Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)
December 30, 2015, Victoria, BC (ISN) – As most of Victoria gets ready to ring in 2016 in a day or so, a few Victoria Eagles baseball players and executive members braved a chilly winter night Wednesday to gather and formally collect the nine separate year-end awards that were bestowed upon the team by the BC Premier Baseball League (BCPBL) following the completion of the 2015 season, by far the best in the Eagles six years in the league.
(L to R) Victoria Eagles Head Coach Anthony Pluta, players Fynn Chester, Kobe Morris and Tyler Duncan and Chair Martin Winstanley, were all on hand to receive the nine BCPBL awards bestowed on the team in 2015 (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The Eagles boasted their best ever record during the 2015 season – a 31-13 mark, good enough for second place overall – and hosted the 2015 Provincials at Royal Athletic Park, getting to the semi-finals before losing a heart-breaker to the Nanaimo Pirates.
In recognition of their fine season, the BCPBL bestowed year-end honours on four players key to the Eagles success, including centre-fielder Tyler Duncan, pitcher Ethan Skuija, shortstop Kobe Morris and pitcher Fynn Chester. The team also received the BCPBL Organization of the Year Award. All players except Skuija were on hand Wednesday at Boston Pizza Saanich Plaza to receive their awards, along with Eagles Head Coach Anthony Pluta and Eagles Chair Martin Winstanley.
Duncan, the Eagles stand-out centre-fielder who is currently on the Junior National Team Roster, took home three awards including league Most Valueable Player, Top Offensive Player (.371, 49 hits, 5 HR, 40R, 31 RBIs and 31 stolen bases) and First-Team All Star.
Morris, the Eagles slick fielding shortstop was honoured for that work with the Golden Glove Award and as a First-Team All-Star selection.
Chester, a rookie pitcher and infielder, who set an Eagles record for pitching wins in a season with nine, took home the Rookie-of-the-Year Award and was also named First-Team All-Star.
Finally Skuija, one of the Eagles’ top pitchers over the last three years, with a 2015 ERA of 1.54, was named as a Second-Team All Star.
The nine 2015 BCPBL awards for The Victoria Eagles and their players (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
“We are incredibly proud of what these young men brought to our organization this year,” said Eagles’ Chair Winstanley. “As athletes and as young men in general, they embody what Eagles baseball is all about. We are also very pleased to have received the Organization of the Year award and that would not have happened without the leadership and talent that these four players provided, as well as the leadership and mentorship of Anthony [Head Coach Pluta].”
While Skuija is now off at UBC in Vancouver, Duncan, Morris and Chester will all be back to form the core of what should be a strong Eagles’ squad in 2016. Duncan will also stay busy working with the Junior Nationals, and both he and Morris have cropped up recently as potential MLB draft prospects for the 2016 entry draft.