Nick Laflamme swings at a pitch in the Abbotsford Cardinal's final doubleheader of the season.

Nick Laflamme swings at a pitch in the Abbotsford Cardinal's final doubleheader of the season.

Cardinals claim eighth spot, will face top seed Twins

Abbotsford has a tough task ahead as they prepare for the opening round of the B.C. Premier Baseball League (BCPBL) postseason.

The Abbotsford Cardinals have a tough task ahead of them as they prepare for the opening round of the B.C. Premier Baseball League (BCPBL) postseason.

After three wins in the last five games, the Cardinals clinched the eighth and final playoff spot, but will now face the first-place North Shore Twins in a three-game series beginning Saturday.

Abbotsford finished 16 wins back from the regular season champion Twins, who enter the playoffs 8-2 in their last 10.

Cardinals head coach Corey Eckstein said the Twins’ pitching will be particularly challenging, with aces Braeden Toikka and Matteo Vincelli, finishing first and third, respectively, in wins during the regular season.

The Twins rotation also boasts Will McAffer, who was selected by the Major League Baseball’s Cincinnati Reds in this year’s draft and was named to the Junior National Team.

On the season, Abbotsford is 1-3 against the Twins, surrendering a total of 33 runs in the four games the two teams played.

But the Cardinals are also on a bit of an upswing, having finished the month of July one game above .500 at 5-4.

“It’s nice to be healthy again,” said Eckstein, who’s club was an abysmal 3-13 through the month of May after facing a string of injuries from concussions to torn muscles, facial fractures and more.

Through July, the team managed a sub-par 5-7 record. And despite dropping their final two games of the season, Monday, when they faced the Nanaimo Pirates in a doubleheader at Delair Park, they were able to squeeze into the playoffs.

In the first game, Abbotsford was defeated 12-9 after a terrible fifth inning saw the Pirates notch six runs after being held to just two until that point.

The Pirates scored four more in the seventh as relief pitcher Josh Froese was charged with the loss for the Cardinals. Carter Loewen started the game and pitched four of seven innings.

In game two, the Cardinals’ fate was none better. Abbotsford was thumped 10-0, managing just five hits through six innings.

Marshall Abery pitched through four, allowing eight runs on nine hits with one strikeout. Colton Harold pitched two innings for the Cardinals and allowed two runs.

The previous day, Abbotsford took on the White Rock Tritons Sunday in another doubleheader.

The Cardinals were able to secure critical wins in both games, putting them ahead of the Coquitlam Reds, who finished the season just one win back from Abbotsford.

In the early game, Abbotsford dominated the ballgame in a 6-0 routing of the 10th place Tritons.

Loewen was exceptional on the mound for the Cardinals, pitching a no-hitter through seven innings, tallying 10 strikeouts.

The Cardinals managed six hits with Matthew Ponte going one-for-three, batting in two runs. Tanner Rempel was the most consistent hitter, going two-for-three and batted in one run. Rempel finished with .345 batting average.

In game two, Abbotsford picked up the win by a two-run margin, managing seven hits in a game that ended 3-1.

John Lipp pitched the entire contest. Through seven innings he allowed just one run on three hits, with seven strikeouts.

Abbotsford also managed a win against third place Langley Blaze last Friday, after a five-run fourth inning propelled the Cardinals to a 6-3 victory.

Matthew Selinger pitched through six innings, allowing three runs on four hits, with 11 strikeouts on the night. Loewen closed the game out in the seventh.

The Cardinals will travel to Parkgate Park to play the Twins, July 25. First game starts at noon; game two begins at 2:30 p.m.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Abbotsford’s Ying Chun Chen recently won a $1-million prize with Lotto 6/49. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Ying Chun Chen recently won the $1-million prize in a Lotto 6/49 draw. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Ying Chun Chen wins Lotto 6/49 $1-million prize

Ticket was purchased at Abbotsford’s FreshCo for the March 6, 2021 draw

Kao Macaulay has been charged in relation to a home break-in on March 30 in Abbotsford in which five kittens were stolen. (Facebook photo)
Former Chilliwack man charged with theft of 5 newborn kittens in Abbotsford

Prolific offender Kao Macaulay, 23, accused of breaking into home on March 30

Workers were on scene to clean up the oil spill in Abbotsford at Trans Mountain Pipeline’s Sumas pump station in June 2020. (File photo by Shane MacKichan)
TSB releases final report on June 2020 oil spill in Abbotsford

Transportation Safety Board says pipeline fitting to blame for spill of up to 190K litres

About 80 demonstrators walked through Hope with signs in support of saving the Station House on March 23, 2021. (Photo/Christian Ward)
Public hearing now planned for Hope’s Station House decision

Council has now taken steps to remove heritage status from historic building

Cemetery staff installed the wrong headstone on the grave of Jima Kiir, even though the headstone’s photo did not match with the photo placed on the grave. (Submitted photo)
Abbotsford mother upset city placed wrong headstone on son’s grave

Cemetery staff mix up graves of 2 recently deceased men from South Sudanese community

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. sees 873 more COVID-19 cases Tuesday, decline continues

Hospitalizations up to 377, two more deaths for 1,515 total

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
Tougher COVID-19 restrictions in B.C., including travel, still ‘on the table’: Horgan

John Horgan says travel restrictions will be discussed Wednesday by the provincial cabinet

Protesters occupied a road leading to Fairy Creek Watershed near Port Renfrew. (Submitted photo)
B.C. First Nation says logging activist interference not welcome at Fairy Creek

Vancouver Island’s Pacheedaht concerned about increasing polarization over forestry activities

Flow Academy is not accepting membership applications from anybody who has received a dose of the vaccine, according to a password-protected membership application form. (Submitted image)
B.C. martial arts gym refusing patrons who have been vaccinated, wear masks

Interior Health has already issued a ticket to Flow Academy for non-compliance with public health orders

Of 46 arrests made between March 16 and 19 at Metrotown mall in Burnaby, 27 suspected shoplifters are now facing charges. (Twitter/Burnaby RCMP)
RCMP arrest 46 people in 4 days during Metrotown shoplifting crackdown

$4,800 in stolen merchandise was recovered and returned to businesses inside of the mall

Maple Ridge's Doug Ubell caught some photographs recently that he was anxious to share, one taken while on the Trans-Canada Trail looking southwest towards the Pitt River Bridge, and another from on Golden Ears Bridge. (Special to The News)
Traffic on Golden Ears Bridge returning to pre-pandemic levels

Commuters from Greater Vancouver still driving more, taking transit less

Sheila Malcolmson, B.C.’s minister of mental health and addictions (Screen shot)
Minister of mental health tells Surrey audience COVID-19 ‘has made everything worse’

More than 23,000 people in B.C. are receiving medication to treat opioid addiction

Facebook screenshot of the sea lion on Holberg Road. (Greg Clarke Facebook video)
VIDEO: Sea lion randomly spotted on remote B.C. logging road

Greg Clarke was driving home on the Holberg Road April 12, when he saw a large sea lion.

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read