Welcome to the home of the Tri City Indians Bantam AAA Baseball Club
League Play 13 - 19 Overall 37 -43
2016 Record VS United States Competition 6 - 4
2016 Double Plays 21 Runners Thrown Out Stealing 66
2016 Clipboards Broken: 0 2016 Bats Broken 1
3rd place South Sound Invite Tournament Bronze Medal
3rd Place U.S.A. Firecracker Tournament Bronze Medal
2nd Place B.C. Baseball Wildcard Tournament Provincial Berth
3rd Place Baseball BC Qualification Tournament Provincial Berth
Note: Click on standings tab on left for full league standings.
Note: Click on games on right, or in schedule tab for complete boxscore.
Indians National Dream Dies in Kamloops!
The Tri City Indians had theie hopes dashed in Kamloops failing to get out of their tough pool at the Baseball BC Provincials in Kamloops. The Indians were on the opposite ends of two lopsided mercy games losing to the Victoria Eagles by a 14 to 4 score and defeating the North Shore Twins 12 to 2. However it was the first game of the tournament where the Indians were unable to procure a win that hurt them the most. A 4 - 3 loss to the Coquitlam Reds in the opener was the one the Tribe really needed and unfortunatley the Tribe was not sharp and let a game slip away that they had many opportunities to win. The Tribe dropped their last game of the roundrobin 5 - 4 to the Okanagan Athletics.
The Indians struggled to find the urgency and energy early in the tournament dropping both games on the first day to Coquitlam and Victoria which put them behind the 8 ball. The Indians bounced back strong on the 2nd day with their victory over the Twins. The Indians then needed help from the Twins which they got when the Twins defeated the Victoria Eagles but due to mathematics the Indians needed the Eagles to score at least 4 runs in the loss in which they were only able to muster 2. With that result the Indians last game was virtualy meaningless even a Tribe even win would not be able to advance them as they would be the third place team in the tie and would be eliminated.
Ironically the game meant something for the Athelitics. If they won they would play in a tie breaker against the North Shore Twins, but if the Tribe won the Athletics would be eliminated and the Victoria Black Eagles would earn the right to play the North Shore Twins in the tie breaker game. The Indians roared out to a 3-1 lead but some offensive mistakes and an umpire that was more worried about his own ego than getting the call right hurt the Indians and the Athletics came back to win the game 5-4.
At the end of the day as expected by everyone after the random draw came out the Langley Blaze 4-0 and the White Rock Tritons 3-1 cakewalked through their pool obliterating, massacring or slaughtering (take your pick) the weak opposition that had no business of even being in the tournament when there were at least 10 better teams sitting at home that did not get a chance to play in this tournament. The average score in these pool games was 12-3 with a run differential average of 9.5 runs per game. That is almost mercy run differential AVERAGE per game. Having said that take nothing away from Langley and White Rock they had no control over what pool they were in and both teams took care of their business.
The other pool as advertised was a dogfight with the Coquitlam Reds 3-1 winning the pool and three teams North Shore, Victoria Black, and Okanagan all 2 - 2. Not only did everyone burn most of their pitching to get through Okanagan and North Shore would be forced to play a tie breaker game to see who would advance, ultimately with the winner of that game having to play 3 games on the final day. The average score in these pool games was 8-3 with a run differential average of 5.2 runs per game.
In the tie breaker game North Shore and Okanagan softened each other up going EXTRA innings and burning more pitching with North Shore eventually winning the game and advancing. It was deja vu from the qualifying tournament 2 weeks ago as the two teams from the soft pool won both crossover games. Langley fully rested with all pitching in place quickly disposed of North shore team in a mercy shortened game. White Rock with all their pitching intact came from behind and defeated a tough Coquitalm Reds team 4-3 in the other semi final.
The final was a seasaw affair which saw the Langley Blaze win with a walkoff hit in the last Inning to win the Tournament and earn the right to represent BC in the Nationals. White Rock will be going to the Westerns as Team BC. In the other game to see who would be the 2nd team to advance to the Westerns and represent BC. The Coquitlam Reds staged a shocking comeback and defeated a tired North Shore Twins playing 3 games in 8 hours by a 10-9 score. In a more unspeakable move the Reds then declined the chance to represent BC at the Westerns. The final spot was then given to the North Shore Twins.
In this author's opinion it is unconciousable that a team would decline representing their province after earning that honour. Was their plan to only represent BC at the Nationals? Is it beneath them to represent BC at the "lowly" Westerns? Were the Reds players who played their hardest this weekend allowed to voice their opinion on this or was it simply handled by the adults involved? I've no doubt that there are a number of the Reds players for whom this decision will not sit well. The adults involved in this decsion should be ashamed of themselves. I'm sure this came as a curveball to Baseball BC but as feedback is gathered on this event in terms of improving it for next year, this kind of action by a team that appeared to be competing for the same thing as the other 9 teams is taken into account. (See open letter to Baseball BC from Burnaby Braves regarding this issue: http://www.ballcharts.com/team/?team=burnaby15uaaa&pg=new&id=65581
The Indians will take a couple of days off before travelling to Nanaimo for the BC Minor Provincials. Unlike the Baseball BC Provincials where there was a trip on the line for the winners, the BC Minor Baseball Provincials treat everyone the same with the winners and losers all going home after the tourmnament and no teams advancing anywhere.
Next up on the Indian Hit List: Abbotsford Angels
Indians BIG UNDERDOG in Provincial Pool of DEATH!
Vegas oddsmakers have written off the Tri City Indians listing their chances at 750 to 1 to advance out of the randomly drawn Baseball B.C.'s Pool of Death. In comparison cult sports hero Rocky Balboa was a 500 to 1 underdog in his fight against Apollo Creed in Rocky II.
The Baseball BC Provincial draw was randomly drawn and it seems that the Baseball Gods did not give the Indians any breaks with the draw, putting the lowly seeded Indians in with the top 4 seeded teams of the tournament. Kind of reminds one of the schedule the last time a Bantam AAA provincial tournament took place in Kamloops. Imagine 10 teams in the tournament and the top 4 seeded teams are on one side. Those 4 teams all sport winning league records (Coquitlam Reds 21-6; Okanagan Athletics 25-11; Victoria Black Eagles 21-10; North Shore Twins 16-13) and between them have a combined stat line of 83 wins and 40 losses for a .650 win percentage. The Indians looking way up from the bottom of this juggarnaut bring up the rear with a record of 13 wins and 19 losses for a mere .406 win percentage. The 5 teams on the other side of the pool have a combined record of 68 - 98 for a .409 win percentage: White Rock Tritons 18-14; Langley Blaze 18-14; Whalley Chiefs 20-16; Victoria Mariners 8-26; Kamloops Riverdogs 4-28. By comparison the tote boards in Vegas have the Tritons, Blaze and Chiefs all listed with a 2 - 1 chance of advancing out of their pools.
It has been an uphill battle all year for this Tribe team losing 10 of their first 14 league games, losing the first game of the double knockout Wild Card Tournament before running the table, and just this last weekend falling behind in 6 of the first 7 games they played in the Provincial Qualifier Tournament and having to play an extra tie breaker game before finally securing the last Provincial berth on their last chance 7th game. Undeterred that Vegas lists the Indians chances as slim and none of advancing from the pool of death, the Indians will forgo the advice of everyone who have written them off, and are still planning to show up to play in the tournament.
The Tribe are a realistic bunch and understand why Vegas has them listed as a poor bet, but Vegas isn't always right. Just ask Joe Namath and the NY Jets; ask Team USA after the Miracle on Ice; and don't forget to ask James Buster Douglas after he floored Mike Tyson. Even though there were no Vegas odds on this one, we must all agree that General George Custer was the heavy favorite against the Indians in the "Battle of the Little Bighorn" and we all know how that turned out.
It might just be a pipe dream but the Tribe look forward to the opportunity to show up for the dance and although they may not be the prefered dance partner of many, they will be looking to dance with as many teams as possible, for as long as possible, and will not feel bad it they step on a few toes along the way.
BC Summer Games Bronze Medal for Indians Stanyer
Congratulations to Grady Stanyer of the Fraser River (Zone 4) team that took home the Bronze medal from the BC Summer Games which concluded today. In the Bronze medal match Stanyer and his teammates outlasted the talent laden Fraser Valley (Zone 3) team 9-5. Former Indians catcher Callum Borden was also on the team. In the Gold Medal game Delta manager Cam Frick's Vancouver Coastal (Zone 5) team beat the Vancouver Island-Central Coast (zone 6) team 9-7. Former Indians pitcher Joseph Sinclair placed his Zone 5 team into the Gold medal match with an outstanding effort in the semi-final.
Congrats also to Indians players Ryan Blight, Burke Rae and Carter Clark who participated for Fraser River (Zone 4A) team.
Baseball BC Qualification Game Seven (3rd Place Final)
Tri City Indians 3 Burnaby Braves 0
The Tri City Indians met bitter rivals Burnaby Braves for the second time in 2 days but this time it was winner take all in the 3rd place qualification showdown. It was the Indians 7th game of the weekend getting full bang for their buck and their 27th game in 29 days. The Indians went into this one a man down, missing top hitter Clark for the third time this weekend due to lacrosse provincials. Yee, coming off of two closes in consecutive days got the start in this on squaring off against Burnaby's Kada. Both pitchers were outstanding, but on this day it was the Indians' Yee who was a little better. Yee was magnificent giving up one hit, walking the second last batter, going only 3 batters over the minimum (dropped third strike error) and needing only 81 pitches to dispatch the Braves hitters in a complete game shutout while notching 7 strikeouts.
The offence? Oh yeah, top of the sixth, 3 errors and a hit by pitch accounted for first two Indians runs. An insurance run was added in the top of the 7th after a Columbus single, a Yee walk, and a botched sac bunt plated Columbus. Final score; Indians 3 Braves 0. The Indians out hit the Braves 3-1, as I said, Kada was outstanding as well. The Indians remain perfect in elimination games sitting at 6-0. With this win, The Indians are the 3rd and last BC Minor team to qualify for the Baseball BC Provincials held in Kamloops Thursday July 28th to July 31st, and one of only 2 BC Minor teams to qualify for both provincials, the other being the Victoria Black Eagles. The Indians get a well-deserved week off to rest their weary bones, and good luck to those who are taking part in the BC Summer Games. The Indians will be back on the field Monday and Tuesday before heading up to Kamloops to see what kind of chaos they can create.
Next up on the Indians Hit-List: The Coquitlam Bantam Prep Reds
Baseball BC Qualification Game Six (Semi-Final)
Victoria Black Eagles 11 Tri City Indians 3
The Tri City Indians faced off against the Victoria Black Eagles on Sunday in Semi-Final action. Victoria came out with a lot of swagger early, even before the game kicking the Indians off the field early in order to do their pre-game infield/outfield. This coming from the same team that directly disobeyed Burnaby Minor Baseball, Burnaby North High School and Baseball BC with the request that nobody practice or warm up at all on the turf soccer field by practicing bunt defence in full metal cleats. Not our fight. The Eagles started Walker and the Tribe sent first year Clark to do the pitching duties. Walker went 3 up 3 down in the first and the Eagles were soaring, but Clark and the Indians were ready, and had their own 3 up 3 down bottom half. Clark got the first hit of the ballgame in the top of the 2nd, but Walker put up another scoreless inning stranding Clark. In the bottom of the second the first batter reached by error, and eventually scored to stake the Eagles to an early 1-0 lead.
The Indians had now given up the first runs in all six games in this tournament and in no way ever down and out. In fact these Cardiac Kids seem to relish being down, enjoying a good battle. With 2 outs in the top of the 3rd, Sugi and Norris struck for back to back doubles off Walker to even the game at 1-1. In the bottom of the 3rd, Norris, catching his 6th game of the tournament, shut down the Eagles running game throwing out his second runner attempting to steal 2nd in consecutive innings. In the top of the 4th Clark lined a rope off the centerfield wall and Columbus walked to set the stage for Blight who hit an RBI single to left. On a pinball play, Blight stretched it to two on an overthrown cut, and the catcher airmailed it into centerfield sending Columbus home and Blight to 3rd. Blight ended up stranded, and Clark shut down the bottom half, score after 4 complete; Indians 3 Eagles 1.
Fast forward to the bottom of the 5th, and with Clark up in pitch count, and facing the line-up for the 3rd time, the Eagles finally solved him. Three straight hits to start the inning, followed by a 1 out walk and a squeeze where no out was recorded and Clark's day was done. With a 3-1 count on the next batter Cao was called upon in a tough spot, and the 3rd time was not a charm as he gave up a walk and 2 more hits putting the Eagles in the driver's seat up 8-3. With the wind taken out of their sails, the Tribe didn't muster any offence in the top of the 6th. Needing to keep "bullets in the chamber" for the next game Yee, Seward, and Wilson could only watch on as Cao was sent back out to record the final 3 outs, but not until after the Eagles added 3 more runs on 5 hits in the inning. The Tribe went down quickly in the 7th being able to get only 1 baserunner. Final score Eagles 11 Indians 3.
A disheartening loss and full marks to the Victoria Black Eagles who with the win secured a spot in the Baseball BC Provincial Tournament. It was a tough game for a proud Indians team and pitching staff. The coaches take full responsibility for leaving both pitchers in too long, but that's the nature of the beast in tournament play when your pool kicks the crap out of each other and burns the majority of the staff. But that is not the fault of the Eagles who took advantage of the opportunities given to them. The Indians now play the Burnaby Braves in the 3rd place final after the Braves suffered a 12-5 loss at the hands of the White Rock Tritons.
Next up on the Indians Hit-List: The Burnaby Braves
Baseball BC Qualification Game Five (Tie-Breaker)
Tri City Indians 5 Delta Tigers 3
This being the first real elimination game in the tournament for the Indians, the Tribe felt right at home after last weekend’s improbable run of 4 in a row in elimination games in the BC Baseball Wildcard tournament. This game had a bit of a different feel to it though as the Tribe had lost to get to the game, and Delta was coming off a big win over Cowichan to get there, plus the Tigers being a 3rd place team are a much better quality team than those in the wildcard. That quality showed early as the first 2 hitters of the game took big flys over the fence to tag starter Blight for back to back solo shots to start the game. The next 2 batters had hits and before the Indians knew it, they lay bloodied on the mat, down 3-0 after a half inning. The hard hitting Tiger offence was feasting on fastballs and circling its prey but Blight and the Indians with many arrows still in the quiver, put on the warpaint and went into battle.
The Indians put up 3 hits in the 1st and 2nd but were unable to plate any runs. Blight on the other hand was remarkable, changing strategies and pitching in reverse throwing mostly change-ups and curveballs while only spotting the fastball here and there. A strategy that paid off as Tiger batters never seemed to re-adjust swinging over and thought many pitches in what was one of the best pitching performances this writer has ever seen. In the bottom of the 3rd the Tribe, who had been snakebitten all day (see game 1 vs Burnaby 2-1 loss), finally broke out. Sugi and Norris had back to back hits off starter Payne, and Wilson walked to load the bases. Rae took a pitch in the leg to score Sugi, and Clark sac flew out to score Norris and cut the lead to 3-2. McDougall came in to pitch for Delta and just like the game earlier in the day against Cowichan, he started off with a curveball. Stanyer was fully aware of the situation and took that first curveball offering over the wall in left field to erase the deficit, and put the Indians up by 2.
The offence settled down until the top of the 6th where Blight finally ran out of pitches with 2 out and 2 on bringing the ever dangerous Sasaki to the plate. Yee came in to close with only 23 pitches remaining to stay eligible for Sunday having thrown 12 pitches the day before against the very same Delta squad. Yee got Sasaki to fly out to right field to end the inning and the threat. After a 3 up 3 down bottom of the 6th, Yee came back to the hill, and anti-climatically retired the next 3 Tiger batters in order to end the game. Blight scattered 9 hits over 5 and 2/3 innings striking out 8 in the process, Yee garnered the save retiring all 4 batters he faced using only 17 pitches to stay eligible for Sunday. Blight topped his pitching performance with 3 hits offensively while Sugi and Norris had 2 hits apiece. Stanyer's 3 RBIs were a large part of the offence. The Tribe out hit the Tigers 10-9 in the contest and stayed perfect in elimination games over the last 2 weekends; now sitting at 5-0 in those situations. The Indians have punched their ticket to the final four, and will play the Victoria Black Eagles in the semi-final with the winner earning a berth in the Baseball BC Provincials, and the loser having to play a third place game to determine who the third and final team to qualify.
Next up on the Indians Hit List: The Victoria Black Eagles
Baseball BC Qualification Game Four
Burnaby Braves 2 Tri City Indians 1 (Day 3)
The Indians faced off in game 4 of round robin pool play against bordering town rivals Burnaby Braves. Both enemy Tribes were sitting at 2-1 with the winner gaining an automatic berth into the semi-finals on Sunday, while the loser would enter into a 3-way tie which would eliminate the bottom team, and have the top 2 play a sudden death tie-breaker game to determine who goes through, and who goes home. The Indians knew their tie breaker scenario in advance of the game, and were aware that if they were to lose, they were guaranteed a spot in the tie-breaker game. The Braves were not as fortunate, as the teams they could potentially be tied with had yet to play. So former Tri City Indians Midget AAA and Coquitlam Reds Senior Skipper turned Burnaby Braves manager Kyle Williams decided he wasn't taking any chances and started ace Van Snellenberg. It was the right move, but as it would turn out, Burnaby would have been in the same situation as the Indians had they lost, in a tie-breaker game and not eliminated, but hindsight is 20/20.
The Indians countered with big right hander Stanyer. In the top of the first the Indians belted out 2 hits and a walk, but squandered their opportunity by not scoring a run. In the bottom of the first, Stanyer retired the first 2 batters, then walked Van Snellenberg. An errant throw on a pickoff attempt sent Van Snellenberg all the way to 3rd and a single by Briglio put the Braves up 1-0. In the top half of the second Blight lined to centerfield and Letteri had a deep fly out to right, but although the Indians were on the cusp of solving the Burnaby ace, they couldn't yet muster that clutch hit to get on the board. In the bottom of the second Stanyer, who was coming back after 50 pitches two days earlier did not have his best electric fastball, battled and got crafty by striking out 3 while sandwiching a hit. In the top of the 3rd the Indians loaded the bases with hits by Norris and Wilson along with an error, but were still stymied by Van Snellenberg for that coveted first run.
In the bottom of the 3rd, a 2 out flyball to right was left to drop while the two outfielders looked confused as to who was to catch it. A stolen base and an 0-2 mistake to Briglio later and the Indians watched their deficit double. Score after 3 complete; Braves 2 Indians 0. The Indians got baserunners in the next 2 innings, but had no luck as the offence fizzled out. Stanyer on a gutsy performance retired 8 straight, but tired and walked two batters in a row in the bottom of the 6th before getting the hook. Sugi came out of the pen to K the first batter he faced, He then promptly walked the following batter to load the bases. After ball one to the next batter, the Indians sent Sugi back to centerfield and brought in Seward. With bases loaded and a 1-0 count, Seward quickly ended any threat with a 3 pitch strikeout to leadoff batter Hoegler.
In the top of the 7th, Letteri led off with a single to left, Sugi hit into a fielder’s choice, and Norris singled to left to put runners on 1st and 2nd with 1 out, and that's where Van Snellenberg's day on the hill ended. Briglio came in to close out the game and after giving up one of Van Snellenberg's runs on an errant throw from a pop up, did just that. Briglio got the last Indian batter to ground out to none other than Van Snellenberg who after two bobbles and what seemed like an eternity threw out the Indian runner at first and secured their spot in the final 4. That sent the Indians to the tie-breaker game where they would meet Delta again as Richmond had given up the most runs of the 3 teams tied. This stung the Indians as they did not feel they were the worst team on the day because, they out hit the Braves 8-4, left 9 baserunners on, all while missing top hitter Clark and technically gifted Burnaby both runs. Briglio gets full marks for both RBIs and Van Snellenberg for being the catalyst with hits and stolen bases but two catastrophic Indian errors put the Braves into those situations. The Indians will have to collect and ready themselves for a tie-breaker showdown against the Frick led Delta Tigers.
Next up on the Indians Hit-list: The Delta Tigers
Baseball BC Qualification Game Three
Tri City Indians 7 Delta Tigers 1 (Day 2)
The Delta Tigers met the Indians in game 3 of 4 round robin games and it would prove to be an influential game in the pool with all teams sitting at 1-1. The Tigers starter Cassie and Indians starter Rae opposed each other on the hill. Delta, being the proverbial pain in the Indians' side, struck in the top of the 1st for 2 hits and a Sasaki-scored run off Rae. Rae would settle in after that and only gave up 2 hits the rest of the way while striking out 6 in his next 5 innings of shutout ball. The Tribe knotted the game up in the bottom of the 2nd with a 1 out RBI groundout by Blight to score Clark. In the bottom of the 3rd, the Tigers retired the 1st two Indian batters, but 6 consecutive hits by Wilson, Rae, Clark, Stanyer, Columbus, and Blight had the Tribe up 5-1 and sprinting to the finish. Stanyer added a solo shot in the 5th to make it 6-1. Although the home run was filled with contoversy about a helmet, it counted and in the end created a new nickname for Stanyer, "Chinstrap". Fast forward to the bottom of the 6th where back to back hits by Norris and Wilson plated another run extending the lead to 7-1.
In the top of the 7th an eager Yee who had to wait until game 3 to pitch finally got his chance after Rae had reached his maximum. Yee sent 3 of the 4 batters he faced back to the dugout giving up and infield single in the process to finish off the game and get his 1st pitching action in the tournament. Final score Indians 7 Tigers 1. A great game that the Indians dominated behind the strong pitching of Rae and Yee. The Indians out hit the Tigers 12-4, Wilson led the attack with a 3 hit effort. Blight and Clark had 2 RBIs each.
Next up on the Indians Hit-list: The Burnaby Braves
Baseball BC Qualification Game Two
Richmond Chuckers 8 Tri City Indians 7 Final (Day 2)
Friday Morning came and had Richmond and Tri City do it all over again except this time for just one inning or as one Richmond fan put it the night before, "15 minutes". That was a comment that the Indians offence didn't take to kindly to and had a nice snooze thinking about how to spoil Chuckers breakfast plans for after the game. With Pawlick and Clark both back for this one, the Indians were set for a comeback but needed a shutdown top of the 7th first and Seward was game, throwing a hitless half, setting up the dramatics in the bottom of the 7th.
Broderick took the bump for Richmond and quickly found that the Tribe was on a mission. 3 hits, a walk, 2 runs and 2 outs later, the Tribe still had 2 runners on with Indians RBI leader Wilson at the dish. A warning track flyball ended the game but not before a scare to the 3rd seeded Chuckers and a one inning game that lasted 35 minutes. Final score Chuckers 8 Indians 7. Still, any runs scored in pool play are considered meaningful as there are always multiple tie-breaker scenarios. The Indians have some time to grab lunch (or breakfast) and regroup before their afternoon game against another stiff opponent, the 3rd place Delta Tigers who also sit at 1-1.
Next up on the Indians Hit-list: Delta Tigers
Baseball BC Qualification Game Two:
Richmond Chuckers 8 Tri City Indians 5 Suspended (Day 1)
The night game on Thursday (Day 1) pitted the 5th place Richmond Chuckers led by veteran skipper Alex Klenman against the Tribe. The game was rain delayed for approximately an hour before the game got started, and with little hope for the full game to be completed, both Klenman and Indians' manager Mundle agreed to start the game and complete as much as possible inn order to take advantage of the pitch count rules. The skies over Burnaby finally cleared making for a gorgeous Thursday night tilt between to competitive clubs. Wilson got the start for the Tribe and Indian killer Suessanbacher-Fu countered for the blue and gold Chuckers. The game was scoreless through two innings, after a few calls (some close, some not so close) went in the Chuckers favour including an instance of incorrect counts. Those rally killers enraged the Indians faithful and awoke the Chuckers bats in the top of the 3rd striking for 7 runs. After the dust had settled, the Chuckers chased Wilson from the game and held a commanding 7-0 stranglehold on the game.
In the bottom of the third, the Chuckers pulled "Su-Fu" and put in Moscovitz who rode the momentum throwing 2 straight scoreless innings. On the flipside Cao was in middle relief for the second time in the day taking over for Wilson. After getting out of the 7 run inning debacle with a couple blemishes of his own, he was once again brilliant throwng a scoreless 4th and 5th. In the bottom of the 5th, the Tribe did what they do best and never gave up striking for 2 quick runs chasing Moscovitz from the game while adding another off of the next Chucker teliever Houston. Score after 5 complete innings; Chuckers 7 Indians 3.
In the top of the 6th Sugi took the hill in order to keep Cao's pitch count available for Sunday and Richmond liked the different look adding a single run to their lead. Richmond sent Finkelstein to the mound and the Indians pounced for 2 more runs to close the gap to 8-5. With darkness looming Baseball BC Tournament Director David Laing stopped play and suspended the game until the following morning. All in all a great day considering the Tribe was down regular third base coach Pawlick, missing Clark in game two, not having Yee available to pitch day 1 and having to play 2 of the top 5 seeds in the tournament. The Boys in Camo stepped up and played well putting themselves in a good position early in pool play.
Baseball BC Qualification Game One:
Tri City Indians 8 Cowichan Valley Mustangs 6 (8 Innings) (Day 1)
The Tri City Indians began their quest to earn a spot in the Baseball BC Provincial Tournament opening up with the 2nd place Cowichan Valley Mustangs Thursday morning. It was the battle of the first years with Indians' Clark facing off against Mustangs' Pringle. Cowichan struck first in the bottom of the 2nd plating 2 runs. Tri City was able to get the hard throwing righty Pringle up to 50 pitches in the 4th, only to see the equally tough Ramwell come out of the pen to finish off the 4th. In the bottom of the 4th, Clark exited the game due to pitch count, and Cao took the mound looking for redemption from their last meeting in Cowichan. Cao struck out the only 2 batters he faced to get out of the inning.
In the top of the 5th, the Tribe got to Ramwell driving his pitch count up to 50 after only recording 3 outs. With the help of some passed balls and a two out single by Rae off of Cowichan's next pitcher Deverill, the Indians suddenly held a 3-2 lead. With the Indians now ahead, Stanyer came in to the game to shut the door, and he was magnificent putting up goose eggs in the 5th and 6th. In the 7th, the Tribe doubled their lead to 2 with the all important insurance run. With the lead 4-2 and heading into the bottom of the 7th, Stanyer and the Indians looked poised for the upset. Cowichan had other ideas getting a couple baserunners. An Indian error on a routine groundball loaded the bases and a sinking liner to right that was misplayed on the hop tied the game, proving the earlier "all important insurance run" to be even moreso. With Stanyer reaching a pitch count plateau and runners on 2nd and 3rd with 1 out, Blight came in to stop the bleeding and try to extend the game to extras. Two consecutive strikeouts later and the Indians and Mustangs found themselves knotted up at 4 and heading into international rules extra innings.
The Indians being a coach down on the day had Manager Mundle handling 3rd base duties and in an unconventional stroke of brilliance, caught the Cowichan defence napping with a double steal of Stanyer and Columbus to 3rd and 2nd respectively. The Indians were pumped and the Mustangs dazed by the move. The Mustangs turned from dazed to shell shocked as the next pitch left the yard off of Blight's bat staking the Tribe to a 7-4 lead and igniting the Indians bench into a frenzy. A Sugi double and a Norris RBI groundout and the Tribe held an 8-4 lead going into the bottom of the 8th. In the bottom half the Mustangs were able to scratch across 2 runs aided by an errant throw on a ground ball but the game ended with a 6-3 Letteri-Rae out to end the contest. Full marks to the Tribe in this one out hitting the mustangs 8-7.
Next up on the Indians Hit-list: The Richmond Chuckers
Two Provincial Berths SIGNED SEALED and DELIVERED!
The Tri City Indians playing 12 games in the last 10 days have secured spots in both the B.C. Baseball Provincial Tournament in Nanaimo and the Baseball B.C. Provincial Tournament in Kamloops. The Indians along with the Victoria Black Eagles are the only B.C. (Minor) Baseball teams to acheive this feat.
The Indians did it the hard way losing the first game of B.C. Minor's Wild Card Tournament and then staving off elimination by running the table and winning their next 4 contests. The Indians had 3 days to recover before the Baseball B.C. Provincial Tournament. The Indians opened up with a double header on Thursday and due to the short turn around from the Wild Card Tournament did not have their full pitching staff available due to stringent Baseball Canada rest limitation rules.
The pools were drawn randomly and as luck would have it the #12 seed Indians were stuck in the pool of death with #2 seed Cowichan, #3 seed Delta, #5 Seed Richmond and the #7 seed Burnaby Braves. Three games into the pool the 2-1 Indians faced off against the 2-1 Burnaby Braves and lost a close contest by a 2-1 score. With this victory the Braves came first in the pool, Leaving Tri City, Richmond and Delta tied at 2-2.
Since Richmond had the most runs against per defensive inning they were eliminated and then the Indians and the Tigers were forced to play an extra tie breaker game to see who would advance out of their pool. Earlier in the tournament, the Chuckers had the Indians down 7-0 in their pool game but the Indians as they have done all season did not wilt nor fold but fought back to close the gap to 8-5 after 6 complete when the game was suspended due to darknes. When the teams came back the next morning the Indians punched two more runs across to fall just short in an 8-7 loss. Those runs may have seemed meaningless at the time but the Indians needed every one of those first 5 runs to be eligible for the tie breaker and the last two runs pushed Delta ahead of the Chuckers for the other spot.
The Indians defeated the Tigers 5-3 setting up the crossover game against Victoria Black Eagles. The Indians held a 3-1 lead but the Eagles came back and blew the game open in the 5th inning. The Indians tried to put a stop to the Eagle surge but in the end the Eagles smelled victory and poured it on defeating the Indians by an 11-3 score. In the other cross over game the White Rock Tritons advanced defeating the Burnaby Braves 12-5.
This set the stage for a winner take all, loser go home game between the Indians and the Braves. The Indians playing their 7th game of the tournament sent Yee to the bump while Kada countered for the Braves. Both were in command of all their pitches shutting down the offence. The Indians finally broke the goose eggs scoring 2 in the top of the 6th while adding one more in the top of the 7th. Yee was dominant, pitching a complete game shutout giving up 1 hit and 1 walk. That combined with a feisty defence were enough to give the Indians the result that they were looking for, a 3-0 victory.
Game summaries to follow...............
Indians Advance to Cross over Game in Provincial Qualification Tournament!
The Tri City Indians and Burnaby Braves both sporting 2-1 records squared off with the winner earning a berth as the top seed out of their pool. The Braves scored singles in the first and third innings to grab an early 2-0 lead. The Indians as usual fought hard all game and scored a run in the top of the 7th inning and stranded the tying run at 3rd base as Burnaby's pitching and defence were strong all day keeping many Indian baserunners from scoring. Final Score Burnaby Braves 2 Tri City Indians 1
With that win Burnaby advanced to the cross over and the Indians after their devastating loss were once again faced with elimination and were faced with the monumental task of having to defeat the league's 3rd best team Delta Tigers again after defeating them the day before. The Tigers were out for blood early in this one pouncing and mauling Indians' starter Blight with back to back solo home runs and before the game was barely two batters old the Tigers had a 2-0 lead. The next ywo batters continued the attack on Blight clawing out 2 more hits to make the score 3-0 and it looked like Blight was going to die a quick death on the hill. But Blight and his teamates came too far to roll over and die and knew they had to fight for their lives against those merciless Tigers.
Tigers Manager Frick had his team jumping on Blight's fastball in that first inning so the young Pawlick and Blight devised a new game plan throwing change-ups and curves to get up in the count and then spotting the fastball for the kill. Meanwhile the Indians scored two runs in the bottom of the 3rd and then with two Indians runners on base and Stanyer due up, the Tigers made a pitching change. Stanyer was looking to hit the first pitch fastball and the young Pawlick once again offered Stanyer some advice and told him he was probabaly going to be led off with a curve ball. Stanyer stayed back and drove the lazy curveball over the left field fence for a 3 run homerun giving the Indians a 5-3 lead. Stanyer ran dramatically around the bases with his right hand clenched on top of his head making sure his helmet stayed on his head this time. Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks?
Now leading 5-3 Blight hammered the zone and the defence made some sensational plays to keep the lethal Tiger offence off the board. In the bottom of the 6th Blight ran out of pitches and with runners on 2nd and 3rd with two outs Yee came in to try to close out the game. The dangerous Sasaki who had already hit two homeruns on the day was once again at the plate. Yee looking forward to the challenge got Sasaki to pop up to Blight, now patrolling right field. Yee sent the Tigers down 1, 2, 3, in the 7th and picked up his second save in as many days.
On Sunday the Tri City Indinas play the Victoria Black Eagles in the crossover game at 10:00am with the winner earning a spot to the Baseball BC Provincials in Kamloops. At the same time on the other diamond the Burnaby Braves continue their rivalry with the White Rock Tritons in the other crossover game also with the winner advancing to the Provincials. The two losing teams will square off at 1:30 and the winner of that game will pick up the elusive 3rd and final Provincial spot.
The Indian pitching staff, touted by some as the deepest pitching staff in the league, has been overworked lately as the Indians will be playing their 26th and possibly their 27th games Sunday in the last 29 days. But the staff has shared the load and every available pitcher will be looking forward to the opportunity to have their number called tomorrow.