Zack Downey Memorial Keeps Elite Baseball Going Into Fall

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Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)

September 18, 2015, Victoria, BC (ISN) – For those wanting to catch a little more local baseball action before teams head inside for the winter, Layritz Park is the place to be this weekend, as the Victoria Mariners host the second annual Zack Downey Memorial Baseball Tournament.

The Eagles Fynn Chester turns a double play during action against Nanaimo Friday at the Zack Downey Memorial Tournament (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Honouring former Mariner player Downey, who succumber to cancer in May of 2014, the tournament sees six BC Premier Baseball League teams compete in a fun tournament that gives coaches a chance to have a first look at some emerging players and keeps some of their returning stars in shape. Competing this year are the host Mariners, the Victoria Eagles, Nanamimo Pirates, Parksville Royals, White Rock Tritons and Coquitlam Reds.

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A 2-RBI single from Ryan Smith in the first inning Friday, set the Eagles on their way to a 7-2 win over the Nanaimo Pirates (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

This season, the tournament is also featuring a Bantam Division that includes the new Victoria Mariners Prep Bantam team as well as teams from Cowichan Valley, Nanaimo and Parksville.

In early play in the Premier Division on Thursday and Friday, the host Mariners got off to a good start with a 9-1 win over the Parksville Royals on Thursday night and a 9-6 win over the Victoria Eagles on Friday morning.

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Rob Dhut pitched a scoreless first inning for the Eagles against the Pirates on Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

In other early action, the Royals rebounded from their loss to the Mariners Thursday with a 6-5 win over the Nanaimo Pirates, while the Eagles also rebounded for a win against the Pirates on Friday morning, taking that game 7-2.

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Nanaimo second baseman Tanner Barthlette looks to turn a double play against the slide of the Eagles Cole Mayhew (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Other Premier action Friday (scores not available or games in progress at press time) included Coquitlam vs. Nanaimo, White Rock vs. Coquitlam and White Rock vs. the Mariners (scheduled start time 5:00 pm).

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Nanaimo shortstop Wyatt Strachan turns a double play against the Eagles on Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

On Saturday, Premier action continues beginning at 8:00 am with the Coquitlam Reds taking on the Victoria Eagles, followed at 10:15 by the Reds against Parksville. White Rock then battles Parksville at 12:30 pm and then the Pirates at 2:45 pm, while the Pirates and Mariners close the day with a 5:00 pm match up.

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The Eagles Steven Wade delivers a pitch during the game with the Pirates on Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

On Sunday, the round-robin continues with the Eagles taking on White Rock at 8:00 am, the Eagles and Royals at 10:15 am and the Reds and Mariners at 12:30 pm. The top two teams in the round-robin will then play each other in the championship game scheduled for 3:00 pm.

All Premier games are being played at the Midget diamond at Layritz Park which is adjacent to the Victoria Technology Park and best accessed off West Saanich Road. Note that this is a pay parking lot in this area.

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The Downey Tournament is a good time for coaches to evaluate a number of pitchers, including here, the Eagles Mike Musselwhite (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

In Bantam Division play, three games are on tap Friday including the Mariners and Pirates at 4:30 pm. On Saturday, games are at 10:30 am and 12:30 followed by a skills competition, while Sunday will see two semi-final playoff games at 11:30 am and 1:00 pm followed by the championship game at 3:30 pm.

All Bantam games are being played on the Pee Wee / Bantam diamond at Layrtiz Park which is best accessed via the normal entrance and parking lot (free) to Layrtiz Park.

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