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Photos: Mounties spoil Ladner party to win 18U provincial title

Vancouver hands host Red Sox only loss of tournament in championship game at sun-soaked Cromie Park

A pair of season-long friendly rivals clashed one last time with a provincial banner and a trip to the Western Canadian Championships on the line. The Vancouver Community Mounties spoiled the party for the host Ladner Red Sox — capturing B.C. Minor Baseball’s 18U AA provincial title with a 6-3 victory on a sweltering Sunday afternoon at Cromie Park. The Red Sox entered the championship game looking to complete the “triple” after earlier capturing the spring season with a 13-1-1 record, then going 11-1-0 in the provincial regional playdowns. The roll continued on their home diamond with four convincing victories to lockdown the No. 1 seed and a trip directly to the gold medal game. That run included an 11-1 win over the Mounties on Saturday afternoon in a battle between 3-0 teams. The result meant Vancouver Community needed to play an additional playoff game Sunday morning against No. 3 seed Tsawwassen to earn another crack at Ladner. They came through with a 13-5 win and had plenty of bullets still in their holster for the final. After limiting the use of their pitching staff against Ladner a day earlier, the Mounties went with their top tandem of Jaron Palaschuk and Ben Black. Vancouver jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first and it stayed that way until the bottom of the fourth when Ladner finally broke through against Palaschuk to score twice. The game was only briefly tied as the Mounties added two more in the fifth then a couple of insurance runs in the seventh. That was plenty enough for Black who came on in relief to surrender a single run in the seventh but was dominant otherwise to secure the Golden Glove Award as the tournament’s top pitcher. The Mounties also came up with some key defensive plays in the field on some hard hit balls, including a couple of gems by third baseman Kenta Milum. Vancouver Community now prepares to head to Estevan later this month for the Western Canadian Championships. There’s a good chance some Ladner players will be joining them as part of the required pick-ups to expand the roster for the extended schedule. Among them should be Ladner’s Michael Norcott who was not only terrific on the mound in three appearances but earned the tournament’s Silver Slugger Award as the top hitter. Player of the game awards for Ladner included: Casey Cartlidge (Tsawwassen), Tye Hemenway (Vernon), Max Kidds-Brodie (Vancouver Minor), Norcott (Vancouver Community) and Daniel Shorman (Vancouver Community). The Red Sox roster also featured: Tyler Allan, Arjun Chahal, Ryan Carleton, Layne Edge, Declan Speiran, Quincy Chong, Josh Robie, Ben Lakeland, Logan Lechner and Jaren Yamaoka. Tsawwassen’s fine season ended with the semi-final loss but Athletics showed their resiliency, bouncing back from a couple of lopsided losses to open the tournament to reach the playoffs. They also also needed a late run in qualifying playoff to earn the final provincial berth. Tsawwassen player of the game awards included: Ryan Milner (Ladner), Brady Stoilen (Vancouver Community), Brody Kenward (Vancouver Minor), Ritchie Pratt (Vernon) and Evan Rusticus (Vancouver Minor).