On both days, the Coquitlam Reds were blanked in the first game.
On both days, they bounced back admirably.
The B.C. Premier Baseball League club earned a split in a weekend doubleheader series with the Parksville Royals and first-place Nanaimo Pirates.
Outscored 12-0 in the opening series matchups, Coquitlam turned the tables a tad and topped both nightcaps by a combined 14-6.
On Saturday against Parksville, the Reds fell 4-0 and took Game 2 3-2. A day later, they were outclassed 8-0 by league-leading Nanaimo in the opener but blasted back with an 11-4 win in the nightcap.
With a few injuries testing his bench strength, Reds manager Kyle Williams was generally pleased with the results.
"Going in to the weekend I was looking for a split and that's what we got," said Williams. "With Nanaimo being in first (overall) we knew it would be tough but we put up 11 runs, so that's a good showing."
That 11-4 win, which saw lead-off hitter Darren Honeysett go 4-for-4 and drive in two runs, provided some feel-good moments for the struggling squad.
Injuries to centerfielder Max Hollingworth, catcher/ first baseman Brian Nicholas and pitcher Jeff Heidema has taxed the club during the past two weeks.
Without those key players - Heidema has played in the field but has been unable to pitch - the squad has slipped to 8-9 after starting the premier season at 4-1.
Saturday's series with Parksville got off to a good start, as rookie Mark Trimble and Royals' Clayton Isherwood - one of the top pitchers in the 13-team loop - locked horns in a pitchers duel.
Parksville scored all its runs in the fifth inning on three singles, two walks and two batters hit-by-pitch. Trimble surrendered just five hits on the day, walked three and fanned four. Isherwood reduced his leaguebest earned run average to 0.34, allowing three hits and two walks while striking out 11 Reds batters.
In the second game, Coquitlam erased an early deficit with three runs in the bottom of the second inning en route to a 3-2 victory. Honeysett's RBI triple plated what proved to be the winning run.
Righthander Curtis Taylor collected the win, tossing seven innings of four-hit ball, while fanning five. In the seventh, the junior-aged thrower struck out the first two Royals and induced the last batter to ground out for his team-leading third win of the season.
Honeysett and Willie Davis both finished 2-for-3, while Luan Dang drove in the other run.
Against first-place Nanaimo, the Reds fell 8-0 in the opener, as winning pitcher Justin Clarkson held the home club to just four hits. Brett Snowball started for Coquitlam and didn't make it out of the fourth inning, surrendering seven earned runs. With the score 3-0 entering the fourth inning, the Pirates broke it open on Brady Rogers three-run home run.
The resilient Reds responded by scoring two in the first and one in the second of the final game to take a 3-0 lead. Nanaimo notched a pair in the third but the home squad answered back by putting up five runs in the fourth, as Javeed Khankashi, with two, Mitchell Jackman and Honeysett banged out RBI singles.
Brandon Becking went the distance, holding the Pirates to just four hits as they handed the visitors just their third loss of the season.
Jackman, who leads the Reds with 11 RBI on the year, went 3-for-4 with four RBI to bump up his batting average to a team-best .333.
"I'm fairly happy with how things are going, when you consider who we're missing," noted Williams. "The bats have been our biggest issue, they just haven't been consistent enough."
The two bats that have put together the hottest stretches recently belong to Honeysett and Jackman.
"(Honeysett) has been great. He's made the adjustments after a 3-for-20 start and just had some smart at bats- I'm really pleased with Jackman. He's really carried the team offensively."
The squad will host Abbotsford on Thursday, 6: 30 p.m. at Mundy Park. The Victoria Mariners pay a visit on Saturday for a pair of games, starting at 1 p.m. at Mundy Park.
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