The season is winding to a close for Chilliwack Minor Baseball’s College Prep Cougars, but they hope to go out with a championship.
The top ranked team in B.C. qualified for this weekend’s Final Four tournament by whomping the North Langley Blue Sox in a best-of-three playoff last weekend.
Chilliwack won 8-0 and 15-3, with excellent pitching from Tyler Mendonca in the opener. The Final Four tourney opens today (Friday) at Latrace Field in Richmond with Chilliwack facing the Ridge Meadow Royals at 5 p.m.
A Saturday morning double header has them taking on the Cloverdale Nationals at 9 a.m. and the Kelowna Sun Devils at noon. The top two teams from the round robin stage play for the championship on Sunday, with the winner getting a berth in the Diamond Nations Wood Bat Tournament in New Jersey in late August.
Chilliwack’s peewee AAA Cougars will play for a provincial championship this weekend after posting a record of 9-4 in summer league play.
A 9-8 loss in their regular season finale was the difference between finishing first and fifth in the overall standings.
Chilliwack tied with three other teams for second place, but dropped in the provincial seedings because of the runs for/against ratio.
Chilliwack’s bantam AAA Cougars ran into a hot pitcher in the final game of last weekend’s provincial baseball tournament in Tsawassen, falling 3-0 to Delta.
Aiden Henderson got the start for Chilliwack against the Tigers and pitched a gem.
But the powerful Cougar bats were quieted for one of the only times this season.
Chilliwack scored 27 runs in the round-robin stage, including 15 in their opener, a 15-4 mercy-rule win over the Langley Blue Sox.
Jared Hall and Andrew Statton led the charge with two triples each.
But Chilliwack’s second game foreshadowed the final.
Facing Delta, the Cougars were limited to one run in a 2-1 loss.
Hall was Chilliwack’s starting pitcher and he threw 96 pitchers over seven strong innings.
Connor Dieleman supplied the only run, driving in a teammate with a base hit to right field.
The bats bounced back in a rematch with Langley as the Cougars won 11-7.
Aidan Saunders and Zach Zimmer pitched well and Hall, Statton, Dieleman, Wyatt Emery and Alijah-Paul Leiper all had multi-hit games.
Though they came up short in the final, Chilliwack’s season is not over.
Despite the loss, the Cougars have earned a spot in the Baseball BC National Qualifier tournament which takes place in Maple Ridge Aug. 8-11.
A successful showing will send the Cougars on to Oshawa, Ontario with a chance to compete for a national title.
Chilliwack will be hosting bantam AA provincials Aug. 8-11 at Fairfield Island.
Opening ceremonies will be at 6 p.m. on the first day of the tournament.