The Ridge Meadows Royals Bantam A team won the provincial championship. (Contributed)

The Ridge Meadows Royals Bantam A team won the provincial championship. (Contributed)

Royals win Bantam A provincial championship

Ridge Meadows team went undefeated through season and playoffs

After a perfect summer season, the Ridge Meadows Royals bantam A team won a provincial baseball championship over the weekend in Mission.

The Royals went 16-0 during regular-season play, then added six more undefeated games at the provincial tournament, which was held Thursday through Sunday.

“We were the only team to have a perfect season, and we rolled through the provincials,” said coach Bevan Blatchford.

His team has been on a tremendous run, and was an undefeated 14-0 the season prior, but lost in the provincial semi-finals.

After a second perfect regular season, where the Royals topped the league in both runs scored and runs suppressed, they entered the provincials as heavy favourites this season.

The final game was a 13-3 mercy-rule-shortened win over Penticton.

Blatchford said the Okanagan club had upset Surrey in the semi-finals, but used up all of its pitching on the way to the championship game. Ridge had a fresh starter in Clayton Darius, who held Penticton in check.

Rightfielder William Mohr was the MVP of the final, after putting up four RBI and going 2-2 at the plate.

Tyler Anderson was 2-2 with an RBI and a spectacular running catch in centre-field, and Jacob Therrien smacked an RBI double.

Shortstop Zach Armstrong was a standout throughout the provincials, hitting .611 in the tournament, and driving in 10 runs. He went 2-3 at the plate in the final, and drove in a run. He wasn’t sure he would even be able to play, after he came in as the closer in the semi-final, and took a batted ball off his throwing hand.

Tristan Fernandes pitched the semi-final – a close game, with Ridge downing Kamloops 8-6.

“It was a real team effort,” Blatchford said of the championship, noting that the player who was hitting 11th out of 12 on his dept batting order actually led the tournament in on-base percentage, as Mark Garcia had an OBP of .692.

Blatchford also used seven different pitchers through the tournament, and he noted that, as a team, the Royals batted to a .411 average.

Their first three games were all mercy rule games. They beat Newton 19-6, as Thomas Reed was the winning pitcher, and Ashton Frank was 2-3 with two RBI.

Next they beat Prince George 19-3, with Armstrong going 3-3 with four RBI, Xavier Power and Fernandes both 2-2 with two RBI, and Griffen Smith 2-3 with two RBI.

Smith pitched a 16-6 win against Penticton, and Reed was 1-2 with three RBI and Davin Sadler was 1-2 with two RBI. Sadler led the team in runs scored with 10 for the tournament.

In their fourth contest, they had a great game against host Mission, scoring four runs in the bottom of the sixth to win 5-4.

Derek Clayton and Jordan Armstrong joined Blatchford in coaching the team.