Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)
June 24, 2016, Victoria, BC (ISN) – In perhaps the most exciting of the five games this week, the Greater Victoria Baseball Association (GVBA) wrapped up its’ Championship Week with Layritz Grey (Team 2) hanging on for a tight 4-3 win over Layrtiz Black (Team 1) in the Bantam A Championship game Friday evening at Lambrick Park in Victoria.
Layritz Grey shortstop Cole Herron puts the tag on Layritz Black baserunner Liam Dwyer during this play at second in Friday’s Bantam A Championship game (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The game featured a tight pitching duel early on between Grey starter Bennett Boutin and Black starter Michael Nortan, with Grey holding an early 1-0 lead thanks to a run in the bottom of the first, courtesy of an RBI single from Woo Park.
Layritz Grey starter Bennett Boutin would have a strong game, throwing 6 full innings and allowing just a single run with 9 strikeouts (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
That lead would hold until the fourth when Black would get on the board to tie it 1-1 when Max Notenberg’s RBI-single scored Austin Bendall who had walked.
Grey would take that lead right back in the bottom of the inning when Woo would come through with his second hit and second RBI of the game, scoring Liam Reid, who had led the inning off with a walk.
Layrtiz Grey baserunner Chris Stark slides safely into second as the ball escapes the glove of Layritz black second baseman Ty Ferreira (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
In the bottom of the sixth, Grey would respond again, scoring a pair of runs to take what looked to be a comfortable 4-1 lead into the final inning. Woo once again played hero, knocking in his third RBI of the game with his third hit, while Dawson Harrison also had an important RBI on a groundout. Liam Reed led things off that inning with the biggest hit of the day for the Greys, a triple to right.
Layritz Grey’s Liam Reed kicked off an important sixth inning rally with a lead-off triple to right (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
With Grey’s Boutin having reached his pitch limit, reliever Chris Stark came on to close the game out in the seventh and that is when things got interesting.
Black’s Mark Rosario would lead things off by reaching on an error and Liam Dwyer would then follow that with a double, his third hit of the day, putting runners on second and third. A ground out by Michael Norton scored Rosario to make it 4-2 and after a walk to Luke Saunder, another ground out by Dawson Durvcha and a close play at the plate scored Dwyer to make it 4-3 and moved Saunder to third.
Woo Park was the offensive hero of the night for the Greys, with three hits and three RBIs (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
With the tying run just 80 feet away, Stark then buckled down to strike out Justin Thomax to end the game and close out the exciting 4-3 win.
Boutin pitched a fine game for the Grey’s, going a full six innings and allowing the one Black run on six hits, while striking out nine.
With the win, Layritz becomes the fifth different park to take home a championship trophy this season.
The 2016 GVBA Bantam A Champions – Layritz Team 2 (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
With the spring season now complete, GVBA turns its attention to the summer All-Star season with various teams at all the age groups now competing for a chance to get into Provincials in August. Keep your eyes peeled for updates here as that season progresses.