So close to gold, happy with bronze.
The Vernon Canadians got four RBIs from Morgan Hackman in a 14-11 win over the Ladner Red Sox in Sunday’s bronze-medal game at the B.C. 11U AAA Tier 2 Baseball Championships at Lakeview Park’s Batchelor Field.
The bronze was a consolation for the Cs, who, hours earlier, suffered a crushing 6-3, eight-inning loss (games are regulation six innings) to the eventual B.C. champion Campbell River Tyees.
Cale Livingston hit a two-out, three-run homer in the top of eighth for the reigning provincial champion Tyees, who successfully defended their title, blowing out the Cloverdale Spurs 15-1 in the championship game at Vardon Field.
The Spurs edged the Red Sox 14-13 in the other semifinal.
Kaleb Murray went 5.1 innings on the mound for Vernon against Campbell River, allowing just two hits and striking out 14 in a marvellous effort.
“The boys left it all out there on the field on Sunday morning,” said Vernon manager Nathan Lee. “We had a game led by an absolutely stellar performance on the mound by Murray. We had them on the ropes a couple times, as they did to us, and both teams played great baseball for eight innings. Clutch hitting both ways. Campbell River is a classy group; we tip our cap to them for the game they played.”
Campbell River snapped a 1-1 tie in the top of the fifth by putting the first two runners on, advancing to second and third on a double steal, and scoring twice on a sacrifice fly and a wild pitch for a 3-1 lead.
Vernon tied the game in the bottom of the fifth when Devin Sorensen lashed a two-out single up the middle to score Hackman and Micah Davyduke, each getting on-base via a walk.
The Cs threatened to walk-off the game in the bottom of the six.
With one out and runners on first and second, Jonah Lee hit a frozen rope directly to the rightfielder, who made the catch for the second out and nearly threw out the runner at first for what would have been a spectacular inning-ending double play.
After a Vincent Sanfillipo walk loaded the bases, Tyees reliever Hunter Auremenko got Dariusz Szwed on a third-strike foul tip, hung onto by the catcher.
Vernon finished the 10-team tournament with a 4-2 record.
“(Coaches) Derek Murray, Matt Davyduke, Matthew Brown, and Michael Sanfilippo are all passionate, smart, creative baseball coaches and role models. As a coaching staff we couldn’t be more proud of how the boys played this weekend and all season long,” said Lee.
“This group of boys is set to make noise in baseball circles for years to come.”
BC 13 U AAA TIER 2 FINALS, CREEKSIDE PARK
The Vernon Canadians ended their season with a victory Saturday afternoon at Creekside Park.
The Cs, who had been outscored 41-3 in their first four games of the provincial championships, rallied behind the arm and bat of Horatio (Hirsch) Andow to beat Chilliwack 5-3.
With Chilliwack leading 3-2 in the sixth inning, Andow stepped up with two runners on base and crushed the first pitch he saw in his at-bat deep over the left-centre field fence to give Vernon the lead.
Andow pitched 6.1 innings before giving way to Ben Thompson, who got the final two outs as Vernon finished the provincials 1-4.
The Abbotsford Angels edged the Burnaby Braves 6-5 to win the B.C. championship Sunday at Creekside. Both teams had been a perfect 6-0 going into the final.