A second-place finish at BC Bantam AAA Baseball Championships in Kamloops last month has earned the White Rock U15 Tritons a trip to Alberta.
The White Rock squad, coached by Jordan Broatch, placed second at provincials – held July 28-31 – after a 4-3 loss to the Langley Blaze in the championship game.
With the win, the Blaze move on to national championships in Summerside, PEI, while the Tritons advance to the Western Canada Bantam AAA Championships, which are set for Spruce Grove, Alta. beginning Friday.
At Westerns, the Tritons will compete against other teams from Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
“Nationals was the ultimate goal, and it would’ve been nice to get there, but we’re pretty happy to be going to Westerns,” said Broatch.
“It’s a really good opportunity for the boys – a chance for them to travel to a big tournament and have their season extended by five or six days.”
In provincial finals, White Rock ran into a red-hot Blaze team that, until the final contest, had rolled through the competition, winning each game by double-digit scores.
The Tritons led in the contest early, scoring in each of the first two innings to take a 2-0 lead.
Langley got on the board in the fifth and tied the game 2-2 in the sixth frame.
“We scratch and clawed a couple of runs,” said Langley coach Russell Kennedy.
In the bottom of seventh inning, Langley won the game when a single from Nick Holdershaw plated the winning run.
Broatch said losing such a close game was a tough pill to swallow – for both him and his players – but after a few days to reflect, they’re excited for their final tournament of the season.
“I’d rather lose 11-2, to be honest,” he laughed. “It’s tough, and there were a few teary eyes at first, but a few days later the guys were back out practising and laughing.”
Western Championships run throughout the weekend, with a winner crowned on Sunday afternoon.
– with files from Gary Ahuja