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Delta Blue Jays begin quest for third straight national title

Bantam prep baseball team is having a fantastic season
The Delta Blue Jays 15u Bantam Prep team beat the Chilliwack Cougars 8-0 on June 10 at Winskill Park in Tsawwassen. Jim Kinnear Photo

With a deep roster, loaded with talent at every position, the Delta Blue Jays 15u Bantam prep squad looks poised to get a shot at a third straight Ray Carter Cup national championship.

The Blue Jays came second in 2019 at nationals and won gold in 2022 and 2023.

With a current first-place league record of 44-5 and advancing to the next round of the 2024 AAA provincial qualifying tournament for nationals, head coach Cam Frick is very pleased with the season to date.

“It’s been good. Competitive league this year for us with lots of strong teams and lots of close games,” he said. “We have a deep roster – 16 players and everyone is solid. Battling a few injuries right now, but we’ve been playing well.”

The qualifying tournament is a bit different this year with all AAA teams ranked in a March Madness style bracket with 27 teams in total. Five teams received byes in the first round, including the Blue Jays.

On Monday night (June 10), in front of a packed house at Winskill Park, the number one seeded Blue Jays beat the Chilliwack Cougars 8-0 to advance to round three.

“It was probably our best game of the season. They [Chilliwack] threw their best pitcher, he was 6-0 before the game and we did really well against him,” said Frick.

Delta will play the number eight seed Whalley Chiefs on Monday, June 24 at 6 p.m. at Winskill Park in the round of eight.

“I see the benefits of this qualifying tournament and the change in format. It saves on travel instead of hosting one tournament at the end of the season to qualify,” he said. “For us I think it’s better to play one tournament, but I like the format. It’s more competitive and gives everyone a chance. There have been some upsets. There are only eight teams now, and at least two teams that were outside the top 20, are now in the final eight.”

The Blue Jays will also be hosting the 2024 Kyle Losse Memorial Bantam tournament over the Canada Day long weekend. Also playing will be a team from Tsawwassen Amateur Baseball Association – the Athletics - for the first time alongside 12 other Bantam Prep teams.

Games will be held on Friday, June 28 through to Monday, July 1 at Ray Carter Field at Winskill and the Bantam Field at Winskill.

“The kids love it. They love playing big games,” said Frick. “The crowd was great for the Chilliwack game and the guys are certainly enjoying the season.”