Down but not out.
The Coquitlam Reds kicked off a new B.C. Premier Baseball League season on the weekend, sweeping a pair of games from the Abbotsford Cardinals.
That they trailed in both contests was a nice test for the club.
Coquitlam erased a 3-1 deficit in the opener to cart off a 7-4 victory. They followed that with a dominating performance from pitcher Mark Trimble in a 5-2 win.
"I like what we saw from our players," said Reds manager Kyle Williams. "Our pitchers for the most part pitched well and our hitters showed no panic."
"Considering we only had five (exhibition) games to their 15, we looked pretty composed."
In the opener, Brett Snowball gave up a three-run home run in the bottom of the first but settled down to hand the ball over after four innings. Williams was ready to hand the ball to a veteran thrower but changed course when the team picked up five runs to grab a 6-4 lead.
Instead, he plugged in junior callup Curtis Taylor and was pleased how the 16 year old responded.
"It was a tough spot for him to go in, because he wasn't warmed up- He didn't have much time to warm up or think about it, but he threw strikes and kept it simple," noted Williams.
Snowball, who surrendered a threerun home run in the first, was credited with the win.
The turnaround began when Taylor Lawrence, Tyler Yorko and Austin MacDonald connected for one-out singles to load the bases. Centerfielder Max Hollingworth proceeded to be hit by a pitch to score the first run, followed by a fielder's choice off the bat of catcher Brian Nicholas to tie the game.
Designated hitter Jeff Heidema then delivered a two-run double to put Coquitlam in the driver's seat for good.
MacDonald finished with three hits on the day, while Hollingworth plated two runs and went one-for-one, with a double.
In the second game, the Cards scored again in the first but the Reds replied with two in the third and single runs in the next two innings to leave Abbotsford with a 5-2 triumph.
Aydan Smith was the first of three Coquitlam batters in the third inning to draw a walk, and would score later on Hollingworth's sac fly.
Yorko scored on a fly-out by Heidema to give the visitors the lead.
In the fourth, Yorko singled home Javeed Khankashi, another junior callup, for what proved to be the winning run.
Trimble, meanwhile, remained steady through out the 91-pitch performance, giving up six hits over seven innings while fanning four.
"Trimble was very composed and I really like that. It's something he's been working on," said Williams.
While the club was without lead-off hitter Darren Honeysett, who was away on holidays, Yorko did a strong job of getting on base on the day. Heidema, who remains unavailable to pitch, delivered some clutch base hits and Austin MacDonald proved proficient at getting on base, with three hits and two walks.
From just two games, the kids look like they'll be alright.
"We trailed both games but came back, so that's a good sign," said Williams. "We had a lot of good at-bats and didn't make many easy outs."
Coquitlam visited North Shore last night (past The NOW's deadline) and will have their home opener Thursday, 6: 30 p.m. against the White Rock Tritons. On Saturday, they head to North Delta to play a pair of games against the Blue Jays.
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