Vernon Canadians runners-up in Kelowna

Vernon Canadians strike silver at Valley of Champions Bantam A Baseball Tournament Sunday in Kelowna.

  • Jul. 17, 2013 11:00 a.m.

The Vernon Canadians lost 14-13 to the St. Albert Cardinals in the Valley of Champions Bantam A Baseball Tournament final Sunday in Kelowna.

Nathan Nesbitt got the start and went three innings, with Elliott Landy and Tyler Liefke pitching in relief.

The C’s committed seven errors and pounded out 17 hits in the summer slugfest. Chris Riva was 3-for-4 with three ribbies, while Brett Lambert went 2-for-3 with three RBI. Landy was 3-for-4, while Caleb Versteeg had a couple of hits.

Vernon opened with a 11-9 win over Airdrie of Alberta. Landy went five innings and left with a no decision with Liefke closing out the final two innings for the win.

Tyler Wellman hit a home run over the right field fence to spark the offence.

In Game 2, the Canadians bowed 8-5 to the Cardinals with Nesbitt hurling five strong innings and allowing two runs. A defensive lapse in the sixth inning saw the C’s freefall. Landy went 2-for-3.

Vernon fell 9-7 to the Rutland Rays Saturday with Jacob Soucy pitching five innings and allowing just two earned runs. Hayden Vardon was stellar in closing things out. Defence was questionable once again for the C’s.

The Canadians regrouped to face Airdrie again in the semifinals where their bats and defence came alive in a 12-7 victory.

Wellman got the start and pitched a complete game, striking out four and allowing five earned runs. Liefke hit the first pitch of the game deep to right field for an early 1-0 lead. At his next at bat, Liefke crushed a three-run dinger to dead centre.

Soucy hammered one to centre, missing a homer by inches, and Arron Fairbairn went 2-for-3 with three RBI. Noah Foufalous and Eric Embleton each had two hits to help send the C’s to the finals.

The Canadians, coached by Chris Wellman, Carl Vardon and Ken Liefke, head to Burnaby this weekend for a tournament before their divisional showdown against Rutland and Kamloops, where two of the three teams will be heading to provincials, July 31-Aug. 4, in Aldergrove.

The Vernon Canadians bowed 23-20 to Surrey in the Valley of Champions Pee Wee A final.

Surrey’s pitcher only allowed one run through the first two innings and the Coastal boys grabbed a 10-1 lead.

Vernon mounted a comeback with every batter getting on base at least once. Shelby Porteous smacked a monster home run in the third, and Vernon’s defence started to come together behind the pitching of Erik Colwell and Porteous in the middle innings.

Brayden Beacom and Eric Foufoulas shared the difficult task of catching duties in this epically long game that took almost 3 ½ hours. Ryan Gamage had three outs at first and Nakoda Parker supplied three great catches in right field. Maguire Lauridsen, who returned to the lineup after vacation, added two singles, two RBI and two runs. Colwell had the crowd buzzing as he hit an inside-the-park grand slam in the sixth inning.

In Saturday afternoon pool play, the Canadians outlasted Surrey 22-16. Alyssa Racine started on the hill and allowed one run before she had to leave the game with an injury.

Christopher Macintosh, Beacom, Foufoulas and Koll Cherkowski all saw pitching duties against hard-hitting Surrey. Macintosh was stellar at shortstop, throwing out three batters at first while Foufoulas gunned down two runners.

Gamage had a strong game at first recording five outs while driving in five runs. Parker had three ribbies. Landen Harison circled the bases every time he was up, scoring four times. Cherkowski, Parker, Foufoulas and Matthew Hansen each scored three runs.

Vernon then ambushed Salmon Arm 16-2 with Cherkowski giving up just one run over 3 1/3 innings. He helped his own cause with two hits and one RBI. Porteus smacked a double and a triple with two RBI.

Hansen hit a two-run double, while struck out three batters in the final inning and also knocked in three runs.

In Friday action, the C’s grounded Rutland 12-7 and brushed back Kelowna 15-10.

Harison collected four RBI against Rutland, while Parker came within a dinger of hitting for the cycle versus Kelowna. Colwell, Foufoulas and Cherkowski each produced three hits and Harison was 2-for-3 with three RBI.

Vernon Morning Star