Baby Eagles Get Feathers Ruffled in First Pre-Season Action of 2014

Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN) – The Junior Premier Victoria Eagles began their 2014 pre-season on Sunday and had their feathers ruffled by the visiting Calgary Blues, suffering 9-1 and 10-4 losses in double-header action at Lambrick Park in Victoria.

The Blues, who could manage just a single run off Premier Eagles pitching a day earlier, were able to find their stroke again on Sunday, although it took them a few innings of Game 1 to get rolling as Junior Eagles starting pitcher Nolan Hinse, despite issuing four walks, was able to get out of trouble on multiple occasions, surrendering just a single run in the third inning after a double by Justin Johnson and an RBI single from Jacob Cuch.

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The Eagles Nolan Hinse would get the first start of the 2014 season and hold the Blues to just a single run over three innings of work (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)

Eagles reliever Fynn Chester, who came in during the third inning, was also effective, although the Blues were able to get to him for a pair of runs in the top of the fourth inning thanks to an RBI single by Todd Layton and a bases-loaded walk to Jeff Derks.

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Calgary starter Duncan Elgert would give up the only Eagles run in his 3 plus innings of work on Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)

The Eagles would get one of those runs back in the bottom of the fourth when Chester drew a lead-off walk and then come in to score on a RBI-single from Devon Gall, but that would be the extent of their offensive production for the game.

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The Eagles Ethan Tremblay bids for a base hit in Game 1 Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)

The Blues would add another in the top of the fifth and then explode for five runs on five hits in the top of the sixth inning to put the game out of reach.

On the hill for the Blues, Duncan Elgert got the start and gave up 1 run and 2 hits in his 3.1 innings of work.

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Junior Eagle shortstop Justice Carter comes up throwing during Game 1 action Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)

Elgert was relieved by 2013 Premier Eagle Jason Heckl who was gracious enough to help out a tired Blues pitching staff, while Brett Biever then came in to close out the final two innings.

In Game 2, the Blues would score single runs in the top of the first, second and fourth innings, and add 5 more in the top of the fifth to cruise on to the 10-4 win.

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Calgary second baseman Todd Layton would make a fine play on a slow rolling ground ball in Game 1 on Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)

Doing most of the damage at the plate was Justin Johnston who was 2 for 3 on the day and scored three of the Blue's runs. Jeff Derks also had another solid day with three hits and an RBI, while Cole McPhee also added a pair of hits and a pair of RBIs.

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Calgary right fielder DJ Leiding would make a fine attempt, but come up just short on this fly-ball attempt in Game 1 Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)

Pitching duties for the Blues were shared by Cole McPhee, Brad Karas and Todd Layton, who held the Eagles to just three hits on the day, two of which came off the bat of the Eagles' Ayden Ostropolski.

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Victoria's Devon Gall would single home the Junior Eagles only run in Game 1 Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)

Other offensive notable for the Eagles included Fynn Chester with a single and two RBI's and Gio Piovesan-Walt who also was credited with a pair of RBIs.

On the hill for the Eagles, Matt Dayton started for the Eagles and gave up two of the Calgary runs in his two innings of work.  Nolan Tesh and Jacob Potter also saw work in relief.

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Victoria second baseman Dan Rockwell gets set to turn a double-play in Game 1 action on Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)

The two wins for the Blues capped off a successful pre-season road trip for the Babe Ruth Baseball Midget AAA team as they won 4 of the 6 games played here in Victoria and acquitted themselves very well against the Premier Eagles on Saturday.

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Eagles baserunner Dan Rockwell would slide safely under this throw to Calgary second baseman Todd Layton (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)

For the Junior Eagles, Manager Bob Mabee and Assistant Coaches Shawn Loglishi, Roy Moretti, Roy Carter and Miles Chester, will have their work cut out to develop the young Eagles squad and prepare them to play at the next level.

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Calgary's Justin Johnston (batting) and Jeff Derks (on deck) would account for five of the Blues 10 hits in Game 2 Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)

The Junior Eagles have just two returning players from 2012 – Brock Duncan and Lawson MacDonald – but have a great group of graduating Bantams who have joined the team this season and are eager to learn.

The Junior Eagles will begin their 2014 season when they host the Langley Blaze for a double-header at Lambrick Park on Saturday April 19th. First pitch is at 12 Noon.

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