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Mosquito Tyees take provincial title
Last weekend saw an exciting few days of baseball at the Mosquito A Provincial Championships in Sidney, and in the end it was Campbell River’s own Tyees that came out on top.
The tournament, which included the 10 best teams from across B.C. began with a skills competition on Thursday night.
The Tyees left no question that they have been working hard to hone their skills, finishing second in three of the four competitions.
The Tyees first game of the round robin took place Friday morning against the Tsawwassen A’s. Ryan Deagle, Landon Bowers, Gareth MacDonald and Carter Hall came up with beautiful hits.
Ethan Vaton made some incredible plays at short stop, using his strong arm to gun down several Tsawwassen runners.
Ty Ludwikowski pitched the first two and half innings and was impressive on the mound, allowing only only run, en route to a convincing 26-6 win for the Tyees.
Next up was the Ladner Red Sox on Friday afternoon.
Owen Lagos pitched an outstanding two and a half innings, allowing no runs. Bowers relieved Lagos for the remainder of the game and showed an equally impressive pitching performance, allowing only only run. Breydan Riecker leaped in the air to catch a hard hit ball and ran across second base for the double play. Offensively, the Tyees came up with some big hits as the Tyees mercied the Red Sox with an 11-1 score.
On Saturday morning, the Tyees were dealt their only loss of the tournament when they faced the Chilliwack Cougars. Hall, Riecker and Wyatt Dumont shared the pitching duties with Vaton coming in to throw a scoreless last inning but it wouldn’t be enough as the Tyees fell short with a 10-9 final score.
The last game of the round robin on Saturday afternoon was a must win for the Tyees, and they came out strong against the Kamloops Riverdogs. Dumont pitched a solid five innings, allowing only three runs. The boys were also on their bats with Vaton and Dumont getting a home run each on errors, Ludwikowski hitting a home run deep into right field and Hall, Deagle, Bowers, Ethan Belanko, MacDonald and Lagos all coming up with huge hits. Lagos would also hit a grand slam, in the park home run, and not long after, the Riverdogs had enough and forfeited the game with a 24-3 final score.
The Tyees finished first in their pool and met the Abbotsford Angels in the semi-final game Sunday morning. Vaton put on an impressive performance, pitching the entire game and allowing only one run. Lagos, Deagle, Hall, and Bowers all came up with big hits while Ian Mills, Dumont, Riecker and Vaton all made offensive contributions as the Tyees mercied the Angels with an 11-1 final score.
The excited and nervous Tyees earned a berth to the final game against the Victoria Eagles, who had not lost a game all season,. The Tyees started the game off on the right foot with bases loaded when Hall belted the ball into deep right field with two RBIs. Lagos pitched five stressful innings against a hard hitting team and allowed only five runs. Vaton hit a triple in the third inning but by the top of the fifth, the score was 5-3 for Victoria. The Tyees didn’t give up; Gareth MacDonald hit a nice double to left field that started a rally. Mills laid down a perfect bunt and the bases were loaded when Riecker stepped up to the plate and dropped one into left field, driving in Belanko for a run. Next up was Vaton who came up with the most important hit of his life – a triple into deep right field that scored three more runs. Ludwikowski made an unbelievable catch at first base, stopping the Eagles offence in the bottom of the fifth. In the bottom of the sixth, Hall was brought in to close and quickly struck out the first batter. A hard hit by the Eagles got a runner on first but the next hit was grabbed by Vaton, who made an out at second. Hall demonstrated nerves of steel when he threw three quick strikes to get the third out and seal the Tyees victory with a score of 7-5.
In total, the Tyees outscored their opponents by an astounding 88-26 in the tournament. They are proud to have brought home the championship banner and look forward to defending their title next year.
The coaching staff is very proud of all the hard work the boys put in and also want to acknowledge all of the support and dedication that the parents provided throughout the season.