Playing against mostly high-level American competition, the White Rock Riptide bantam AAA baseball team placed fourth in their age group at last month’s Triple Crown Fall Nationals baseball tournament.
Playing in the eight-team bantam (14-15 year olds) division, White Rock was led by its cadre of pitchers, including Scott Doucet, who pitched five innings of one-run ball in a pivotal quarter-final tilt against another B.C. team, the Langley X-Gaps. Colton Ranson pitched the final two innings in that contest, and White Rock won 11-4.
Later that same day, however, the Riptide’s run was halted when they lost to a squad from San Diego – the defending tournament champions who had yet to lose a game in this year’s event.
Overall, White Rock went 2-1 in the round-robin, and then advanced all the way to semifinals before losing to San Diego, who went on to win it all for a second consecutive year.
More than 200 teams in a variety of divisions competed in the tournament, which ran Sept. 16-18.
Other Riptide players who performed well in Vegas included Daniel Cassino, Zachary Campagne, Liam Rihela and Dylan Yeager, the latter of whom paced the Riptide with a handful of extra-base hits throughout the three-day event.
Infielder Shayne Clark and James Pavelick, Jake Gill, Jake Rogers-MacDonald, Dylan MacAhonic and Tom Melenchuk – all of whom excelled in the outfield and as relief pitchers – also played well, the coaching staff said.
In mid-August, White Rock’s bantam crew finished seventh at provincials on Vancouver Island, and though they did not make the championship round-of-four, they did manage a 4-3 upset victory over the third-seeded team from Abbotsford in the event’s opening game.
Provincials were won by Victoria, who defeated Vancouver in the title tilt.