The Maple Ridge Royals won the provincial championship as host of the tournament earlier this month.
They beat the defending champion Howe Sound Cannons in the final by a score of 7-3, coming back from a 3-0 deficit.
In the first game they beat the Poco Cardinals 10-0. Leading off pitching was Maple Ridge’s Kyle Ross, who was the best pitcher in the tournament. He sliced up the Cardinals batters to set the tone for the Royals in the tournament, said player/coach Bobby LeFever.
On Saturday, Tyler Lauinger pitched a superb one-hitter in the second game, dominating the North Shore Pirates 8-0.
In the Sunday morning game, Ridge took on the Cannons for the first time. The Cannons faced Maple Ridge’s Kole Benard, who pitched his best game of the year and won 8-1, giving the Royals top seed in the A-Division.
In the last game of round-robin play, Maple Ridge sent versatile Riley Lycan to the mound. He went seven complete innings, dominating in a 12-0 win over the Vernon Blue Ribbons.
In the semi-finals they faced the Poco Blue Jays, who roster many Maple Ridge players. The Royals went down 6-0 in the first inning, but came back to tie the game in the last frame, and won in extra innings 7-6. Brandon Graham got the winning hit, enabling Jonah Weisner to score the winning RBI.
The Royals are headed by coach Steve Skipper, with assistant coaches Mark Tupper and Dan Hodgens, and have had a breakout year, with all-star players at many positions. Catcher Brandon Halstrom has been fundamentally sound in all areas of the game. The infield, consisting of Ryan Lipscombe at first, Kyron Smith second, Jonah Weisner shortstop, Travis Klein third, and Riley Lycan anchoring the outfield, can match any team in the field and at the plate, said LeFever.
“With the Maple Ridge pitchers Kole Benard, Kyle Ross, and Kristian Storrie, the 2020 season already promises to be even better,” he added.