Vancouver March 24, 2018- The UBC Thunderbirds opened up their new Thunderbird Park in fine fashion with a pair of back to back wins over the Oregon Tech Owls.
The T-Birds started freshman Niall Windeler on the mound in the first game of the day. He lasted six innings and only gave up two runs in the bottom of the fifth. Windeler finished his day allowing only three hits along with his five strikeouts in five innings.
UBC got the first runs of the day early in the first inning with a two out single by Jaxon Valcke, and after starting off strong the Thunderbirds never took their foot off the pedal with the offense. Anthony Cusati brought in the second run with his second double of the game on his second at bat, while Lucas Sopper kept the good times comng with a single extending the home teams lead to 3-0 within two innings.
Oregon got on the board in the bottom of the fifth with two RBI singles before UBC’s Niall Windeler got Justin Jordan to fly out to end the inning.
Jack Caswell relived Windeler at the top of the sixth and pitched two shutout innings before leaving way for closer Pat van den Brink in the bottom of the eigth.
Van den Brink got off to a rocky start, allowing his first two batters to hit doubles. Oregon’s Justin Jordan hit a triple into centre field driving in the two runners to tie the game at four. A Ryan Rypma sacrifice fly gave Oregon their first lead of the afternoon before Van de brink got another strikeout to end the inning with the ‘Birds trailing by one.
Oregon brought in side arm pitcher James Bedortha to start the inning allowing The home teams bats to be on fire in the bottom of the ninth. Valcke hit the inaugural home run at Thunderbird park of of Bedortha’s first pitch on a windy afternoon that was not in favour of hitters. After only three pitches Bedortha was pulled leaving two players in scoring position. Kyle Mccomb and Jake Lanferman restored the lead for the ‘Birds, leading them to their home opening win.
UBC went on to win the second game of the day as well. Ending opening day with a perfect home record. UBC will now look to secure their first series sweep of the season as they face the Oregon Tech Owls again tomorrow at 11am at Thunderbird Park.