The Kitsap Bluekackets played the Okanagan Athletics in the first day of the Grand Forks International. (Kathleen Saylors/Grand Forks Gazette)

Grand Forks International: Day 1 Recap

Check out the scores, notable plays and best moments from Day 1 of the GFI.

By Jacob Noseworthy

The 2017 iteration of the annual Grand Forks International baseball tournament began with three games on Tuesday.

The first two games of the day featured GFI newcomers as the Kitsap BlueJackets took on the Okanagan Athletics and the Alaska Goldpanners challenged the Highline Bears, while tournament veterans, the Westchase Express and West Coast Guns, played under the lights in the final game of the night.

Kitsap BlueJackets 18 at Okanagan Athletics 3

W: Ben Tinnel L: Bo Meiklejohn Home Plate Umpire: Rhonda Pauls

Although the crowd at James Donaldson Park cheered passionately for the Canadian Okanagan Athletics, it was clear from the start that the game was dominated by the Kitsap BlueJackets, as the Washington side went up 8-0 in the top of the first inning.

After increasing their lead to 10-0 in the second, 16-2 in the fifth, and finally 18-3 in the sixth inning, Kitsap proved in their first appearance at the GFI that they had come to play.

Isaac Wersland, the designated hitter for the BlueJackets, was the obvious standout in the game as the slugger hit two home runs and earned four RBIs in his four appearances at the plate.

While the game was a mostly one-sided affair, ending after seven innings due to the mercy rule, Okanagan still put on an entertaining display for their new and old fans watching.

Allowing eight runs in the first half inning can be demoralizing for a team, but the Athletics fought back to put three runs on the board in their GFI debut.

Highline Bears 0 at Alaska Goldpanners 11

W: Alex Vesia L: Ian Turner Home Plate Umpire: Scott Eckardt

Although early in the day rumours swirled around the park that the Seattle-based Highline Bears were going to be late for their 5 p.m. game, the GFI newcomers were on time and ready to play.

Unfortunately for the Bears, the storied Alaska Goldpanners, with six National Baseball Congress World Series titles to their name, were also ready as they routed Highline 11-0 in six and a half innings of baseball.

Costly errors from the Bears combined with the Goldpanners’ ability to string together hits, especially in their five run third inning, contributed to Alaska’s big win.

Alaska’s centre fielder, Mitch Berryhill, shone in the win with two doubles, a lead-off triple in the bottom of the fourth, and a team-leading three RBI performance.

Westchase Express 8 at West Coast Guns 4

W: Fernando Martinez L: Wyatt Haccou Home Plate Umpire: Joe Mallinson

The marquee match up of the day featured 2016 semifinalist West Coast Guns and 2016 quarterfinalist Westchase Express with both teams looking to get back to the Money Round in the difficult Division 1 also featuring reigning champion Seattle Studs and 2016 runner-up Burnaby Bulldogs.

The game got off to a close start with the score deadlocked at three after two innings of strong baseball by both sides.

Westchase seemed to take control of the game from the third inning on, however, as the Express went on a 5-1 run through the latter innings, capped off with a Carlos Andrade solo home run in the ninth over the right field fence to give Westchase the 8-4 victory.

Although the runs slowed from the fourth inning on, strong defence from both teams kept the game close and entertaining for the late-night crowd.

Home run hitter Andrade was notable scoring three times and earning a .400 batting average for the game.

Just Posted

RED resort announces new ski lift

Topping lift will add new ski area to resort, reduce bottleneck on Motherload chair

Paramedics union raises alarm over spike in out-of-service ambulances

Staffing shortages affecting service levels in Kootenays

Kim Johnson retires from rec department

Johnson had worked at Grand Forks Recreation Department for 25 years

COLUMN: 2018 second-largest on record for food bank

Boundary Community Food Bank added 109 new clients last year

Local students raise salmon in new program

The program typically runs from December to June

VIDEO: Can you believe it? This B.C. hill pulls cars backwards up a slope

Sir Isaac Newton had clearly never been to this Vernon anomaly when he discovered gravity

Canucks hang on for 7-4 win over Senators

Horvat nets 2 for Vancouver

European, Canadian regulators to do own review of Boeing jet

Air Canada plans to remove the Boeing 737 Max from its schedule at least through July 1

Prime minister defends Liberal budget measures as sales effort gets underway

Conservatives under Andrew Scheer say it’s a spree funded by borrowing against the future

Mayor meets with B.C. health minister on homeless taxi transfers

Two homeless people were discharged from Surrey Memorial and sent to a Chilliwack shelter

B.C. lottery winner being sued by co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Teacher reprimanded for conduct towards special needs student

Alan Stephen Berry told vice principal he did not have time to use positive strategies

‘Full worm super moon’ to illuminate B.C. skies on first day of spring

Spring has sprung, a moon named in honour of thawing soil marks final super moon until 2020

Having phone within sight while driving does not violate law: B.C. judge

The mere presence of a cell phone within sight of a driver is not enough for a conviction, judge says

Most Read