Ridge Meadows Royals win B.C. bantam championship

The Ridge Meadows Royals won the bantam AA provincial championship on home soil Monday.

Darian Guemos was the most valuable player in the championship game

The Ridge Meadows Royals won the bantam AA provincial championship on home soil Monday.

The local association hosted the pee wee and bantam Baseball B.C. championships.

The Royals hit like champs in the final – solid line drives to the gaps followed by deep blasts that burned outfielders. The hit parade produced a 10-0 mercy-rule win after five innings.

The game MVP award went to starting pitcher Darian Guemos, who got the shutout.

The Royals started the tournament on Friday afternoon with a 2-0 loss to a Ladner team that had never beaten them in four prior outings. The Royals struck out 19 times, out of their 21 total outs.

But the real Royals – the squad that had gone 28-4 during the regular season, that had won the tough Valley of Champions tournament in Kelowna, and that took silver in the Tsawwassen tournament – showed up after that.

Big cleanup hitter Nick Stroud got things going. He hammered a walk-off, two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh for a 3-2 win over Prince George. He was selected the game’s MVP.

Then Stroud kept it going. The Royals faced Prince George again, and he crushed two more long balls, giving him homers in three straight at bats.

“He’s a big powerful kid, and he’s come a long way,” said coach Patrick Whitford.

Derek Livesey, batting fifth, also parked a pair in that game, and he won the game MVP as his team took the slugfest 13-11.

Next up was a mercy-rule win over Abbotsford, by a score of 15-0 after just four innings. First-year pitcher Ryan Doyle threw a one-hitter, and was named the game’s MVP.

Then there was more Doyle heroics in the semi-finals, and another MVP award, this time for game-saving defence. The semi-final was a 3-2 win over Burnaby in an extra inning. With two runners on base and a ball headed for the gap, the right-fielder Doyle made a circus catch to preserve the tie.

Whitford won a provincial championship as a player, but it was his first in more than 10 years as a coach.

“It feels great,” he said.

This team put up a losing record last season, his first at the bantam level, but then established itself as the team to beat this year.

The difference?

“Baseball IQ,” said Whitford. “Baseball knowledge wasn’t there – there was lots of mental errors, lots of mistakes, and the pitching wasn’t there.

“I had three pitchers returning this year, and that was the difference, Our pitching staff was just stronger than everyone else’s.”

His three main starters were Brody Clark, Darian Guemos and Nick Baust, with Stroud coming out of the bullpen.

Good as they have been, the bats went cold and they lost in the semi-finals of the B.C. Minor Baseball provincials.

“We were the top dogs in league and everyone was looking to us, so that was a tough one to lose,” said Whitford. “But this is a good one to win.

“The difference is the Baseball BC winner goes and represents BC. Now we’ll be team bc going to the Western Canadian Championships.”

Whitford said his team loves baseball, and it shows in “the work ethic the boys bring every day.”

“We would go three-hour practices and some of the boys would still ask for more,” he said. “Baseball-wise, with games and practices, we go five or six times per week.”

They will attend the Western Canadian Championships in Spruce Grove, Alberta on Aug. 12-14. The coach believes his team will have a good shot at winning more hardware.

“Team BC usually does pretty well out there.”


Just Posted

SPCA camps help kids unplug

‘Develop empathy skills.’

MacDuff’s Call: Pity the poor Maple Ridge motorist

Government to used to tapping into drivers’ wallets

Maple Ridge has resident excluded from Anita Place

Dwayne Martin has agreed to a timeline that will see him leave the encampment.

Letter: ‘More work to do on Highway 7’

‘But rock and ditches make it challenging.’

Looking Back: Searching for Pitt Lake gold

‘Facts and fantasy in the Legend of Slumach.’

Dog at Maple Ridge SPCA needs spinal surgery

Miniature pinscher has painful condition known as Wobbler Syndrome.

Victoria mom describes finding son ‘gone’ on first day of coroners inquest into overdose death

Resulting recommendations could change handling of youth records amidst the overdose crisis

Dash-cam video in trial of accused cop killer shows man with a gun

Footage is shown at trial of Oscar Arfmann, charged with killing Const. John Davidson of Abbotsford

Suicide confirmed in case of B.C. father who’d been missing for months

2018 disappearance sparked massive search for Ben Kilmer

Eight U.S. senators write to John Horgan over B.C. mining pollution

The dispute stems from Teck Resources’ coal mines in B.C.’s Elk Valley

Dinosaur statues from defunct Dinotown theme park stolen in Chilliwack

The dinosaur figures once graced the theme park but were destined for Chilliwack fundraiser

Threats charge against Surrey’s Jaspal Atwal stayed

Atwal, 64, was at centre of controversy in 2018 over his attendance at prime minister’s reception in India

Langley’s oldest and last strip bar shuts its doors

The Alder Inn, in operation since 1957, has reportedly been purchased

Anti-vaxxer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to speak in Surrey

He’s keynote speaker at Surrey Environment and Business Awards luncheon by Surrey Board of Trade Sept. 17

Most Read