(Victoria, BC) On Sunday, July 20, the Victoria Black Eagles Bantam AAA Bantam baseball team added to their recent string of victories by winning the North West Regional Baseball Championship in Tacoma, Washington.
The 14-player roster plus coaches pose for a team victory photo after winning the NorthwestRegional Baseball championships in Tacoma Washington. Photo credit: James Mulchinock
The Carnarvon-based, Oak Bay, Bantam AAA baseball crushed the Bonney Lake Outlaws 9-4 in the tournament final to go undefeated and claim the two day, six-team wooden bat tournament. The Black Eagles now tackle the BC Baseball AAA Bantam League championships in White Rock, from July 31 to August 3rd.
The Black Eagles already represent British Columbia by winning the Baseball BC Provincials in Kelowna and thus advance to the Baseball Canada 15U Boys National Championship on August 20-24 in Vaughn, Ontario (near Toronto).
“It was a new experience for many of these boys playing on a larger MLB-size diamond in the United States,” said Black Eagles business manager, Sean Collett. “We weren’t sure what to expect. But they adapted quickly and got better as the tournament progressed.” The Black Eagles started slow in their first game in round robin play against eventual finalist Bonney Lake. Despite their eight hit performance and flawless pitching by Matt Collett and Hayden Wilcox, the Eagles were deadlocked 2-2 entering the sixth inning. Then Eagle batter Noah Miller singled to right field and lead runner Trey Sjerven scored the winner on the ensuing Outlaw’s fielding error. It was not the prettiest Eagle win; but it was a win.
Victoria Black Eagle batter, Toni de la Pena, in late inning action against Bonney LakeOutlaws. The Victoria-based 15U team won the Northwest Regional Baseball championships inTacoma Washington. Photo credit: James Mulchinock
In their second game, faced with an 8-1 third inning deficit at the hands of the FCA Knights from Woodinville, Washington, the Black Eagles chipped away at the seven run lead and finally the roof caved in the Knights in the fifth inning and the Victoria boys scored nine runs to edge the Knights for a 10-8 win.
The playoffs were an anti-climatic affair as the Black Eagles rolled over the Washington Wave 12-0 in a mercy shortened semi-final and then met their earlier rivals, the Outlaws in the final game. Only this time, led by strong hitting and the work of Noah Doorschot on the mound, the Victoria boys crushed the Outlaws 9-4 and walked away with championship rings for the bus ride home.
The Black Eagles now face their most daunting task and it is not on the baseball diamond:
finding the estimated $24,000 to send the team and coaches to Vaughn, Ontario for the four day Nationals. Team organizers acknowledge that they’ll need more than yard sales and bottle drives to get them to Ontario in four weeks. The Black Eagles are looking for corporate sponsorship to help offset costs to send the team to the Nationals. Interested sponsors are encouraged to contact Black Eagle business manager, Sean Collett at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.