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The Victoria Eagles 15U Bantam-A baseball team acquitted themselves well in the provincial championships last weekend in Chilliwack. They won two of three games before losing to the eventual tournament champions by just one run during the final inning.
The British Columbia Baseball Association’s provincial championships featured 10 teams, seven from the lower mainland, two from Vancouver Island and one from the interior.
The Eagles, essentially a select team made of players from three local leagues: Carnarvon Ball Club, Triangle Athletic Association and Layritz Baseball, travelled to Chilliwack for the tournament that took place at Island Athletic Park, from Friday, August 5th to Monday the 8th.
To get into the tournament, teams had to qualify within their respective zones around the province. Victoria won the island zone tournament going 3-0. Teams from Duncan, Nanaimo, Campbell River and the Comox Valley participated.
“We were confident that we were a strong team going into zones and had a good chance at making provincials,” shared third basemen Justin Thomas. “But anything can happen in tournament play and the other island teams were strong, so it was nice to get it done and move onto provincials.”
Bantam-A, 15U is made up of players age 14 and 15.
Friday offered a few games as well as a skills competition, but just as schedules can randomly go, the Eagles did not play and therefore their five games were compacted into three days, taxing their line-up of pitchers.
Eight of the 1o teams played on Friday.
The Eagles started on a high note defeating Surrey-White Rock by the score of 13-12 on Saturday at 9:00 AM.
The 3:00 PM match was a close loss and another high-scoring game where they fell to the Aldergrove Dodgers 12-11.
On Sunday at noon Victoria trounced the Chilliwack Cougars by the score of 13-3, it was a mercy win for the Eagles. The two teams were familiar with each other as they played twice in early July with Chilliwack taking both games including mercying Victoria – tit for tat.
At 6:00 PM the Eagles faced the Burnaby Braves and ended up losing 10-4, which essentially knocked them out of contention, however, they had one last game on Monday, where they played a tight game against Port Coquitlam, who ended up winning the championships. The Eagles lost 5-4. It was anyone’s game until the seventh and final inning.
PoCo got an early lead and were ahead by the score of 2-1 until the final inning when the Eagles, who were the visitors in this game, scored a few runs. It was Mark Rosario who hit a triple, nearly threatening to make it an in-field home run. A couple of batters later, Ty Ferreira got a base hit advancing Rosario for an RBI. By the end of the top of the inning, the Eagles were ahead 4-2.
PoCo, at the bottom of the seventh had one last chance to take the game and they did just that scoring three runs to win 5-4.
Three of the five games that Victoria played were decided by a single run.
“We still did well considering we were up against the typically stronger base of players that the lower mainland can draw from. During our final game our pitcher Joel Devlin, who took to the mound for the first time this year against PoCo, pitched well,” shared Thomas.
Port Coquitlam ended up winning the tournament going undefeated with a record of 6-0. The Burnaby Braves finished second with a record of 5-1.
Victoria Eagles Roster: