It’s hard to be overly disappointed when you start the season undefeated, which is where the Abbotsford Cardinals found themselves after a pair of road wins over the Vancouver Cannons on Saturday.
But Sunday’s steady drizzle dampened the the local B.C. Premier Baseball League club’s excitement somewhat, as their home opener was rained out.
The Cards had planned some opening-day festivities to showcase themselves to the community. Mayor Bruce Banman was to be in attendance at DeLair Park, and two local mosquito division (age 10-11) boys baseball teams were set to play a one-inning exhibition between games of the scheduled doubleheader between Abbotsford and the Whalley Chiefs.
“It was ugly, ugly, ugly today,” Cards coach Corey Eckstein said of the weather. “It’s tough having these rainouts early in the season.”
The games that Eckstein did get to see put a smile on his face.
Facing junior national team pitcher Connor Noble in their opener Saturday, the Cards exercised extreme discipline at the dish. They mustered just one hit and an unearned run over Noble’s five innings, but they extracted seven walks, driving Noble’s pitch count up and forcing the Cannons to go to their bullpen to start the sixth.
Abbotsford exploded at that point, racking up seven runs in the sixth en route to an 8-3 win. Riley Salter paced the offence with two RBI, while Kurtis Kostuk’s stat line included three walks, an RBI and a run scored.
The Cards completed the sweep with a 3-2 win, behind a strong outing from pitcher Daniel Koo. He blanked the Cannons for six innings, striking out six, before Vancouver finally pushed two runs across in the seventh.
“We punched a few runs across, got some good pitching performances, and it was a good way to start the year,” Eckstein summarized.
The Cards will make up their games against the Chiefs over the next two weeks, on Thursday the 11th and Tuesday the 16th. Both games start at 7 p.m. at DeLair Park.