Cougars edge Reds to stand as best in the west

Chilliwack's bantam AA Cougars won the 2012 Western Canadian bantam AA championship in dramatic fashion Sunday afternoon in Morden, MB.

Chilliwack’s bantam AA baseball Cougars are Western Canadian champions.

Donovan Moorman delivered a walk-off double Sunday afternoon, driving in Josh Anderson to give the Cougars a dramatic 6-5 win over Alberta’s Strathmore Reds.

Chilliwack claimed the title on a foreign diamond in Morden, MB, going unbeaten through five games. They started the tournament with an 11-3 win over the Manitoba champion Altona Bisons Friday afternoon.

Moorman got the assault started in the second inning, leading off with a single before stealing second base. He advanced to third on a throwing error and came home on a Justin Maunahan double. The Cougars plated four more in the inning, helped by sloppy Bisons defence and wild Bisons pitching.

Chilliwack scored five more in the fifth and carried their bats into their second game, a 10-1 route of the Reds.

The game was close until the sixth inning, when the Cougars exploded for six runs.

Liam Campbell led off and took first base after getting hit by a pitch. Campbell stole second and watched as Maunahan was walked. With runners at first and second, Darrin Lodovica laid down a sacrifice bunt and reached safely on a throwing error by Reds third baseman Dayne Redland.

Campbell and Maunahan both came home to push Chilliwack’s lead to 6-1.

The next batter, Dylan Emmons, reached base on a wild pitch and gave way to pinch-runner Shane Rutley.

Tony Pharand followed with a double that plated Lodovica and Rutley. Pharand came home on a Tyler Gray single and Collin Kellington came home later on a wild pitch, wrapping up the adventurous inning and putting the game well out of reach.

The Chilliwack bats continued their onslaught in a 6-1 win over their hosts from Morden Saturday afternoon. This one was scoreless through three innings, but the Cougars scored three in the fourth, one in the fifth and two more in the sixth.

Anthony Aiello, Moorman and Parker Logan held the Morden bats in check with an efficient pitching performance.

With a berth in the finals on the line Sunday morning, Chilliwack out-slugged the Saskatchewan champion Estevan Haulers.

The Prairie crew led 5-1 through four-and-a-half innings. But the Cougars blew the doors off in the bottom of the fifth, plating seven runs. Anderson had the big hit, knocking in Pharand and Devyn Heggs with a two-run triple. Moorman added a double with Jordan Scherbey (single), Maunahan (single), Lodovica (error), Pharand (single) and Aiello (error) all reaching base as Chilliwack batted around the order.

The Cougars added three more in the bottom of the sixth, booking their spot in the gold medal game.

Other players contributing to the title run were Dan Rogers and Alex Leiper.