The provincials took place at Albion Sports Complex and Hammond Stadium ball parks on Aug. 14 and Aug. 15. (Neil Corbett photo/The News)

The provincials took place at Albion Sports Complex and Hammond Stadium ball parks on Aug. 14 and Aug. 15. (Neil Corbett photo/The News)

Royals finish fifth in U18 baseball provincial championship

Head coach commends the team for a successful season

The Ridge Meadows Royals lost at the under-18 AAA provincial championship held over the weekend.

The games that took place over Aug. 14 and 15, had the young team face loss, despite having a great regular season, said Jake Moyer, the head coach for the Ridge Meadows Royals Midget AAA.

“We had a great regular season finishing in third place. Unfortunately we did not perform as well at the provincials. As a team we just couldn’t get our bats rolling against some very excellent competition from Prince George, North Island, Richmond and Cloverdale,” he said.

READ MORE: Royals playing in U18 baseball provincial championship

The hometown Royals started the Aug. 14 day with a match against the Cloverdale Spurs and suffered their first loss for the day by a score of 4-0. Their second loss came later in the day when they played against the Prince George Knights and lost with a score of 8-2.

With these losses, the team didn’t qualify for the provincial championship game held on Aug. 15 at Hammond Stadium.

“We finished fifth, but are thrilled with the season that we had just getting to that point,” said Moyer. “In Ridge Meadows Minor Baseball we have both a College Prep team and a AAA team at the Midget level. Whereas Prince George, North Island and Richmond only have the AAA team, so we, as the second tier competitive team were facing those associations’ top tier team and very best players from their area. The fact we even did as well as we did in the regular season and made the Provincial final 5 tournament is a huge accomplishment and says a ton about all the hard work this group of 14 young men put in and the dedication to the sport and representing their community around the province all season.”

He also noted that the provincials were a great event as always.

“It was just so great to see young men from around the province play baseball for a championship title after all that we, as a society have faced with COVID over the last year and a half,” he said.

The provincials, which were originally slated for Kelowna, but due to the recent COVID outbreak, and the wildfires had to find a new location or be cancelled. The Ridge Meadows association stepped in and ensured that the event took place on a less then two weeks’ notice.

With the provincials winding down, the returning players from the Ridge Meadows association, from both AAA and College Prep, will be taking a break before they move into fall. That is also when the association will be holding tryouts for the 2022 teams at the competitive levels.

“This group of young men showed class and dignity all year in winning and they did as well in losing and represented Ridge Meadows better than I could have ever hoped. COVID has been incredibly tough on youth athletes and it was so good to see these young men smile and laugh and build relationships with each other on the field of play again. That’s what is best about youth sports and hosting an event like the Provincials, not the winning or losing, but the friends and memories they take with them,” Moyer said.

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