The Fraser Valley Cyclones continue to be their own worst enemy at the Canadian Senior League Championships in Thunder Bay, Ontario as they were not able to hold a 4 run lead and eventually dropped a 16-7 decision to the hometown Thunder Bay Selects.
The game was a two day marathon as lightning interrupted the game and then a thunderstorm halted it in the bottom of the third inning on Thursday evening with the teams knotted at 1. Coquitlam's Kyle Williamson was on the hill for the Fraser Valley All-Star Squad and was keeping the Thunder Bay bats in check.
The game resumed at 9:30 Friday morning with one out and Coquitlam Little Leaguers Ben McCarthy at 2nd base and Derek Fong at the plate. Fong laid down a masterful bunt that the Selects botched and McCarthy raced home to give the Cyclones the lead. Two pitches later, Coquitlam's Allen Velten walloped a towering 350 ft home run over the left field fence to put the Cyclones up by 3. North Langley's Austin Calla followed up with a single and was driven in by Langley's Connor Stockli-Mervyn who also singled up the middle.
Thunder Bay battled back with two runs in the top of the 4th, but the Cyclones responded with two of their own as Langley's Nathan Coleman and Coquitlam's McCarthy hit back to back singles before Fong laid down another perfect bunt that bamboozled the Selects allowing both Coleman and McCarthy to score.
The gritty Selects refused to quit and plated 4 in the top of the 5th to even the score at 7 apiece, and then the wheels fell off for the Cyclones as a couple of walks, a couple of minor miscues and a triple with the bases loaded allowed the Selects to score 6 runs in the top of the sixth inning.
The Selects bullpen shut down the Cyclones the rest of the way and they added two more runs in the top of the seventh to seal the deal.
Manager Bruce Michael said after the game, "Baseball is a game where little things can be very big. We weren't able to execute some of those little things that we have practised endlessly and today those little things cost us. It's very frustrating, but that's the way this game is - you have to be able to make those plays, and when you aren't able to, you have to be mentally tough enough to put them behind you, and resilient enough to weather the storm when the going gets tough. Today, we made those little mistakes, and they bit us. We normally don't make those kinds of mistakes, and if we do, we are able to batten the hatches and battle through. But this is the Nationals - the competition is intense and every team is talented. We just have to be better tomorrow."
The Cyclones square off against the Atlantic representative Cape Breton Cubs on Saturday afternoon. Follow the Cyclones on twitter: @fvcyclones