Just days after helping the Okanagan Athletics win a provincial baseball title, Dawson Yates and Morgan Lofstrom didn’t look the least bit out of place playing on the national stage.
In fact, the A’s teammates both thrived as members of B.C.’s U17 team at the Canada Cup from Aug. 8 to 12 in London, Ont.
Over the course of nine games at the national tournament, Yates batted .414 with 12 hits, including two home runs, three doubles, eight runs and 13 RBIs.
Yates’ defining moment of the week came in B.C.’s semifinal win over Quebec when he hit a grand slam, clearing the 390-foot centre field fence by a good 40 feet.
“(Dawson) was pretty stoked about it,” said his dad, Gary Yates, the A’s manager who made the trip to London. “He’s been waiting for his power to come alive and it finally did.”
Yates, 17, played first base for Team B.C. throughout the 10-province event.
Lofstrom batted .286, scored five runs and had a pair of RBIs. The Mt. Boucherie student also caught the last six games for Team B.C.
“Morgan went into the tournament as potentially as the backup catcher, but then by the fourth game he took over the starting job and never looked back,” Yates said. “He had a
really good tournament.”
Team B.C. made it as far as the final on Sunday at the Canada Cup before losing to Ontario 9-8.
The Canada Cup is an annual tournament staged by Baseball Canada to identify future prospects for the national junior program.
The top players will be invited to join the Canadian junior team for a training camp in Orlando, Fla., in October.
The Canada Cup is also closely scrutinized by professional teams and university programs as about 25 scouts attended this year’s championship.
Yates and Lofstrom were both key members of the Okanagan Athletics club this season which won Kelowna’s first ever B.C. Premier Baseball League title earlier this month in Nanaimo. Yates led the Athletics in hitting this season with a .368 average, while Lofstrom batted .316 and posted a 5-1 record as a pitcher.
This weekend, Yates and Lofstrom will once again be showcasing their talents as members of Team B.C. at the Pacific Northwest Championship (PNC) in Centralia, Wash