Vernon A Peewee player Koen Holmes pitches in the 2019 Valley of Champions semifinal against the Ladner Red Sox. (Photo - April Anderson)

Vernon Peewees second at Valley of Champions tournament

The Vernon A Peewees baseball team won the silver medal on July 14

The Vernon A Peewees finished second at the Valley of Champions baseball tournament in Kelowna.

The U13 team won both of its first games on July 12, beating the Surrey Canadians 14-1 and the Vancouver Mounties 9-4.

On the second day of the tournament, the team beat the Abbotsford Angels 8-3, guaranteeing them a spot in the semifinal against the Ladner Red Sox.

After a rocky start to the semifinal, with the team down 7-4 after the first three innings, some stellar pitching by Koen Holmes helped them to recover.

Rob Holmes, one of the team coaches, told the Vernon Morning Star that Koen came in the third inning, then shut out the Red Sox in the seventh inning recording 13 of the 21 outs, three by strikeout, walking only one.

“Darius Szwed finished the last two batters on seven pitches and we were in the final,” Holmes said, adding that the final score was 13-7.

Holmes said Szwed started the final against Prince George Knights on Sunday and “pitched a gem,” allowing four runs and striking out six.

He said three of the strikeout victims looked on in disbelief as the ball dropped into the strike zone backwards, the result of a new pitch Szwed calls “the hallucinogenic curve ball.”

Despite ultimately losing to the Knights 19-4, he said it was an exciting game.

“You couldn’t tell they lost by the smiles on their faces,” he said. “Very proud of the boys getting a silver medal.”

READ MORE: Valley of Champions tournament returns to Okanagan

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