The Burnaby Bulldogs, one of Canada’s elite men’s baseball teams, is coming to Maple Ridge to play an exhibition game this upcoming Saturday, 3 p.m., at Larry Walker Field.
The Bulldogs list of championships is long and impressive: They were the Baseball Canada senior men’s national champions multiple times and as recently as 2017, the 2018 B.C. champs, and Pacific Metro Baseball League Champions in 2018 and numerous years prior.
The Bulldogs will be using this game as a tune-up before they head east to New Brunswick to play in the Canadian Championships.
The Royals won the Junior Men’s League Championship with only one loss, and are moving up to the heavyweight division with Saturday’s game against the Bulldogs.
The Royals dismantled just about every opposing team, winning by 2-3 touchdown scores. The pitching staff for the Royals (Kyle Ross, Kole Benard, Andy Thorsteinson, Kristian Storrie, Robert Gibson, and Seth Hebler) was solid and unrelenting. In a recent game, the pitchers struck out 22 batters.
Throughout the season, the outfield was outstanding, with centre fielder Riley Lycan, left field Aaron Maclean, and right fielder Seth Injates, using speed and skill to pull in balls hit deep that looked to be trouble.
The infield, consisting of first-base Ryan Lipscombe, second-base Kyron Smith, shortstop Jonah Weisner, third-base Travis Klein, and catcher Brendan Halstrom, made it very difficult for the opposition to get anything going on offence.
The team’s utility players, Derrick Adams, Curtis Federall, Jaden Hanson, Daniel Lavene, Walker MacKay, Ian Sheridan, Noah Smith, and Matthew Trulsen, backed up the starters and filled in when called upon without missing a step.
“This upcoming game against the Burnaby Bulldogs will tell us if Maple Ridge is ready to put a team into the Grand Forks International Baseball Tournament in 2020, where they would be playing two games per day in a week-long tournament against highly-touted USA and international teams,” said organizer Bobby LeFever in a press release.
“We would love to see as many people as possible come out and support our local Maple Ridge boys playing baseball against one of the top teams in Canada. The admission is free. As no concessions are available, it is recommended that fans bring refreshments and portable chairs, or cushions for the bleachers.”