Tyler Mendonca’s backhanded catch in left field provided the final out in a dramatic gold medal game, giving his Chilliwack baseball team a provincial title.
Mendonca’s peewee AA Cougars were in Mission two weekends ago for the championships, opening with three straight round robin wins.
Chilliwack dumped Prince George, Maple Ridge and Coquitlam heading into a tougher test versus Duncan.
Chilliwack lost to Duncan in last year’s finals and was seeking revenge.
The Cougars loaded the bases in the seventh inning and won on a suicide squeeze perfectly executed by Mendonca and Clay Kurtz.
Chilliwack’s playoff opener against Kelowna was going in the wrong direction before Mother Nature intervened.
Down 7-2 in the second, the skies opened up and rain poured down, causing a three-hour delay.
A calm and collected Cougar squad returned to the diamond and clawed back for a 13-9 win.
The Mission Twins provided the gold medal game opponent, and Chilliwack looked to make short work of them when they stormed out to a 10-0 lead.
The Twins battled back, narrowing the gap to four (11-7) heading to the seventh inning. Mission had the bases loaded and two out when Mendonca made his catch to secure the win.
l Conner Dykstra of the Chilliwack bantam AA Cougars team travels to St. Albert, AB. Aug. 13-17 to represent his province in the U-15 Western Championships.
Dykstra will join the Tri-City Indians, who will play the role of Team BC against Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The winner of this tournament goes on to a national-level competition.
Dykstra is a pitcher/catcher and is in his first year at the U-15 level.