(Victoria, BC) On Sunday, the Victoria Black Eagles baseball team won the Baseball BC 15U Provincial Championship in a come-from-behind walk-off thriller, 3-2 over the Kelowna Athletics in Kelowna BC. Catcher Jayden Wakeham hit a bases-loaded single in the bottom of the seventh inning to score left-fielder, Trey Sjerven to claim the provincial title.
The Black Eagles now represent British Columbia by advancing to the Baseball Canada 15U Boys National Championship on August 20-24 in Vaughn, Ontario (near Toronto). “The boys worked hard to get to the final game and overcame an opening loss that would have discouraged most teams in their age group,” said the Black Eagles business manager, Sean Collett. “But they regrouped the same day, and won five straight games.”
On the first day of the three-day tournament the Black Eagles suffered a 15-0 pounding at the hands of the same Kelowna Athletics in the first of their four-game round robin series. Undeterred, they went on to defeat the Tri-City Indians from Coquitlam, the Coquitlam Reds, and the North Shore Twins to advance to the semi-finals on Sunday morning. Led by first baseman Luke Seginowich’s three hits, Victoria batters ripped 14 hits, dispatching the Coquitlam Reds 12-4 to advance to the finals.
“We just wanted a second chance against the Kelowna “A”s to prove that we belonged on the same field,” said Collett. “I think we may have surprised them in the finals.” The final game went five scoreless innings, pitting Black Eagle pitcher, Matt Collett against Kelowna’s Noah Patterson in a classic pitcher’s duel. In the top of the sixth inning, the “A”s scored one run on a sacrifice ground ball and another run in the top of the seventh. With flawless pitching, it looked like Kelowna had control of the game. Then, Victoria pitcher Collett reached the individual maximum number of pitches (95) allowed in one game and was replaced by Hayden Wilcox, who shut down any more Kelowna offence.
In the bottom of the seventh, Victoria’s bats finally came to life. Three successive Eagle hits loaded the bases, bringing Victoria’s Jared Anderson to the plate with none out. Anderson smacked a hard ground ball hit scoring two runs to tie the game. Andy Weir laid down a perfect bunt to load the bases once again, setting up Wakeham’s walk-off winning single. The Victoria boys poured out of the dugout in wild celebration.
The Black Eagles are seeking corporate sponsorship to offset team travel costs to the Canadian Championships in Vaughn, Ontario.