A seventh-inning rally fell painfully short for the Abbotsford Cardinals on Sunday, as the Victoria Mariners eliminated them in the first round of the B.C. Premier Baseball League playoffs.
The fifth-seeded Cards and the No. 4 Mariners split the first two games of the best-of-three series on Saturday, with Abbotsford winning the opener 6-3 behind a three-run home run from Nick Buse, and the host Victoria squad staying alive with a 9-1 win in the second game.
In Sunday’s rubber match, the Cards got on the board in the top of the first when Tyler Krahn’s single scored Matt Buse. But the Mariners scored twice in the second and once more in the sixth to take a 3-1 lead.
In the top of the seventh, the Cardinals loaded the bases with one out, and Brandon Todoruk drew a walk to push one run across. The next batter, Krahn, put the ball in play, but Mariners third baseman Mike Shaw’s throw beat Abby baserunner Matt Buse to home plate for the force out.
The Cards’ last chance rested with Max Chadsey, but he grounded out to short to end the game.
• The Mariners move on to the BCPBL Final Four this weekend at Nat Bailey Stadium in Vancouver, joining fellow first-round winners the Langley Blaze and the Coquitlam Reds. The fourth first-round series between the Nanaimo Pirates and the Okanagan Athletics wraps up with Game 3 on Monday evening.
• The Abbotsford Junior Cardinals have qualified for the Junior PBL’s Final Eight this weekend in Nanaimo. They finished fifth in the regular season standings with a 30-16 record.