Victoria, BC (ISN) – The Victoria Junior Premier Eagles closed out a tough 2013 season Wednesday night with a 3-2 loss to the Junior Mariners in BC Junior Premier League action at Lambrick Park. The loss was pretty typical of how the 8-35 Junior Eagles season has gone, as they competed well in most of their games and kept the score close, but were unable to find a way to win when it mattered. Such was the case Wednesday, as the Eagles trailed 3-2 in the bottom of the seventh, with the tying and winning runs on third and second respectively, but then watched in despair, as a potential game-tying suicide squeeze attempt was popped to the pitcher, resulting in a game ending double play.
The loss overshadowed a fine pitching performance from the Eagle's Karsten Waters who went the distance, giving up two earned runs on just four hits, while walking five and striking out three.
The Mariners were able to get two of their runs in the top of the third inning, thanks to a 2-RBI single from Dylan Werrun that scored Mitch Bryan and Cole Russell.
The Eagles would respond off Mariner starter Nolan Bruce in the bottom of the inning with two runs of their own, as Noah Dalziel and Brendan Turcotte would single and then be knocked home on a 2-RBI single from Jack McKinnon.
The score would stay that way until the top of the sixth inning, when a costly Eagles error would allow Mariners lead-off hitter Nick Seginowich to reach base. He would eventually come around to score on an RBI single from Russell.
In the top of the seventh, Bruce, who gave up five Eagles hits, would get bullpen help from Seginowich and Cole Haddock to close out the 3-2 win.
While the Eagles 8-35 record may look bad in the standings, it was largely a positive year for the team, who came together as the season progressed and who earned three of those eight wins in the last ten games of the season.
"Our win loss record does not show what we put out on the field this season," said Junior Mariners Manager Jordan Will. "The boys played a number of real good games including tonight. That's the message we want them to take away, that they played well. We had some tough breaks and things did not always go our way, but the boys got better as the season went on, they kept working hard and they never got down. That's all we can ask as coaches is that they come out and play hard and get ready to play at the next level."
A number of Junior Eagles also had the opportunity to play up with the Senior Eagles this season including during the exciting BCPBL championships last weekend that the Senior Eagles won.
"We had three boys go up this past weekend and they really enjoyed that experience," said Will. "To be there, in that playoff atmosphere and to see what it is like at that level was of great benefit to them, and then to be part of that amazing comeback and the win and the celebration….they all came back with big grins on their faces!"
The Junior Eagles will hope to graduate perhaps three to five players to the Senior team next season. "We have a few guys who have good work ethic and who will have a great shot to make that team coming out of tryouts next season," added Will.
For Will, he is heading back to coach along with Eagles GM Gautam Srivistava at the Bantam AAA level next season, while Bob Mabee will return to the helm of the Junior Premier team.
"I'm really looking forward to working with Gautam and the younger kids and to develop some players that we can send up to the Junior and Premier teams in 2015 and beyond."
For the Junior Mariners, the win moves their record to 23-19 which puts them in sixth place, just a game behind Coquitlam and Abbotsford. The Mariners will close out their regular season with a pair against the league leading Twins on Sunday and will then begin the defense of their 2012 Championship when the playoffs begin next week.