 1-5 with a triple and three RBI, Dick was 1-3 with an RBI, McTavish was 1-3 with a double and an RBI, Alex Laurence was 1-4 with two RBI, Seth Christie was 2-2 with an RBI, and Eric Reiling was 1-4.
With a 2-1 record so far, the Jets were looking to finish strong as they took on Bishop O’Dowd, CA in the final game. The bats were hot yet again as they led the way for a 16-1 win. Fisher continued to swing the bat well as the Jet went 3-3 with a double and two RBI, Yip was 1-2 with a pair of RBI, Dick was 2-3 with two RBI, McTavish was 3-4 with two doubles and four RBI, Ranger was 3-4 with three RBI, and Karsen Haney was 1-1 with a double and 2 RBI. On the mound, Pat MacInnis got the ball to start and went two innings, allowing three hits, one run with three walks and three strikeouts. Hudson Kozicki threw a single clean inning with one punchout. Jimmy Boulanger then finished things off going one inning and only allowing one hit with a walk and a strikeout.
Next up for the Jets is a trip to B.C. for the Langley Blaze Friendship Series which gets underway April 13-15.