Morning Star Staff
The Vernon Canadians go into the B.C. Pee Wee A Baseball Championships Thursday (first game noon versus team TBA) in Surrey as the Interior Zone top seed.
The C’s stopped Penticton 20-9 in Sunday’s final at Creekside Park. Vernon finished 4-0 and and outscored their opposition 75-21.
Shelby Porteous, Chris McIntosh and Alyssa Racine shared the pitching duties in the final as the C’s pulled off their third mercy win of the six-team tournament.
Vernon scored twice in the second inning off RBI by Porteous and Racine. Vernon exploded with five runs in the third, fueled by a two-run double by Brady Beacom and an RBI double by Maguire Lauridsen.
Hayden Lewis came off injured reserve and singled in the second and scored on a Lauridsen RBI single which was followed by another RBI single by Kohl Cherkowski.
The fourth inning saw a double from Matt Hansen over the center fielder, clutch hitting by Lauridsen and Cherkowski and a grand slam from game MVP McIntosh.
Defense was once again stellar in the early innings, highlighted by diving catches at short by Lauridsen and Hansen at second, an awesome throw from first by Racine to home with Eric Foufoulas making the block and the tag, and Ethan Eisenhauer from right field in the second and left field in the third.
The C’s are coached by Mike Lewis, Eric Foufoulas, Ernie Cherkowski and Kevin Porteous,
It was a defensive battle through the first three innings before Vernon rallied to brush back West Kelowna Diamondbacks 9-2 in Sunday morning’s semifinal to qualify for provincials (top-two teams advance).
Game MVP Eisenhauer mowed down six runners and allowed just one run in three innings on the mound. Ryan Gamage came in to finish the final four innings. Both pitchers got prime-time defensive support.
Lauridsen, at short, gunned out a runner at first with a throw to Gamage, while Beacom nailed a runner trying to steal third with McIntosh making the tag.
Gamage and McIntosh both singled and Beacom registered a walk allowing Racine to get the first RBI of the game for Vernon.
In the third, both Hansen and Lauridsen singled. Landen Harison speared a hard liner for the third out in the fourth and made a diving catch in centre in the fifth.
McIntosh snagged an ugly hop at second and made the throw to Racine at first for the second out in the fourth.
Vernon opened it up offensively in the fifth with Beacom, Foufoulas, Eisenhauer, Hansen, Racine, and Lauridsen scoring runs.
Vernon played shutdown-defence in the sixth with third baseman Erik Colwell leading the way with a rifle arm.
It was a full team effort in Vernon’s tourney opening 30-6 ambush of the Rutland Rockies Saturday morning.
Every player had at least one hit and scored at least twice. Colwell gathered six RBI (11 total for the weekend) including three off a monster shot beyond the centre field fence, and came in to close things on the hill.
Maguire Lauridsen was the game MVP going 4-4 and making great defensive plays from shortstop and centre field. Gamage, McIntosh and Harison were also 4-4. Cherkowski scored three times and was also given duty on the mound.
Vernon grounded Salmon Arm 16-4 later Saturday with Gamage marvellous on the mound for three innings and assisting on four outs to first. Porteous struck out four and allowed only one run in relief.
Beacom took MVP honours for his catching and an awesome home run over the left field fence.
Eric Foufoulas also contributed to the stellar defence behind the plate and making an outstanding behind the head catch in right field. Lewis contributed a run and great defensive plays at second.
Players, coaches and parents cooled off in between games at the nearby Racine Resort Pub, Pool and Spa, operated by Ron and Lisa Racine.
The provincial tournament runs until the championship final Sunday afternoon.