Malachi Sache homered and drove in five runs in the championship game as Chilliwack’s peewee Giants successfully defended their title as Fraser Valley East Spring Interlock champions.
The Giants doubled the Aldergrove Blue Jays 12-6 on June 16 at McMillan Park in Abbotsford.
Only three players who were with the Giants for their first title in 2017 returned for 2018, and the opening day roster included five players who’d never played baseball before.
Coaches Barry Douglas and Jules Horvath and assistants Natalie Sache and Mike Sargent drilled the team on fundamentals through the early games, and by the end of their regular season schedule the Giants were rolling.
The team finished fourth overall in the 16 team standings and lost just once in their last eight outings (including the playoffs).
Pitching was a huge reason for the team’s success, and Carter Horvath got the starting assignment in the championship game. The fireballer threw 76 pitches over three-and-a-third innings, pounding the strike zone and fanning five Aldergrove hitters. Ethan Silbernagel went two-and-a-third innings in relief, striking out four.
While Sache mashed at the plate the Giants went wild on the base-paths, stealing 19 bags. Horvath, Kaleb Greer-Evans, Tyson Tompkins and Easton Mills had three swipes apiece.
The Giants worked the strike zone, with Nate Sargent and Joshua Isaac drawing two walks apiece. Silbernagel went four-for-four at the plate, came around to score four times and drove in two runs. Darian Moberly (two) and Aidan Manj (one) also had RBIs.
“You couldn’t write a better script to end the season,” Horvath said. “The start of the season was a wee bit shaky but you could tell there was something there with this group. All we did as coaches was guide them, and the boys did all the work.”
Wyatt Kuester, a member of the regular-season roster, missed the championship game. Ben Dods, Logan Rogers, Finn Campbell and Dalen Tournier all contributed as call-ups during the season.