North Island Cubs pitcher Robert Gurney sizes up a batter during weekend baseball action. Photo submitted

North Island Cubs pitchers shut down opposition

The West Urban Developments North Island Cubs powered through their opposition over the last couple of weekends, winning three out of four games in Vernon, taking a pair of wins from North Shore and then splitting a pair against Victoria at Nunns Creek.

On Sunday, Cubs pitcher Robert Gurney threw a complete game shutout against the visiting Victoria Seawolves. He had six strikeouts and allowed the visitors only one hit through seven innings of work. Gurney, who regularly plays catcher for the North Island team, was called upon to pitch in the first game of the double header, and certainly delivered.

The Cubs also played one of their best defensive games of the season, committing only one error en route to a convincing 8-0 victory. Offensively, Brayden McClary hit a double and a single with 3 RBI’s while Curtis Owens added his own double in the bottom of the 6th. Matt O’Reilly and Robert Gurney added a pair of singles each, with Markus Cross picking up an RBI single himself.

In the second game, the North Island team came up short, dropping a close decision by a score of 9-8. It was one of the most exciting finishes of the season for the Cubs as they entered the bottom of the 7th down by a score of 9-4. They managed to score four runs to make it 9-8, and had runners on 1st and 2nd with two out before the Victoria team got the inning ending out. Austin Gurney had two singles with an RBI, McClary had two singles as well, while singles went to Robert Gurney, Jaxon Ackerman, O’Reilly, Laine Rogers, Riley Sutherland, Jayden Smith and Markus Cross.

The Cubs also played a midweek double header against the visiting North Shore Padres last Wednesday, picking up a pair of wins by scores of 7-6 and 5-3.

Once again, Robert Gurney pitched six solid innings before Matt O’reilly was brought in to close in the 7th of game 1. Jayden Smith had arguably his best pitching performance of the season in game two, striking out seven batters through six innings of work before handing it over to Markus Cross for the close in the 7th. Cross struck out two before getting the Padres next batter to fly out to end the game. In game one, the offense was led by Ackerman with a double, while singles went to Robert Gurney, O’Reilly, Sutherland, Dayton Ring, and Owens. Game two production came from McClary with a pair of singles with an RBI, with singles going to Robert Gurney, Rogers (1RBI), and Smith.

The previous weekend saw the Cubs on the road for a four game set against the Vernon Canadians.

Starting pitcher Jaxon Ackerman came within one batter of a no hitter. After successfully retiring 18 batters through six innings, and the first two batters in the 7th, Ackerman’s bid for the no hitter looked promising until Vernon was finally able to record a hit on a bloop single to shallow left field ruining his bid for Cubs history.

All was not lost however, as Ackerman struck out nine batters in total and threw an immaculate inning in the 6th, capping off his finest performance of the season, as the North Island squad shut out the Canadians 3-0.

The locals also won two of their other games by scores of 12-1 and 9-1, and dropping one by a score of 5-4.

Notable hitting performances over the weekend came from Austin Gurney with two triples, two doubles and two singles (5 RBI’s), Nico Matheson with a double and two singles (2 RBI’s), Robert Gurney with seven singles (1 RBI), newcomer David Klatt with five singles, Ring with four singles, Rogers with three singles (3RBI’s), O’Reilly with three singles (2 RBI’s), Cross with three singles, Sutherland with two singles (2 RBI’s), and Ackerman with a single.

The Cubs are on the road this coming Saturday, July 27, against the VI Mariners, next Saturday, Aug. 3 against the Victoria Seawolves and return home on Sunday, Aug. 4 to play the North Fraser Nationals at Nunns Creek at 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. in their last two regular season games. The North Island team currently sits in fourth place overall and is looking to clinch a spot in the BC Minor Provincial Championships being held in Victoria, Aug. 8 – 11.

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North Island Cubs pitcher Jaxon Ackerman delivers during weekend baseball action. Photo submitted