New Brunswick and Sherwood Park, Alta are leading the way heading into the final day of ropund robin action at the Baseball Canada senior men’s national championships in Victoria and Saanich.
The teams sit atop their respective pools with 3-0 records as the tournament heads toward the playoff round starting tonight at Royal Athletic Park.
The host Victoria Mavericks, who had lost their first two games, beat Red Deer 4-3 Friday on a walk-off, bases-loaded single by Duncan Blades that brought in Jeremy Campbell for the winning run.
They’ll be on the field again today at 2 p.m. (Aug. 26, RAP) taking on Manitoba, which also lost its first two games and is playing the 8 a.m. game today against Tecumseh, Ont. A win could give the Mavericks a berth in the quarter-finals tonight at 2-2, but they need some help from other teams to get there.
On Friday, Red Deer erased a 3-2 Victoria lead with a run in the top of the sixth, but reliever Jason Gibson shut them down in the seventh, setting the stage for the Mavericks’ offence to go to work.
Kevin Biro led things off with a single to centre field, then after Kyle Orr hit into a fielder’s choice, Connor Moughtin was hit by a pitch. The speedy Campbell was brought in to run for Orr, then after Griffin Andreychuk struck out, Sean Murphy was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
Blades stroked a second-pitch offering from Joel Peterman into centre for the win.
Action continues with games today at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., with the crossover quarter-finals getting underway at 5. Third place in pool A – which could wind up being the Mavericks – p;lays second in pool B, with second in A playing third in B at 8 p.m.
The semifinals go Sunday at RAP at 9 a.m. and noon, with the bronze medal game set for 4 p.m. and the gold medal game at 7.