The Vernon Canadians open the Interior Pee Wee A Baseball Playdowns Saturday morning at Creekside Park against the Rutland Rockies.
Coached by Mike Lewis, Kevin Porteous, Nick Foufoulas and Ernie Cherwkoski, the C’s meet Salmon Arm at 1 p.m. the same day. The semifinals go Sunday at 10 a.m. followed by the finals at 2 p.m.
The top two teams advance to the provincial championships, Aug. 1-4, in Surrey.
Kelowna, West Kelowna and Penticton round out the playoff teams.
Vernon warmed up for the Interior tournament by grounding the host Rockies 24-9 and shading Penticton 12-11 in exhibition games last weekend.
Erik Colwell stroked an over-the-fence grand slam to score Maguire Lauridsen, Matthew Hansen and Koll Cherkowski in the third inning versus Rutland.
Colwell and Cherkowski scored in the first inning on a single by Ryan Gamage. Alyssa Racine drove in Landon Harison in the second inning, while Harison drove in Shelby Porteous and scored on a Racine hit, in the fourth.
Cherkowski kept the offence rolling by knocking in Hansen and Lauridsen in the fifth, while Gamage smacked a line drive past first base to score Colwell.
In the sixth, Eric Foufoulas singled to left field and swiped second on an overthrow, scoring Brayden Beacom. Nakoda Parker doubled to left to bring in Foufoulas and Chris McIntosh, while Lauridsen followed with a single to centre, scoring Parker and Ethan Eisenhauer.
Harison, McIntosh and Colwell handled the pitching.
After losing an earlier Sunday game 14-4 to Prince George, the C’s rallied past Penticton 12-11 at Creekside with McIntosh nailing a line drive to left to score Colwell with the winning run.
Vernon opened with back-to-back doubles from Lauridesen and Cherkowski and RBI-singles by Colwell and McIntosh.
Gamage struck out two batters in the third inning with Penticton leading 8-3. Beacom hit his first over-the-fence grand slam in the same inning, scoring Gamage, Colwell and McIntosh.
It was 8-8 in the fourth with Eisenhauer knocking in Harison and Parker doubling in Foufoulas and Eisenhauer to match Penticton’s three runs.
Lauridsen was stellar at shortstop, while Cherkowski and McIntosh also pitched.