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Magic number 4 clinches playoff spot for Penticton baseball squad

The SOMBA Tigers named down a playoff spot with a four-win weekend performance
SOMBA Tigers Marlo Spence fouls this pitch off during U18 AAA baseball action against the Vernon Canadians in Penticton Sunday. (Mark Brett - Western News)

Four for four.

That was the magic number for the Penticton SOMBA Tigers in a pair of U18 AAA BC Minor Baseball Association double headers at home last weekend.

Needing four wins to secure a spot at the Aug. 8 to 11 league provincials in Victoria, the team didn’t disappoint, collecting two wins each over the Richmond Chuckers Saturday and the Vernon Canadians the following day.

The wins moved the team into a tie for seventh spot in the 14-team standings and eliminated the Cloverdale Spurs from the playoffs.

“We needed those four wins, kind of take-care-of-business, destiny-in-our-own-hands, kind of thing,” said head coach Aqil Samuel.

READ MORE: Penticton Tigers place second in tourney, look ahead to provincials

The Tigers round out the regular season with a pair of games in Kelowna on Sunday and an opportunity to move into sixth or even fifth spot.

The team is currently 10.5 games back with a 21-15 record. The Sun Devils are in 13th spot having won just nine games this season.

“We’d really like to win those two games against Kelowna so we could move up, but more than anything it’s a tune up for the provincial final,” said Samuel.

“We need to get healthy and we’ll do what we regularly do. We’ve sort of been in playoff mode since the western qualifiers a couple of weeks ago so the intensity has been quite a bit higher.”

The way the standings are, Tigers and Cowichan Valley Mustangs would meet in the first round.

Penticton won 1-0 in the last meeting between the two teams at the westerns with Cowichan win two close games in a double header in Penticton during league play.

In the first game last weekend against the Chuckers, Penticton caused their coaches some concern, needing a final inning walk-off single by Cohyn Cutler in the bottom of the seventh to earn a 2-1 come-from-behind win.

Marlo Spence, who pitched a complete game giving up just one earned run, helped his own cause when he hit a line-drive single that got under the glove of the centre fielder allowing him to get to third to start things off.

Khy Cutler then walked and stole third then Cohyn Cutler’s sharp single to right field sealed the deal.

In the second game of the day, the home team bats came alive and starting pitcher Seth Kennedy threw five strong innings for a 12-2 victory.

Matt Olsen went three for three at the plate scoring one run.

READ MORE: Penticton baseball team riding the crest of 10-game win streak

In Sunday’s first game against Vernon the team put together a well-balanced effort to earn a 5-2 victory.

The offence chipped in with 11 hits, Aden Samuel, Spence and Tate Larson each had a pair of hits.

Starter Zach Reigling allowed just one run on one hit and checked in with six strike outs over six innings.

In game two, AJ Reiter came out swinging, driving in five runs, with three tallies scored by Samuel who went two for three and Reigling getting hits in all three of his trips to the plate.

Larson went five innings giving up six runs to get the win.



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AJ Reiter of the SOMBA Tigers reaches for the ball on this pick off attempt on Vernon Canadians runner Colby Geiger in Sunday’s U18 AAA baseball game at Carmi Field in Penticton. (Mark Brett - Western News)
SOMBA Tigers pitcher Zach Riegling delivers a strike to Vernon Canadians batter during U18 AAA baseball action Sunday at Carmi Field in Penticton. Riegling picked up the win as the hosts won a pair of games to earn a berth in the provincial playoffs. (Mark Brett - Western News)

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