Story and Photos by Dave Gramlich
May 21, 2014, Victoria, BC (ISN) – The Victoria Black Eagles 15U (Bantam) baseball team placed second in the Richmond Chuckers “Wood Bat Classic” tournament over the May Long Weekend. Dubbed “The Biggest Bantam AAA Tournament in BC!” the event drew 12 teams from as far away as Okotoks and Edmonton. The Eagles entered the tournament with confidence, leading the BCMBA 15U West division with an 11-5 record.
Black Eagles pitcher Nick Downer delivers a pitch during semi-final play over the long weekend (Photo: Dave Gramlich)
B Division Game 1: Vs. Okotoks Dawgs 11:30 AM Saturday May 17th, 2014
Jayden Wakeham started for the Eagles, pitched well and went 3 1/3 but gave up 4 runs to the Dawgs. Brody Stark came in in the 4th and finished, and was very effective but gave up a single run late. Sean Gramlich was 3/3 for the Eagles with a stand-up double and 3 RBIs. Eagles tie it up twice but lose 5-4 in 7. Okotoks is through to the A-Flight after beating Vancouver Minor Friday night. The Eagles need a win against Vancouver today at 4:45 PM to qualify for the A-Flight.
Eagle’s baserunner Ethan Brunton steals third base during the game agaist the Okotok Dawgs (Photo: Dave Gramlich)
B Division Game 2: Vs. Vancouver Community “Mounties” 4:45 PM
The one was all Eagles. Duncan Brens-Knight took the mound and was effective early allowing his teammates to build a 3-0 lead. VC tied it up in the 3rd before the Eagles bats broke out and eventually turned this one into a blowout. Cole Tudway-Cains relieved DBK in the 6th. Sean Gramlich continued his super day with another hit, a walk and he reached on an error, his 6th time on base today. Final score in this time-limited 6-inning tilt was 15-6 Eagles.
The Black Eagles advance to the A-Flight and play Cloverdale at 11:30 AM Sunday.
Eagles pitcher Duncan Brens-Knight pitching against Vancouver (Photo: Dave Gramlich)
A-Flight Quarter Final Vs. Cloverdale Spurs 11:30 Sunday May 18th
This one had the makings to be close, and was it ever. Liam Kruse took the mound for the Eagles vs. Rhys Kratty for the Spurs. Both were superb throughout but a passed ball in the 1st allowed the Eagles to score 1 and that’s all Victoria needed. Kruse went 6 2/3rds striking out 10 while giving up 5 hits and no runs. For Cloverdale Kratty was just as good, going 5 2/3rds and striking out 11 and giving up just 2 hits.
The Eagles advance to the A-Flight semi-final Monday at 9 AM vs. the Abbotsford Angels.
A-Flight Semi-Final Vs. Abbotsford Angels 9:00 AM Monday May 19th
Another pitcher’s duel. This time Eagles fireballer Nick Downer took the mound and was strong. He went the 7-inning distance and gave up 4 runs but just 2 were earned – several Eagles errors extended the game that should have been over in 7. The Eagles also scored 4 through 7 and the game went to extra innings. In the top of the 8th Sean Gramlich lead off with a single then the Eagles loaded the bases for Cole Tudway-Cains who came through with a single to left that scored 2. TC took the mound for the 8th and allowed just 1 hit for the save.
Final score 6-4 Eagles who face Spruce Grove in the A-Flight final at 2:30 PM.
Eagles baserunner Sean Gramlich takes a lead off third under the watchful eye of coach Jordan Will (Photo: Dave Gramlich)
A-Flight Final Vs. Spruce Grove White Sox 2:30 PM
Chris Niketas started for the Eagles and was effective but gave up 2 runs through 3. In the top of the 4th Nick Downer singled then Sean Gramlich grounded into a fielder’s choice. He subsequently stole 2nd and advanced to 3rd when a Colton O’Brien pop-up to right center found green. Gramlich then scored on a sac fly by Cole Tudway-Cains to tie it up at 2.
Spruce Grove got runs in the 5th and 6th to build a 2-run lead. The Eagles rallied with 2 out and nobody on in the 7th but couldn’t manage to break through. Eagles lose 4-2 in the final.
All in all a very good weekend for the Black Eagles.