The Abbotsford Junior Cardinals are British Columbia Junior Premier Baseball League regular season champions, but now have to prove themselves in the playoffs.
Abbotsford finished off the season with a record of 31 wins and nine losses, the top record in the BCJPBL and opened the postseason with a first round best-of-three series against the North Delta Blue Jays at DeLair Park on Wednesday.
The Cardinals opened Wednesday’s doubleheader with a dominant 8-0 win, fuelled by a seven run fifth inning. Abbotsford added another run in the sixth for insurance.
Abbotsford’s Matthew Pidlisecky, Kaiden Cardoso and Dallas Teichrob each had a pair of hits, with Pidlisecky also driving in two runs. Cardoso, Teichrob, Aiden McDonald and Jayson Smith also drove in runs in the win.
Cardinals starting pitcher Travis McDougall was stellar on the mound, pitching a complete game shutout. He struck out eight and only allowed four hits to earn the win.
Game two occurred later that evening, with the Jays pulling off a 6-2 upset. North Delta opened up a 5-0 lead after four innings and the Cardinals couldn’t catch up. Abbotsford rallied for a pair of runs in the seventh, when Pidlisecky cranked a two-run home run, but that was all the offence the club could muster.
Abbotsford’s Robert Bradley has three hits, while Smith added a pair in the loss. Pitcher Nick Graham was charged with the loss.
The Cardinals and Jays squared off in the deciding game three on Thursday evening, with the Cardinals posting a 9-3 win to eliminate North Delta.
The win advances Abbotsford to the final four at the BCJPBL, which kicks off in Surrey on Aug. 4.