Trojans sweep Zodiacs to claim No. 1 seed
PCI's Matt Boychuk looks to the umpire for a call following a close play at third base during a game against the Zodiacs Thursday afternoon at Republic Park. (Brian Oliver/The Graphic)
With first place in the league on the line, the Trojans proved they're the team to beat.
The Portage Collegiate Institute (PCI) varsity baseball team welcomed the Garden Valley Collegiate (GVC) Zodiacs to town Thursday evening and swept the doubleheader 8-1 and 6-4 to clinch first place in MHSAA Zone 4 ahead of next week's playoff action.
"We treated the first one as a big game," said Jay Dewis, head coach of the PCI baseball team. "Securing the top seed could make for a better semi final matchup and we wanted to perform well against a good team."
Tanner Boyle, Tyler Van Deynze and Brody Moffatt each had a pair of RBIs en route to the Trojan victory. PCI scored three runners in the first to supply some run support for starting pitcher Moffatt - who allowed an unearned run on five hits while throwing a complete game and striking out six.
"Brody was solid. You usually know what you're going to get with him," added the coach. "He competes hard on the mound and attacks the zone. (He's) definitely a key leader for us."
After tacking on another run in the bottom half of the second, the PCI bats struck for four more in the fourth to take a commanding 8-0 lead. After a barrage of PCI defensive miscues on the last out in the final inning - catcher Lane Taylor caught a Zodiac baserunner trying to steal third with a heads up play behind the plate to end the game.
The Trojans jumped ahead 6-0 in the tale end of the double header before the Garden Valley bats heated up. With Joey Moffatt in to close out the game in the final inning, the Zodiacs struck for four runs before PCI managed to stop the bleeding and secure the victory.
The Trojans welcome the zone teams that earned a berth in the postseason to town Tuesday, as PCI is hosting the Zone 4 Championship Tournament at Republic Park in Portage la Prairie. With the first place finish the Trojans clinch a berth in the tourney semifinal.