White Rock-South Surrey Baseball Association’s annual Henri Lorieau Memorial Baseball Tournament returned to the Peninsula with a bang earlier this month after a two-year COVID-19-related absence.
The tournament – which honours the memory of one of its longtime coaches and executives and features eight-year-old players from across the Lower Mainland – was held over the Canada Day long weekend, with a dramatic championship game capping the three-day event.
Lorieau served as the association’s president from 1998 until 2005; he passed away in 2015 after a battle with cancer.
In the final – a game tournament co-organizer John Hogg called “a classic match” in an email to Peace Arch News – White Rock’s Black Team came from behind to defeat Coquitlam 8-7, with the winning run coming on a walk-off hit in the bottom of the final inning.
After the win, the team was awarded not just the championship trophy, but also some commemorative moustaches in honour of Lorieau, who was known for both his bushy moustache and his penchant for Hawaiian shirts; coaches also wore Hawaiian shirts in the team’s celebratory, post-game photo.
In semifinal action, White Rock Black defeated their organization mates, White Rock Grey, to advanced to the final, while Coquitlam made it to the final game after a semifinal victory over Whalley.
In the bronze-medal game, White Rock Grey defeated Whalley, while New Westminster defeated Vancouver’s Mount Seymour 8-6 in the consolation-round final.
The tournament also served as a fundraiser for both the BC Cancer Society, in honour of Lorieau, as well as the Little League Challenger program, which provides an adaptive baseball experience for youth with physical and intellectual challenges.