The Moose Jaw 18U Canucks are off to an impressive start this season, with four straight wins over a pair of doubleheaders this past weekend further cementing that fact,.
The Canucks picked up two of those wins Saturday at Ross Wells Park, defeating the Prince Albert Royals 5-4 in the opening game and taking a 5-2 win in the second. The local squad then broke out the big bats on the road against Estevan Sunday, taking a 15-5 win in the first game and coming from behind to take game two 13-10.
The four wins saw the Canucks improve to 5-1 on the season.
Canucks 5, Royals 4
Moose Jaw did all their damage in the third inning as they sent five runs across the plate, keyed by a two-run double off the bat of Ryley Gross and a two-run single by Riley Skarbon.
Gross finished the game 1-for-3 with a run scored while Skarbon was 2-for-3 and Cam O’Reilly also picked up a pair of hits.
Jeremy Kohl got the start on the mound and gave up two runs on eight hits in three innings work; Sam Caplette tossed four innings of relief and also surrendered two runs on eight hits while striking out four.
Canucks 5, Royals 2
With the game tied 2-2 in the bottom of the fifth, the Canucks scored three runs on three straight hits – a Jake Kindiak triple, O’Reilly double and Cole Breitkreuz single – to take a lead they’d never relinquish.
Kindiak ended up going 3-for-3 at the plate, with Evan Callaghan knocking in a pair of runs while going 2-for-4 and Breitkreuz going 2-for-3 with his run and RBI in the fifth.
Kindiak also got the job done on the mound, holding Prince Albert without an earned run while giving up four hits over three innings. That set the stage for Gross, who gave up a run on four hits and struck out six in four innings of relief.
Canucks 15, Brewers 5
The Canucks apparently were saving their big offence for the next day in Estevan, sending 12 batters to the plate in the first inning, scoring six runs and never looking back.
Another two runs in the second, one in the third and a further six in the fourth extended their lead to 15-1, and while the Brewers tried to avoid the mercy rule with four runs in the bottom the fifth, it would be too little, too late.
The Canucks’ offensive leaders were Skarbon, who was 2-for-3 with three runs scored and two RBI, Quincy Johnson 2-for-4 with two runs and three RBI, Chase Coward 2-for-3 with three runs and one RBI and O’Reilly 2-for-3 with a run and three RBI.
Callaghan was the starting pitcher and went four innings, giving up one run and scattering eight hits to go along with three strikeouts. Johnson and Bohden Bellows combined to get the final three outs.
Canucks 13, Brewers 10
You won’t find a more back-and-forth game than the Canucks’ final contest of the weekend.
Holding a 3-1 lead heading into the third inning, Moose Jaw gave up seven runs to suddenly find themselves down 8-3. They chipped their way back in with three runs in the fourth and then exploded for six more in the fifth to take control of the game with a 13-9 lead.
Johnson continued his hot day at the plate, going 3-for-5 with three runs and two RBI. Skarbon was again 2-for-3 with two RBI, while Callaghan and Breitkreuz each crossed the plate three times.
Nick Daly got the start on the mound and absorbed most of the damage, surrendering eight runs on 12 hits in three innings. O’Reilly was able to settle things down over four innings of relief, giving up two runs on four hits the rest of the way.
The Canucks are back in action Wednesday when they host the Swift Current 57’s before travelling to Regina to take on the Pacers on Thursday.