Duncan Scores Big, Then Hangs On to Capture GVBA Bantam A Title

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Duncan catcher Karter Blandin (right) holds the ball up to the umpire after tagging Ladysmith's Marcus Copp (left) out at the plate on the final play of the game Monday, preserving the 12-9 win (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart  (ISN)

June 26, 2017, Victoria, BC (ISN) – The Duncan “Rickies” scored seven runs in their final two at bats to break open a close game, then hung on in the final inning to defeat Ladysmith 12-9 in the Greater Victoria Baseball Association (GVBA) Bantam A Championship played Monday night at Lambrick Park in Victoria.

Ladysmith catcher Liam Pakosz puts the tag on a sliding Brighton Reid of Duncan on the close play at the plate during the third inning of Monday's Bantam A final (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Ladysmith catcher Liam Pakosz puts the tag on a sliding Brighton Reid of Duncan on the close play at the plate during the third inning of Monday’s Bantam A final (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Ladysmith held an early 2-1 lead, but a four-run second inning by the Rickies, highlighted by a two-RBI double from Nate Kneedham, put Duncan ahead 5-2, a lead they would never relinquish.

Duncan's Karter Blandin would slide safely into second ahead of the throw to Ladysmith second baseman Dawson Cavey on this steal attempt Monday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Duncan’s Karter Blandin would slide safely into second ahead of the throw to Ladysmith second baseman Dawson Cavey on this steal attempt Monday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Keeping the Ladysmith bats at bay was Duncan starting pitcher Karter Blandin, who single-handedly retired, all via strikeout, the 12 outs he needed in his four full innings of work. He also single-handedly gave Ladysmith their four runs up to that point by walking four batters, all of whom eventually came around to score via stolen bases and wild pitches.

Duncan starting pitcher Karter Blandin, single-handedly retired 12 Ladysmith batters, all via strikeout,  in his four full innings of work Monday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Duncan starting pitcher Karter Blandin, single-handedly retired 12 Ladysmith batters, all via strikeout, in his four full innings of work Monday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Ladysmith starter Shawn Parks was also staying effective and after the big Duncan second inning, would retire the five batters he faced before giving way to reliever Aidan Kikkham in the fourth.

Ladysmith starter Shawn Parks would keep his team close through four innings of play (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Ladysmith starter Shawn Parks would keep his team close through four innings of play (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Duncan's Nate Needham would launch a 2-RBI double in the second inning Monday to put the Rickies ahead for good in the eventual 12-9 win over Ladysmith (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Duncan’s Nate Needham would launch a 2-RBI double in the second inning Monday to put the Rickies ahead for good in the eventual 12-9 win over Ladysmith (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Duncan would widen the 5-4 lead with a pair of runs in the seventh when Blandin drew a two-out walk and then came in to score on an RBI-single from Colton Gareau.  Brighton Reid then singled home Gareau and the lead was 7-6.

Ladysmith catcher Liam Pakosz puts the tag on Duncan's Kevin Ferguson after a dropped third strike in the second inning Monday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Ladysmith catcher Liam Pakosz puts the tag on Duncan’s Kevin Ferguson after a dropped third strike in the second inning Monday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

In the bottom of the sixth, Duncan would get a pair of runners on thanks to a single and a hit batter and then with two outs, an error by the Ladysmith first baseman, on what would have been the third out of the inning, loaded the bases.  Duncan’s Colby Whisken then made Ladysmith pay for that mistake, stroking a two-RBI double to up the lead to 9-6.  Two walks and another run later, Kevin Ferguson would add a two-RBI single of his own to make the score 12-4 and seemingly put the game out of reach.

As third base umpire Carole Ogborne gets set to make the call, Duncan third baseman Ryan McMahon puts the tag on Ladysmith's Hunter Mitchell during a steal attempt Monday.  Mitchell was called out on the play (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
As third base umpire Carole Ogborne gets set to make the call, Duncan third baseman Ryan McMahon puts the tag on Ladysmith’s Hunter Mitchell during a steal attempt Monday. Mitchell was called out on the play (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

That would not be the case though, as the Ladysmith bats suddenly found some life against Duncan reliever Alemayhe Dammam.  Dawson Cavey would get things going with an infield single and then advance to second on an error. He would then score when Kikkham also reached on an error.

Ladysmith second baseman Dawson Cavey puts the tag on Duncan's Brighton Reid on this steal attempt in the fifth inning of Monday's game (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Ladysmith second baseman Dawson Cavey puts the tag on Duncan’s Brighton Reid on this steal attempt in the fifth inning of Monday’s game (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

An out and a hit batter later (Hunter Mitchell), Liam Pakosz would stroke a two-RBI single to score Kikkham and Mitchell to make the score 12-7.  A hit batter, a run-scoring wild pitch and another walk later, it was 12-8 Duncan and the end of the night for Duncan reliever Dammam.

Duncan shortstop Jordan Atchison has trouble grabbing an errant throw as Ladysmith's Marcus Copp slides safely into second on this steal attempt Monday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Duncan shortstop Jordan Atchison has trouble grabbing an errant throw as Ladysmith’s Marcus Copp slides safely into second on this steal attempt Monday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Duncan would then go to reliever Jordan Atchison to face Jaden Cochrane. Cochrane would work the count full before lashing an RBI-single to make it 12-9, but on the play, Ladysmith’s Marcus Copp also tried to score, but was gunned down at the plate for the final out of the game, giving Duncan the win.

Duncan's Colby Whisken heads to first after hitting a 2-RBI single in the bottom of the sixth Monday against Ladysmith (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Duncan’s Colby Whisken heads to first after hitting a 2-RBI single in the bottom of the sixth Monday against Ladysmith (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Duncan’ win was truly a team effort, as nine different players had base hits on the night, with Ryan McMahon leading the way with two.  Eight different players also crossed the plate, including two each from McMahon, Blandin, Dammam, and Kneedham.

For Ladysmith, Mitchell would reach base three times on a pair of walks and a hit batter and score twice.

The 2017 GVBA Bantam A Champion Duncan Rickies (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)
The 2017 GVBA Bantam A Champion Duncan Rickies (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

GVBA’s Championship Week continues Tuesday night at Carnarvon Park, as Peninsula takes on Carnarvon in the Pee Wee AA final at 6:30 pm.  Wednesday sees the Pee Wee A final, also at Carnarvon (a 6:00 PM start) and the Midget AA final between Gordon Head and Duncan at Lambrick Park (6:30 pm). Finally on Thursday the Bantam AA final goes at Lambrick Park with Layritz taking on Gordon Head.  That game is also a 6:30 pm start.

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