Morning Star Staff
Vernon Canadians 9U Tadpole baseball team capped off its summer season with a four-game, home-and-home weekend series with the Penticton Thunder.
The Peach City squad scored a 7-2 win in Game 1 at home Saturday, while the two teams then played to an 11-11 tie.
In Game 1, Micah Davyduke and Tyson Wicklund pitched some solid innings for the Cs, who fell behind 4-0 early.
Vernon pushed across two runs in the top of the fourth, led by a Devon Gregoire-Gabriel RBI single.
The Thunder rallied from 11-7 down in Game 2 with four runs in the bottom of the fifth before the C’s recorded an out.
A great catch at third by Luc Gilbert, who turned and quickly tossed to second to double off a runner, helped quash the Penticton rally.
Everett Brown went a perfect 2-2 at the dish for the Cs with a single and double. Turner Hayward, Wicklund, and Gilbert combined for seven hits and eight RBIs in the game. Vincent Sanfilippo and Reehan Bradshaw scored two runs scored each while Devin Sorenson keyed a three-run Vernon rally with a lead-off line-drive single.
The venue switched to Lakeview Park in Vernon for Games 3 and 4 Sunday.
The Canadians won the opener, 7-6, the home side rallying with three runs in the bottom of the sixth for the victory.
Sanfilippo and Brown lined two solid base hits to put Vernon in business. Drew Christensen followed it up with a crushing two-run double to tie the game. The rally was capped by a game-winning triple by Charlie McGinty, scoring Christensen with the winning run.
Jordie Brown, Wicklund and Drew Christensen pitched three solid innings for Vernon, who fell victim to an offensive Thunder outburst in the series finale, as Penticton banged out 21 hits in a 15-3 decision.
Chayton Hauberg delivered an RBI single for the Cs.
“This was the first year in a number of years that Vernon was able to put together a 9U program,” said Vernon’s Michael Sanfilippo. “The team coaching staff wanted to send a huge thank you to all the supporters and parents who helped put this all together”
n Vernon Canadians gave away two games to the Cowichan Valley Mustangs in BC U18 AAA Midget Baseball League play.
So the Cs took out their frustrations on the last-place Nanaimo Pirates Sunday.
Vernon wrapped up the regular season on Vancouver Island, blowing leads in the last-inning twice in Duncan Saturday, falling 6-5 and 4-3 to the Mustangs, before rebounding to paste hometown Nanaimo 6-3 and 11-3 Sunday.
“They played incredible in Nanaimo and those two wins guaranteed us third place going into the provincials this coming weekend in Richmond,” said C’s manager Ken Liefke.
In Duncan, Ty Wellman went 6.1 innings on the mound, giving up eight hits and striking out a batter. He was tagged with the loss as Jake O’Quinn came on relief and gave up the winning hit.
Landon Currie went 2-4 with two singles, scored twice and swiped a pair of bags. Corey Anderson had three stolen bases while Brett Lambert added two hits in three trips with a pair of singles. Dylan Eckland was 1-2.
In the nightcap, Jarod Leroux was tagged with the loss, going six innings and allowing four earned runs on only three hits again.
Caden Doyle had a double and stolen base, Ethan Huizinga and Wellman both went 1-for-2 while Currie was 1-for-3 with a double and another stolen base.
Up island in Nanaimo, Anderson went the distance on the mound, allowing five hits and striking out two. Tyler Liefke was 3-for-3 with a double, two singles, two RBI, three runs scored and three stolen bases.
Currie swiped three more bags and added a triple and single, Leroux was 2-for-3 and Lambert 1-for-3 with a two-bagger.
In the season finale, Doyle threw five innings of one-hit ball and struck out three to earn the win with Huizinga pitching in relief.
Liefke was 2-for-4 with three RBI, Doyle was 3-for-4 with a triple, Leroux, Eckland and Noah Alleyne each drove in a pair of runs on two hits and Anderson added two more hits.
“This has been a real fun season and we are heading into the provincials hungry,” said Ken Liefke. “Like us coaches have been telling the players all year, when we play to our level, we are the toughest team in the league. We proved that once again on Sunday.”
The Canadians finished the year third in the 11-team circuit, at 25-15. Aldergrove and Victoria were 28-12.