The Vernon Canadians 11U baseball team won bronze at their first Fun in the Sun tournament at Lakeview Park. (Photo submitted)

The Vernon Canadians 11U baseball team won bronze at their first Fun in the Sun tournament at Lakeview Park. (Photo submitted)

Vernon Canadians host zone Peewee baseball finals

Five teams competing for two berths to the B.C. championships next weekend in Comox

The Okanagan’s best AA Peewee baseball players converge on Coldstream this weekend.

The Vernon Canadians will host the AA Baseball Interior Zone Championships Friday through Sunday at Creekside Park (Field No. 2).

The five-team tournament will see two teams advance to the AA provincial championships in Comox on the August long weekend.

The Cs will take on the Kamloops Riverdogs on Friday at 12 p.m. On Saturday, Vernon faces the Salmon Arm Hornets at 9 a.m. and the West Kelowna DBacks at 3 p.m.. They will wrap up the five-team round robin against the COMBA (Kelowna) Sundevils on Sunday at 9 a.m.

The Canadians enter the tournament with an 18-12-2 record against AA competition, and are coming off a second place finish at the Spring AA Interior Zone Championships, the highest finish for a Vernon squad in the past five years.

11UAA

Vernon Canadians came out bronzed from their first Fun in the Sun minor baseball tournament at Lakeview Park.

After scoring 29 runs in their first two games, the Cs’ bats went silent in their final preliminary game, losing 13-7 to the Central Okanagan Minor Baseball Association (COMBA) Sun Devils AA squad, relegating Vernon to the bronze-medal match against the Salmon Arm Hornets.

The Canadians beat the Hornets 13-3. Starting pitcher Austin Wylie shook off a shaky start and pitched a flawless second and third inning to win game MVP honours. Gabe Kibblewhite played a lockdown game at the hot corner, third base, while Brett Kuhn and Anderson Erickson provided stellar defence up the middle.

Vernon opened the tournament with a 14-12 loss to the COMBA 10U team, a back-and-forth game with each team trading runs every inning until the last when the Sun Devils scored twice for the victory. Exton Foster led Vernon with two doubles and five RBIs, and MVP Caleb Shaw played catcher all game and laid down a beautiful RBI bunt. Ben McMeeking-Walsh started the game on the mound and pitched two solid innings before handing the game over to Sef Swetlishoff.

Vernon’s second game saw the Canadians squash the Hornet’s 17-7. Foster pitched and hit his way to MVP. It was a full team effort with aggressive base-running by Levi Dreidiger, Desta Daniel, and Justice Gommerud. Dixon Eyers, Ben Lahey and Marshall Wright were all strong at the dish.

Lucas Thompson pitched well for the Cs against the Sun Devils’ AA squad, striking out the side in the second inning. Gaving Gregerson took home MVP honours for hitting a laser beam to cash in two runs as Vernon tried to mount a comeback. Abby Collins kept the team motivated in the game while Noah Frick ran the bases with reckless abandon, causing all sorts of problems for the Sundevils. Levi DeKlerk provided the spark that was necessary to make the game relatively close.

Cs’ coaches Neil Thompson, Bruce Shaw and Michael Wylie expressed how proud of the team they are as they battled hard in every game and ended the summer season with a 7-2 overall record.



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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