Cardinals pitcher Taisei Yahiro helped lead his team to victory in game one of the club’s best-of-three series against the Coquitlam Reds on Saturday. (JOHN MORROW/ABBOTSFORD NEWS)

Cardinals pitcher Taisei Yahiro helped lead his team to victory in game one of the club’s best-of-three series against the Coquitlam Reds on Saturday. (JOHN MORROW/ABBOTSFORD NEWS)

Abbotsford Cardinals advance to championships

Baseball club sweeps Coquitlam Reds to qualify for BCPBL finals in Kelowna

The Abbotsford Senior Cardinals dominated at the British Columbia Premier Baseball League’s final eight playoff competition over the weekend, and have now advanced to the championship round.

The Cards hosted the Coquitlam Reds for a best-of-three series on Saturday, and it took the club just two games to advance.

Starting pitcher Taisei Yahiro controlled the game, allowing just five hits and one run in a complete game 11-1 win. He also struck out seven, while only walking two.

Abbotsford also got big offensive outputs from Carlin Dick and Mike Fitzsimmons, who both drove in three runs. Jayson Smith collected a team-high two hits in the win.

The Cardinals took over after the second inning, after scoring four runs to go up 5-1, and eventually cruised to the win.

The club continued the momentum later that day by eliminating the Reds with a 9-3 win in game two. Coquitlam drew within one run in the fourth inning, scoring three to make it 4-3 but the Cardinals responded the next inning, scoring five to pick up the win.

Dick and Romero Snow drove in two runs apiece, with Yahiro, Dylan Ohlsen, Massimo Peranio and Kayden Cardoso all driving in one. Snow collected a team-high three hits. Starting pitcher Nick Graham earned the win.

The pair of playoff wins comes off an excellent BCPBL regular season that saw the Cards finish second overall with a record of 34-14.

The playoff wins advance Abbotsford to the BCPBL final five, which is a double-elimination championship series. The Cardinals will compete against the Langley Blaze, North Shore Twins, Victoria Mariners and the host Okanagan Athletics at the event in Kelowna.

Abbotsford opens the tournament on Friday against the Twins. The 2018 BCPBL champion is set to be crowned on Sunday evening.

In other news, the Abbotsford Junior Cardinals wrapped up the BCPBJL season on Sunday by splitting a double header with the North Delta Junior Blue Jays. The club defeated the Jays 9-8 in game one, but then fell 15-2 in game two to wrap the season.

The juniors finished the season in 10th place, and compiled a record of 23-25. The club did not make the playoffs.

Read next Wednesday’s print edition of the Abbotsford News for details on how the Senior Cardinals fare at the finals in Kelowna.