The Langley Blaze celebrate their 2021 BCPBL Championship win over the Victoria Eagles (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart

August 1, 2021, Langley, BC – The Langley Blaze powered their way to the 2021 BC Premier Baseball League (BCPBL) title on Sunday afternoon by defeating the Victoria Eagles 13-1 in the Championship Game of the BCPBL playoffs at McLeod Athletic Park in Langley.

Langley’s Nathan Kirkpatrick had a three-hit and five-RBI day to lead the Langley offence against the Eagles (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

Led by Nathan Kirkpatrick with three hits and five RBI, the Blaze pounded out 14 hits on the day and broke open a relatively close 3-1 game with six runs in the top of the fifth inning and then another four in the top of the sixth to put the game out of reach for the Eagles.

The Eagles Ty Burton slide safely into second ahead of the throw to Langley second baseman Nathan Kirkpatrick (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

Tom Poole started for the Blaze and he went the distance, giving up the one Eagle run on four hits, while walking one and striking out five in his six innings of work.

Earlier in the day, the Blaze offensive machine put up nine hits in a 8-1 win over the White Rock Tritons in the first semi-final of the day. Poole was the offensive catalyst in that game, slashing a triple and two doubles and scoring three runs.

Langley’s Jacob Sedun threw a complete game two-hitter to defeat the White Rock Tritons 8-1 in the first semi-final of the day Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

Jacob Sedun was brilliant on the hill for the Blaze against White Rock, giving up the one run on two hits, while striking out seven in his complete game, seven innings of work.

Langley centre fielder Jude Hall makes the catch of the year in Sunday’s semi-final win over White Rock (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

The Blaze were certainly deserving winners of the title. As hosts for the Sunday games, they did not need to win a single game in the round robin portion of the tournament, held Friday through Saturday, to earn a berth in the semis, but they made sure they did, finishing with a 3-1 record in their playoff games, defeating North Delta Blue Jays, the Victoria Mariners and the Royals, while losing their very first game, in a 3-2 squeaker, to the Coquitlam Reds.

Langley’s Tom Poole was an offensive beast for the Blaze in the semis against White Rock, with two doubles and a triple (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

They also had the best regular season record, finishing with a 19-5 record.

For the Eagles, the silver medal marks the end of a very good season for the scrappy raptors, as they went 14-8 in the regular season and then put together a 3-0 run in the round robin portion of the tournament, that was not without its dramatic moments.

White Rock’s Scott Allan does a little dance to celebrate his double, one of only two hits the Tritons could muster against the Blaze in their semi-final on Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

After defeating the Okanagan A’s 8-2 in their first game, the Eagles then needed a walk-off hit from Oliver Mabee in their second, to defeat the Whalley Chiefs 9-8. And on Saturday afternoon, with a berth to the semis on the line, they used an eight run fourth inning to overcome a 6-1 deficit to the Abbotsford Cardinals and come away with a 10-6 win.

Victoria Eagle’s baserunner Witt Nevins upends Parksville second baseman Keitaro Adachi at the end of a double-play in semi-final action Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

That win put the Eagles into a semi-final match-up with their Island rival Parksville Royals, who used their own drama Saturday night in their final game of the round robin to defeat the Victoria Mariners 2-0 and punch their ticket to the semis.

Eagles shortstop Tyrus Hall goes to put the tag on Royals baserunner Tyler Kolopenuk during a rundown (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

In that game, the Royals used a complete game, four-hit, 12-strikeout shut out from their ace Anson McGorman to get themselves the win.

Parksville’s Breydan Riecker slides happily into third base after driving in one of Parksville’s two runs Saturday against the Mariners (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

In the Eagles, Royals match-up at Noon Sunday, the Eagles once again scrapped their way back from a 6-2 deficit by scoring five runs in the top of the sixth inning and then held on for the thrilling 7-6 win.

The Eagles Jordon Bond had two hits and three RBI in the semi-final win against Parksville (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

Jordon Bond was the Royal killer at the plate for the Eagles, with two hits, including a double and three RBI, while Jack Finn and Owen Luchies pitched two innings each of shut-out ball down the stretch. Luchies also had four big strikeouts, including two in a row to end the bottom of the sixth inning, after Parksville had put runners on first and second with just one out.

Jack Swinton’s pinch-hit RBI would be the difference in the Eagles’ 7-6 semi-final win over Parksville (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

And while the Eagles looked like they might fight back against the Blaze when, trailing 3-0 in the third, Kai Gray singled and eventually scored on an error, it was not to be, as the Langley offensive machine kept grinding away at Eagles pitching en route to the 13-1 win.

Jordon Bond (10) and the Eagles celebrate the go-ahead run against the Royals on Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)
The Eagles Owen Luchies would shut the door on the Royals, striking out four in two innings of work to get the save in the semi-final victory (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

Sunday’s finals, put as normal a finish on the BCPBL season as it could, given the delayed start of the season because of COVID and early travel restrictions that saw many teams only play one opponent over the first eight games of the year.

The Eagles Jordon Bond (left) and Dylan Brown (right) leap to celebrate the 7-6 semi-final win over the Royals (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

However, the bottom line is that for all players involved, many of whom have not had the chance to play meaningful games for a season and a half, just being back on the field, playing a game they love, was reward enough.

Langley shortstop Pierce Radke makes a nice play on a ground ball against the Eagles (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

Congratulations to the Langley Blaze on their 2021 title and season. And congratulations to the Eagles, Tritons and Royals on their playoff runs, as well as to all teams in the BCPBL for making the best of the 2021 season.

The 2021 BCPBL Champion Langley Blaze (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

All images from the BCPBL Championship by photographer Christian J. Stewart will be posted at