Chilliwack Cougars shock American foes at New Jersey baseball tournament

B.C.’s two-time College Prep champs represented the province at a wood bat showcase event.

Fresh off winning a second consecutive provincial title, Chilliwack’s College Prep Cougars went south and dominated a tournament in New Jersey.

The Cats competed in the U-18 College Elite Showcase wooden bat tournament (Aug. 21-24). They were one of two Canadian entries along with the Ontario Terriers, and defied expectations putting together a 5-0-1 record.

The Cougars opened with a 9-0 win over the Staten Island Orioles. They followed that with a 4-3 defeat of FAA Phoenix, and a 10-10 tie with All Out Underclass. Levi Moorman pitched a complete game in the round-robin finale, a 5-3 victory over Ontario that sent his team on to the semi-final round.

“We faced the Flemington Phillies and for the second time in the tournament Carter Harbut took to the mound,” said Chilliwack coach Shawn Corness. “He kept the game close for four innings until our offence exploded, putting the game out of reach with a 13-3 win.”

The Cougars were massive underdogs in the final, going up against the MVP Blue Jackets, a showcase travel team based in Pennsylvania. The Jackets were unbeaten in four games coming in, but Chilliwack jumped on them early.

“We scored a run in top of the first inning, and took a 3-1 lead into the sixth,” Corness said. “Jacob (starting pitcher Iverson) got into trouble and the Blue Jackets came back and tied it 3-3.

“But with the bases loaded we brought in Brayden Carpenter and he induced an inning-ending ground ball.”

Chilliwack’s Trent King was hit by a pitch to lead off the seventh inning, and Daniel Gernon banged a base hit up the middle. Trey Pankratz came to the dish and worked the count full before hitting a line drive to center field.

King trotted home with the winning run.

Carpenter closed out the game with a strikeout and two ground balls to make the final 4-3.

“What a week of baseball against the best competition we saw all year,” Corness said. “I am very proud of the way we rose and competed all week.”

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