Riding the crest of a 10-game winning streak, the Penticton SOMBA Tigers U18 AAA squad hit some rocky ground in last weekend’s two double headers.
When the dust settled the Tigers found themselves licking their wounds, picking up just one win in the four starts. The team is currently in third place behind the Mustangs and two games back of the division-leading North Fraser Nationals.
Competition for the weekend home games came from the strong Victoria Seawolves, who won both their games Saturday, and the Cowichan Valley Mustangs, who won one of the two games.
“The losses were hard to take for the team. We were getting used to winning but as a coach I would much rather play in tight games where we had to battle in every inning of every game like we did this weekend,” said coach Aqil Samuel. “We could have easily been 3-1 this weekend instead of 1-3. If we want to achieve our goals we need to figure out how to beat the upper tier teams in our league like Victoria and Cowichan Valley.”
The first game Saturday against the Seawolves was a back and forth affair and the Tigers came within one run of tying the game in the bottom of the seventh inning but in the end, had to settle for a 5-4 loss.
Penticton pitcher AJ Reiter scattered just eight hits over six and a third innings, striking out a game-high five batters but still took the loss. Lead-off hitter Aden Samuel paced the team offence going two for three at the plate, scoring a run and collecting a stolen base.
Victoria scored once in the second and each team picked up three in the fourth. The Seawolves had one more in the sixth and the Tigers’ final run came in the last inning.
Game two of the doubleheader was called “one for the ages” by coach Samuel, a 12-inning marathon which SOMBA eventually lost 9-6.
Tate Larson went six and a third innings for Penticton, striking out seven and giving up just two earned runs.
Reiter went three for five in batting, scoring once and driving in one run. Luke MacIntyre was two for four with a run scored and an RBI.
“Although they came up on the short end of the score, this game will truly be looked upon at the end of the year as a character builder,” said coach Samuel.
After 19 innings of baseball Saturday, the following day the Tigers came out a little flat, dropping a 5-1 decision to the Mustangs in the opener.
Marlo Spence held the visitors to just four earned runs over six innings but the home team could only generate one run. Tate Larson had a pair of hits including a double.
The next game the squad got a “much-needed gutsy” performance from Khy Cutler en route to an 8-1 verdict.
Scattering five hits and allowing one earned run in six and third innings, he picked up the win.
The Tigers were actually trailing 1-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning when they unleashed the bats for an eight-run outburst.
That came courtesy of being able to load the bases with a walk, and a couple of key base-hit bunts. Then it was Cohyn Cutler delivering a two-run RBI double that opened the flood gates.
The Tigers now move on to tournament play with the Kelowna College Prep league tournament at Elks Stadium in Kelowna starting Friday and the following weekend they will be in Lethbridge, Alta. for the Lethbridge Miners American Legion Classic.
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