The Canucks improved to 3-1-1 on the Baseball Regina league season with a pair of commanding wins over the Estevan Brewers at Swarbrick Diamond, taking a 12-5 victory in the opening game Sunday before following up with an 8-2 win in game two.
“I thought we were pretty good, there are a couple things mentally where we have to stay (in the game),” said Canucks head coach Ray Wareham. “The first game was 12-1, it kind of got out of hand and that’s tough to stay mentally focussed in, then you make a couple of errors you probably shouldn’t have and they get a couple, but those are tough things to teach 15-year-old kids.
“But I’m happy with the second game, I thought Carson Reed did a heck of a job going pitch-for-pitch with their guy. He was throwing pretty hard obviously, but we started to get on him a bit in the third and fourth and it worked out… so it was a pretty good weekend.”
The opening contest was a rout from the get-go – after Estevan scored a pair of runs in the top of the first, the Canucks sent four across the plate in their half of the inning, added another one in the second and extended their lead to 10-1 after three innings.
The Brewers took advantage of the aforementioned late errors to pick up a pair of runs in the sixth, but they’d get no closer.
Dylan Montgomery knocked in three runs and Dylan Anderson send home a pair in the commanding win. Nathan Varjassy got the start on the mound and struck out five in five innings work.
Anderson was a multi-facet threat in the second game, picking up a pair of hits and knocking in a run before tossing two innings of shut-out ball in relief of Reed’s gem. The Canucks were nursing a 4-2 lead when Anderson came into the game; two innings later things were more than in hand heading into Estevan’s final at bat.
“It was just being focussed, it was pretty quiet so it was nice,” Anderson said of his control on the mound. “It makes a difference because everyone is focussing and you’re kind of leading the game.”
That, and as Wareham pointed out, throwing strikes. Something Reed was a master of as 14 of the batters he faced found themselves behind in the count after the first pitch, while Varjassy did the same in his start. For his part, Anderson didn’t allow a walk and kept the ball in the zone throughout his appearance.
“If our pitchers are throwing strikes, we’ll be in games,” Wareham said. “We’re not going to wow anybody offensively, but we’re scrappy enough that we can score runs and that’s kind of what we need to do. Have our pitchers throw strikes and play good defence.”
The Canucks have a week off before heading to a tournament in Williston, N.D., with the team hoping to see more of the same from this past weekend.
“They’re a fun bunch, they all want to work and listen,” Wareham said. “I call us an ‘East End’ squad because we just come out and play. There’s some things they still need to learn, but we’re 3-1-1 now and that’s not a bad way to start the year.”