Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)
June 21, 2016, Victoria, BC (ISN) – There were pretty much only two words to describe the 2016 Greater Victoria Baseball Association (GVBA) Pee Wee Championship game Tuesday night and those were Julian Cull. All the tall right-hander did was crush two towering home runs and pitch five and one-third innings of one-hit, 11 strikeout ball to lead the Triangle Pickles to an 8-3 win over the Carnarvon Giants in the final of the 11-12 year old age group at Carnarvon Park in Victoria.
Triangle’s Julian Cull (12) is congratulated by his teammates after crushing his second home run Tuesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
What makes Cull’s feat more impressive, other than doing it for a team named the Pickles, is that he is only 11, a first year Pee Wee player who looks to have a bright future in baseball, considering he hit over 20 dingers over the course of the season.
Triangle’s Julian Cull launches a towering home-run in the first inning Tuesday to give the Pickles a 3-0 lead (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Cull’s heroics began in the first inning when he took Giant’s starter Ryan Grambart deep over the left-field fence, driving in Jack Hardy who singled and giving Triangle an early 3-0 lead.
That was all Cull needed from there, as after a shaky first inning on the mound, where he surrendered a walk, Cull proceeded to strike out seven batters in a row and nine of the next 10, as he cruised through the Giants order with ease, allowing only another walk and throwing a no-hitter until the Giants Chris Horwood spoiled it with a double to left in the fifth inning.
In addition to his heroics at the plate, Cull pitched a 1-hit, 11-strikeout gem over 5 and 1/3 innings (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Meanwhile the Pickle’s offence would manufacture another run in the second and one in the fourth to give Cull a comfortable 5-0 lead to work with.
Cull would strike with the long ball again in the sixth inning. After being intentionally walked in the fourth, the Giants chose to pitch to him this time around and Cull would make them pay, launching the first pitch he saw for an opposite field two run homer, just inside the right field foul pole. That gave the Pickles an 8-0 lead and pretty much spelled the end for the Giants.
Triangle’s Bryce Carroll (right) slides safely into second ahead of the throw to Carnarvon’s Tyson Skinner (left) (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
To their credit however, the Giants would hold their heads high and manage to muster a three-run rally in the top of the seventh off Triangle reliever Jacob Popadynec, who came on to throw when Cull reached his pitch limit in the sixth, but it would not be enough and Popadynec would shut things down to preserve the Triangle win.
Carnarvon’s Jeff Trumble (left) could not avoid being tagged out by Triangle’s Jacob Popadynec (right) during this rundown Tuesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Cull’s two-home run and four-RBI night at the plate, overshadowed another fine Triangle offensive performance by Hardy, who was three for three and scored three runs. Popadynec also scored twice on two walks, while Bryce Carroll had the other Triangle hit. Braeden Morely scored the other Triangle run.
The Pickle’s Jack Hardy would have three hits and score three runs in the win over Carnarvon (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
For Carnarvon, Chris Horwood was the only player to solve Triangle pitching, getting a double off both Cull and Popadynec, the Giants only two hits. Horwood, Garrison Beacom and Tyson Skinner would score the three Giants runs.
The 2016 GVBA Pee Wee Champions – The Triangle Pickles (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
GVBA’s Championship Week continues at Lambrick Park for the rest of the week as the Bantam AA (Age 13-14) final happens Wednesday night at 6:30 PM, the Midget AA (Age 15-17) final goes Thursday at 6:30 PM and the Bantam A final goes Friday at 6:30 PM.