The Vernon House of Floors Installers, made up of players from Vernon, the Okanagan and Lower Mainland/Island, will take on Team Canada, the reigning WSBC World Champions, in an exhibition game Thursday night at Kings Stadium in Kelowna. (Photo - submitted)

Vernon fastball squad faces Team Canada

Exhibition game in Kelowna prior to three-day Kelowna May Days tournament

A number of Vernon fastpitch softball players will get an up close and personal look at Team Canada Thursday.

The Vernon-based House of Floors Installers, featuring Vernon players Derek Smith, Barry Lachuck, Chad Rideout, Keith Green, Murray Caton and Ryan Schneider, Dale Ortman and Cliff Cross, will face Team Canada at Kelowna’s Kings Stadium (552 Gaston Avenue) Thursday in the back end of a doubleheader.

Game time will be approximately 8:45 p.m. The Installers’ lineup also includes players from around the Okanagan, as well as pitchers from the Coast and Vancouver Island.

Canada will face the Grande Prairie Pirates, with Vernon pitcher Rich Haldane, in the the front end of the twinbill at 7 p.m.

“Team Canada is holding a warm-up camp in Kelowna in preparation for the World Championships, and also playing in the Kelowna May Days Tournament,” said Haldane, who also plays for the Installers but pitches for Grande Prairie this week to fulfill International Softball Congress commitments with the Alberta squad.

Canada will head to Prague, in the Czech Republic, in June for the 2019 WBSC Men’s World Fastpitch Championships. Canada is currently ranked in the top-three in the world. They won gold in 2015 at both the WBSC World Championships and Pan Am Games.

The Kelowna May Days tournament will feature top players from Canada, USA, Argentina, Australia, and New Zealand. A total of eight teams will be competing for the title. Local teams participating are Andre’s Athletics from Kelowna and House of Floors Installers from Vernon.

The Installers are in Pool B, which also includes Haldane’s Pirates, the Saskatoon WD Plastics Jr. Diamondbacks and the Lumberjack Giants. Vernon will open against the Pirates Friday at 8:45 p.m., then take on the Lumberjack Giants Saturday at noon, and will finish the round-robin Sunday at 9 a.m. against the Diamondbacks.

The championship game is Monday at 11 a.m.

Opening ceremony is Friday at 6:45 p.m., followed by the feature game, Kelowna’s Andre’s Athletics against Team Canada. Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran will be throwing out the ceremonial first pitch.

Full schedule is available on Facebook – Kelowna May Days Fastpitch Tournament.

Weekend passes (includes Thursday night Team Canada games) are $15.00, day passes are $5, 16 years of age & under are free admission.

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