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Jets continue to roll during the Best of the West tournament

Posted on May 10, 2023 by Taber Times

By Cole Parkinson

For Taber Times

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The Vauxhall Academy of Baseball Jets have really cranked up the heat over the last stretch of games and heading into the Best of the West tournament, the team was looking to continue their hot streak. Heading out to Kamloops, B.C., the Jets were looking to extend their winning streak after taking the Prairie Baseball Academy tournament the weekend before.

In game one, VAB faced off against the BC Selects and cruised to an 8-0 win. Brett Getz took the ball for the Jets and gave the team six strong innings and punched out eight batters. Hudson Kozicki came in as the only reliever and gave VAB a clean inning, including one strike-out. The bats continued to rake as Stevyn Andrachick went 2-3 with a double while Cardel Dick mashed a homer. Brennan McTavish went 2-4 with a home run, two doubles, and a pair of RBI while Ty Clemett went 2-4, Luke Wheatley and Kyle Yip each had a single hit, and Raphael Ranger hit a double and collected two RBI. 

In an effort to make it a 2-0 start to the tournament, the Jets looked to roll over the North Shore Twins. While both teams were able to plate plenty of runs, the Jets’ offence once again took off as they provided an 8-5 win.  Andrachick hit a single and collected an RBI, Dick had two more hits and two RBI, Yip was 2-4 with an RBI, Ranger and Seth Christie each went 2-4 with a double and an RBI, and Alex Laurence had a double in two plate appearances. Drew Lenehan and Keegan McNeil both got into the game on the mound for VAB and were able to push the team towards the win. 

After a pair of offensive battles, the Jets were locked into a pitcher’s duel in game three against the BLE Selects. When all was said and done, the Jets were able to take home a 2-0 win. Jimmy Boulanger was dominant on the mound for Vauxhall as he put up a seven-inning shutout while only giving up two hits. Dick mashed his second homer of the tournament while Colin Fisher and Andrachick pitched in with a double each. 

With a 3-0 record in the round-robin, the Jets were able to win their pool. Heading into the semi-finals, the Jets matched up against the Langley Blaze. 

All facets of the game were strong for VAB in the game as they were able to roll to an 11-2 victory. Jack Baxter pitched three innings while Parker Austin finished the game with the final two innings. Dick continued to hit the ball well going 203 with a double and two RBI, Fisher was 1-3 with a double and two RBI, Ranger had a hit and an RBI, Laurence had a double and three RBI, and Erick Reiling went 1-1 with two RBI. 

Thanks to a commanding win in the semi-finals, the Jets saw a birth into the finals where they would take on the Okotoks Dawgs, in a rematch from last weekend’s final. And just like the weekend before, the Jets were able to once again to work their way to a win over the Dawgs — this time 5-3. The offence continued to hit the ball all over the ballpark as Andrachick was 1-3 with an RBI, Dick had a hit in the win, Yip was 2-4, Fisher was 1-3 with two RBI, and Ranger had one hit. Patrick MacInnis was stellar in the start while Jacob Burgess and Rory MacDonald finished the game in relief. 

Next up for the Jets is Vauxhall High School Graduation this coming weekend. And with grad on its way, the Jets will have a pair of doubleheaders on May 13 and 14 against the Great Falls Chargers and Badlands Academy. 

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