Shorthanded Cardinals forced to withdraw from tournament

B.C. Premier Baseball League team has been beset by injuries in recent weeks

Abbotsford Cardinal Ryan Hamilton (right) beats Trevor Gentles of the North Delta Blue Jays to second base during a Pacific Baseball League game at Mackie Park in North Delta on May 17.

Abbotsford Cardinal Ryan Hamilton (right) beats Trevor Gentles of the North Delta Blue Jays to second base during a Pacific Baseball League game at Mackie Park in North Delta on May 17.

From torn muscles to concussions and facial fractures, the spring of 2015 hasn’t been a great time to be an Abbotsford Cardinal.

The B.C. Premier Baseball League team has been beset by injuries in recent weeks, and the standings has shown the results. After a hot start to the season that saw the Cardinals win five of their first six games, coach Corey Eckstein’s shorthanded team has recorded only a single win this month.

The Cardinals are scheduled to co-host a tournament with the Langley Blaze next week, but the injuries have prompted Eckstein to withdraw his team from competition, although Delair Park will continue to host games.

After a pair of doubleheaders in Victoria this weekend, the Cardinals won’t play another game until June 11. Eckstein hopes the extended time off will give his players a chance to recover.

“It’s been tough,” Eckstein said. “We haven’t pitched as well as we hoped to from the beginning, but it’s tough when five or six of your starters haven’t been able to play.

“We’ve had concussions, we had a kid go down with multiple fractures in the face, we’ve had an elbow injury, a shoulder injury, a hamstring, a lat.

“The list is never-ending,” he said, and even some of those players still in the lineup, like star Tanner Rempel, are playing hurt.

The Cardinals have called several players up from their junior team, and Eckstein said they acquitted themselves well Tuesday during a 7-6 loss to the Langley Blaze that saw the winning run scored in the ninth inning.

“We have to get better everyday and some of these young kids are going to have to step up for us.”