While the sun made only a brief appearance over the Canada Day weekend, the Richmond Chuckers shone at the Cloverdale Cup.
Finding enough breaks in the weather to play three games was a challenge, but despite last minute schedule changes, delays and the final game played in steady rain, the Midget AAA baseball team persevered to win the tournament.
Game MVP pitching performances from Brandon Kirk, Blake Hogg and Nawid Niyaz, strong defense with several double plays, sound play behind the plate by Tyler Milford and Mike Yamaguchi, and solid hitting contributed to the team's success.
In the first game against the Coquitlam Senior Little League, Kirk gave up just two hits over six shutout innings and had 11strikeouts in a 5-2 win.
Matt Cameron began what would be a productive game by driving in Brendan Mullin in the first inning. He later stole home to make it 2-0. Richmond added two more in the third, thanks to a Cameron triple, which cashed in Wesley Parrill, and a sacrifice bunt by Jonah Rose, scoring Cameron. Michael Kinach added his team's final run in the fifth.
Coquitlam finally got on the board with a pair of runs in the seventh.
A 3-1 win over the Cloverdale Spurs saw Hogg go the distance on 85 pitches. Richmond jumped out to a 2-0 lead after one as Rose drove in Mullin then scored himself on a hit by Milford.
Cloverdale cut the lead in half with a run in the top of the second and Yamaguchi responded in the bottom half of the inning. Hogg then shut down the Spurs over the final five innings.
Once again, Richmond got off a terrific start in the championship game, scoring three times in the first inning. Rose drove in Parrill, and Milford came through with clutch two-run hit, scoring Cameron and Rose. That was more than enough for Niyaz who recorded the shutout in a 5-0 triumph.
The Chuckers added some insurance in the fifth as Parrill drove in Kinach and Rose's second RBI of the game brought in Parrill.
The locals look to continue the momentum over the final month of the season, leading to a berth in the provincial championships, Aug. 2-6 Chilliwack.
The Chuckers line-up also includes: Cam Dowle, Niko Hill, Spencer McHattie, Spencer Wiersma, Brett Timewell, and Garret Cope. The team is coached by Raul Verde Rios, with assistants Jon Fenn and Matt Winograd.
Richmond City Baseballl will be hosting the Pee Wee "AAA" Provincial Championships Aug.913 at Steveston Athletic Park.