The White Rock Junior Tritons have set their sights on a BC Junior Premier Baseball League title – and the quest begins Friday in North Vancouver.
The Tritons are among eight BCJPBL under-16 squads vying for a provincial title this weekend at Parkgate Park, having qualified for the postseason after a seventh-place finish in the 10-team league.
White Rock finished with an 18-18 win-loss record in the regular season, and though they’ll face stiff competition this weekend, head coach Sean Camilleri is confident his team will be able to finish in the top half of the four-team round-robin pool in which his team finds itself.
The Tritons are in a division alongside the host North Shore Junior Twins (24-12 win-loss record), Abbotsford Junior Cardinals (23-13) and North Delta Junior Blue Jays (19-17).
On the other side of the draw are the first-place Langley Junior Blaze, Whalley Junior Chiefs, and two teams from Victoria, the Mariners and Eagles.
“We’re facing some good teams, but we’ve beaten all the teams on our side before,” said Camilleri, who is in his first season at the helm of the Junior Tritons’ team.
“You just have to get into the playoffs, and we’ve done that, so you never know what might happen once you get out there.”
The Tritons open Friday at 5:30 p.m. with a game against the Twins, and play two games Saturday – one each against the remaining teams in their pool.
Once the round-robin contests are complete, the top two teams from each pool then advance to semifinals and finals on Sunday.
And while Camilleri is confident his team’s offence will show up – it’s been a strength all season, he said – the coach said his club will need to rely on strong defence and pitching in order to advance into Sunday’s final two rounds.
“Our hitting has always been pretty good – we’ve hit our way out of a lot of problems this year – but if we can play good defence, and get some solid pitching all weekend, I think we can do it,” he said. “The boys are excited to get to this point – it’s been a long season since starting (training) back in February.We’re ready to go.”