The North Delta Junior Blue Jays saved their best for last to be crowned Baseball B.C.’s Provincial 18U AAA Tier Two champions.
The tournament, played at Unwin Park in Newton, featured seven teams — five from B.C. Minor Baseball’s U18 AAA level, along with the Jays and the Coquitlam Redlegs from the B.C. Premier League’s junior circuit.
A 2-2 round-robin record — with wins against South Fraser (6-3) and North Island (17-2) — was just enough to get the Jays into the semi-finals.
They then produced a big 13-1 win over the previously unbeaten North Fraser Nationals behind the superb complete game performance on the mound from Josh Abraham.
The Nationals entered the championships having lost just three games in the regular season and defeated North Delta 2-0 in earlier round-robin play.
That set the stage for the championship game against the South Okanagan Tigers. The Jays jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead and cruised to a 6-1 victory behind six standout innings from starting pitcher Boston Warkentin. Nate Rosser worked a perfect seventh to seal the title.
In their final three games, the Jays outscored their opponents by a whopping 36-4 margin thanks to an impressive .455 team batting average.
The memorable run in Newton came on the heels of a busy schedule that saw North Delta play a tournament the previous weekend and a B.C. Premier Junior regular season game the day before the championships.
The Jays will now represent B.C. at the 18U AAA Western Canadian Championships in Red Deer — Aug. 15-19.
The Jays roster also features: Kyle Dodds-Eng, Mikuki Eumatsu, Jordan Bach, Kyle Hepburn, Lucas MacLellan, Kyle Matsunuma, Malcolm Mingo, Gatuko Takekawa, Will Wilson, Ikeda Daichi, Ryan McCarthy, Kazuma Rikukawa and Carter Spencer.
The head coach is Trevor Lishanko along with assistants Ricky Alvernaz, Tim Bunnett, Declan Murphy, Doug Strohan and Jack Thompson.
The Blue Jays senior team begin play today at Baseball B.C.’s 18U AAA Tier One Championships in Whalley. A trip to nationals is on the line.