Nelson’s Braeden Zarikoff put together a fabulous pitching performance on Saturday to pace the West Kootenay ‘A’ Phillies to their first win of the American Legion single-A season at Trail’s Butler Park.
The regional team headed into a doubleheader with University High School 2 (Pullman, Washington) riding an early season slump. Zarikoff led the Phillies to a 5-1 win in the first game of the set. The leftie went the distance, giving up just one run on three hits and a walk while striking out eight.
The game was tied 1-1 until the sixth, when the Phillies exploded for four runs. Nelson’s Dylan Jacobs got the rally started with a single, before Johnny Ballarin sacrificed Jacobs to second on a bunt down the third base line. The University High School pitcher started to struggle in the sixth, giving free passes to Colton Miracle, Nelson’s Reese Tambellini, and Zarikoff to plate Jacobs for the winning run. Derek Green then stepped up and added some insurance with a single, followed by Daniel Gagnier who also ripped a single to make it 5-1 Phillies.
Zarikoff would do the rest, striking out two of the last three batters in the top of the seventh for the victory, while Jacobs had a solid game at the dish going 2-for-3 with a stolen base.
Both Zarikoff and Jacobs played for the Nelson Baseball Association’s Babe Ruth Diamondbacks during the West Kootenay house season. Zarikoff also played for the L.V. Rogers high school team.
In the second half of the doubleheader, the Phillies battled back from an 8-4 deficit in the fourth, to make it 8-7, but three runs by University High School in the top of the fifth put the game out of reach.