Bantam Royals (Team BC) Go 2-2 at Western Canada Championships
Posted August 15, 2016
After winning the Baseball BC Provincial Championships on their home field during the August long weekend, the Bantam Royals won the right to represent British Columbia at the Western Canada Baseball Championships this past weekend in St. Albert, Alberta. While the team managed a 2-2 record, they lost out on a tie-breaker to Alberta for a chance to make the final game. Despite this fact, they represented our province very well and capped off a tremendous season with a solid effort during the tournament.
The Westerns opened on Friday with a double-header which saw the Royals open up against the Strathmore Reds (Team Alberta). Darian Guemos got the start and was dominant on the hill, as he tossed a complete game shutout, allowing only 3 hits while striking out 7 en route to a 5-0 win. At the plate, Ryan Doyle (2-3, BB, 2 RBI) and Nick Stroud (2-4, 3B) led the way. In the second game of the day, the boys from BC took on the Swift Current Indians (Team Saskatchewan). Nick Baust got the start, and the team held a 7-2 lead at one point, but some costly defensive mistakes allowed the Indians to come back and the Royals ended up on the short end of a 11-7 loss.
With a 1-1 record after day one, the Royals knew that they had to win their game on Saturday to have a chance at playing in the final. They jumped out to another early lead against the St. Albert Cardinals (Host Team) but again allowed their lead to disappear due to some defensive miscues. This time, though, they were able to hold on for a 10-9 win to move to 2-1. Richard French, a pick-up from Prince George, tossed 5 solid innings to pick up the win, allowing only 2 runs on 3 hits while walking 4 and striking out 5. Guemos went 3-4 with a double and an RBI, while Stroud was 1-1 with a pair of walks and 3 RBI.
Heading in to Sunday, the Royals took on the first place Portage Phillies (Team Manitoba) who had a perfect 3-0 record. A win would either give the Royals a birth in the final, or at the very least, a chance to play in a tie-break game to advance to the final. A loss, on the other hand, would place them at 2-2 and either eliminate them or possibly put them in a 3-way tie for second place depending upon the results from the final round robin game. In one of the best games of the tournament, the Royals came out on the losing end of a 3-1 decision to Portage. Nick Baust threw a complete game for Team BC in a very gutsy effort. The game was scoreless after 5 innings but the Phillies were able to rally late to pick up the win.
After finishing with a record of 2-2, the Royals needed Team Alberta to beat Team Saskatchewan and for both teams to score at least 6 runs in order to advance to the final. While Alberta did win the game, the final score was 7-1, which meant that Alberta would advance and Team BC was eliminated. Team Manitoba won the Western Championship later Sunday evening, defeating Team Alberta 7-0.
While this tournament did not end in the manner that everyone had hoped it would, the loss certainly does not take away from the tremendous season that the Bantam Royals put together. After winning the BC Minor regular season title with a 28-4 record, they won the Valley of Champions tournament, lost in the semi-finals of the BC Minor Provincials, and won the Baseball BC Provincial Championship. The team put together an overall record of 58-15-2, which is a remarkable improvement on last season's record of 17-33-2. This team played remarkable baseball throughout the season, and displayed its depth and strength in all areas of the game as they were able to bring a great deal of success to the program. Congratulations to the players and coaches on a tremendous season.