Bantam A Royals use a little voodoo to claim provincial championship

The Ridge Meadows bantam A Royals are provincial champions.

The Ridge Meadows Royals baseball team borrowed a trick from Team Canada’s gold medal-winning 2002 Olympic hockey team as they went undefeated as hosts of the B.C. Minor Bantam A Baseball Championships earlier this month.

After being plagued by losses all season at the Pitt Meadows Athletics Park No. 1 diamond, manager Les Giles said the team decided to employ some voodoo to help dispel the curse.

Inspired by the Golden Loonie that was placed at centre ice in Salt Lake City, Giles had the entire team sign a baseball and bury it at second base. The Royals went on to play three undefeated games at the diamond en route to their provincial title.

“The ball has been retrieved and sits on my desk at home,” said Giles.

The Royals opened the tournament with a 9-2 win over Vernon. Derrick Adams was named the game’s MVP after pitching five innings while allowing just two runs. In their second game of the weekend, the Royals came from behind in the top of the seventh inning to score two runs to beat the Cloverdale Spurs 2–1. Game MVP Chris Bailey pitched five innings to shut down the Spurs offence.

Next up for the Royals was Tsawwassen, with Devon Draper earning MVP honors with a grand slam to tie the game at 9-9 and force an extra inning. Clayton Skipper scored Austin Demeule from third base on a squeeze bunt to win the game.

Justice Eely pitched five innings to stymie the Chilliwack Cougars while Draper added a solo home run to give the Royals the 8–2 victory and first place in their round robin pool.

On Aug. 7, the Royals faced Vancouver in the tournament semifinal.

Vancouver jumped out to a 4 -2 lead in the fifth inning, but the Royals answered with three runs in the bottom of the seventh with Alejandro Torres, Tristan Reed and Draper all hitting singles, while Demeule hit a double to score the winning run and garner MVP honors.

The championship final saw a rematch against Cloverdale and Clayton Skipper drew the MVP award when he combined with the pitching efforts of Draper and Bailey to beat the Spurs 7–3.

Also playing for the Royals were Trevor Reed, Joe Soderholm, Joe Sheridan and Jared Clark.

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