Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)
July 27, 2015, Victoria, BC (ISN) – The Victoria Eagles High Performance Baseball Program celebrated its best season ever with their annual 2015 Awards Banquet at the Lambrick Park Church banquet hall on Monday night.
Graduating Premier and Midget AAA Eagles receive their grad awards on Monday night.
The Eagles already have a number of team accomplishments to celebrate in 2015 with the Bantam AAA Black Eagles winning the Provincial Championships and a regional championship in Washington last week and the Premier Eagles and Junor Premier Eagles having their best seasons ever, with the Premiers finishing second in the BCPBL with a 32-13 record and the Juniors currently in fifth in the BCJPBL with a 20-16 record.
Victoria HarbourCats GM Jim Swanson (left) and Eagles Chair Martin Winstanley were two of four speakers to address the crowd Monday.
All three teams will have a chance to add to those accomplishments as the Bantam Black Eagles will travel to Ontario in August to compete in the Baseball Canada Nationals, while the Premier Eagles get set to host the BCPBL Final Four Championships this coming weekend at Sports Traders Diamond at Royal Athletic Park. The Junior Eagles will also gear up for their first BCJPBL playoff experience in a number of years.
On Monday night, each of the three teams above, as well as the Bantam AAA Red Eagles and Midget AAA Eagles, focused on individual awards, acknowledging players who earned top honours in hitting, pitching and defensive play, as well as their most improved and most inspirational players.
For the Premier Eagles the top pitcher award went to Ethan Skuija, who led the team with a 9-2 record and a 1.38 ERA, third overall in the BCPBL. Skuija finished the season with three straight complete game victories for the Eagles including two in the regular season and one last Saturday in a 4-0 playoff win against North Delta. Over those three games (21 innings), Skuija has allowed just three runs and eight hits, while striking out 20.
Ethan Skuija (centre) receives the Premier Eagles top pitcher award from his coaches.
The top hitter award for the Premier Eagles went to infielder Tanner Hess, who made the right decision in coming over to the Eagles from the Victoria Mariners organization in the off-season. Hess was second only to Tyler Duncan in team batting with a .368 average and he was an RBI machine, knocking in a team leading 39, second overall in the BCPBL.
Tanner Hess (centre) receives the Premier Eagles top hitter award from his coaches.
Speaking of Duncan, the Eagles leading hitter with a .378 average (fourth overall in the league), 32 RBIs and five home runs (second overall), was voted as the team’s most inspirational player. Duncan also led the team with 33 stolen bases, tops in the BCPBL.
Tyler Duncan (second from left) receives the most inspirational player award for the Premier Eagles.
Other Premier winners included Kobe Morris, whose slick fielding abilities at shortstop earned him the top defensive player and Tyson Abbott and Brendan Turcotte who were co-winners of the most improved player award.
Kobe Morris (centre) was the Premier Eagles best defensive player.
The Premier Eagles also presented the inaugural Larry Feldman Memorial Award that went to pitcher Fynn Chester, a Grade 10 student who was outstanding on the mound, racking up a 9-0 record and 1.70 ERA.
Former Eagle Brandon Feldman (right) presents the inaugural Larry Feldman Memorial Award to Fynn Chester (purple shirt).
For the Junior Premiers Jacob Potter was voted the top pitcher, while Colton O’Brien took home the top hitter award. Ethan Tremblay was the defensive player of the year, while Gio Piovesan-Walt was named most inspirational. Spencer Godwin was named most improved, while an additional award, the “Lunchbox Award” was presented to Parker Swinton.
Gio Piovesan-Walt (second from left) was the most inspirational player for the Junior Premier squad.
At the Midget AAA level Taylor Nygaard was voted the top pitcher, while Devon Hill took home the top hitter award. Outfielder Yusaku Abe was the defensive player of the year, while Ty Birrell was voted most inspirational and Kevin Wong was voted most improved.
Yusaku Abe (centre) was the top defensive player for the Midget AAA Eagles.
For the Provincial Champion Bantam Black Eagles, Noah Doorschot was named the top pitcher, while Luke Seginowich was named top hitter. Jayden Wakeham took home the defensive player award, while Trey Sjevern was named most improved and Andy Weir most inspirational.
Noah Doorschot was the top pitcher for the Provincial Champion Bantam AAA Black Eagles.
For the Bantam Red Eagles Zach Swanson took home the top pitcher honours, with Josh Walker being named top hitter. Leo Jansch was named the best defensive player, while Dawson Clark was named most improved. Finally Connor Irvine was named the team’s most inspirational player.
Zach Swanson took home the top pitcher award for the Bantam AAA Red Eagles.
See the full gallery of images from the awards banquet on the Victoria Eagles Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1637575489788539.1073741840.1412678878944869&type=1
The Premier Eagles will begin their quest for a second BCPBL Championship when they open the final four playoffs this Friday with a game against Nanaimo at 5:30 PM. They will then play the Okanagan A’s on Saturday at 3:00 and the North Shore Twins at 5:30 PM. All games will be at Sports Traders Diamond at Royal Athletic Park in Victoria. A third place tie-breaker if needed will go Saturday at 8:00 PM, while the semi-finals and finals will be held on Sunday at 10:00 AM and 12:30 PM respectively.
Admission to individual games is $5 for adults and $2 for student and seniors. An adult Tournament Pass is $20 and a Family Pass (2 adults and 2 siblings) is $40.