They’ve gotten better every time they take to the field, and Oceanside’s upstart AAA Mosquito Reds rep baseball team heads into the B.C.’s this weekend fired up and ready to make some noise.
The team of 12 players — 10 year olds and one nine-year-old called up from Tadpole, and two players from Comox — was formed by way of tryouts after the regular house season ended, and played exhibition games since the last week of June in Duncan, Courtenay, Campbell River and in Oceanside.
In the mix at the recent five-team Tier 2 AAA Island Championships in Campbell River, the Reds placed second and punched their ticket to the provincial championships in Mission this weekend.
Oceanside went 3-1 at the zone playdowns, beating the Campbell River Tyees 5-4, Nanaimo Pirates 11-9, and came from two back in the final inning with three runs to shock the Victoria Athletics 10-9.
“Super exciting game,” Reds’ head coach Warren Elfstrom said, pointing out their lone loss was to Island powerhouse Duncan, 11-1 in the gold medal game.
The Red Sox, as the story goes, took to the field looking to exact some revenge.
“Oh yeah. They wanted to beat us bad. We’re like the little squad from nowhere that’s beating all the bigger organizations,” Elfstrom surmised, pointing out the Reds beat Duncan 13-6 the last time the two teams met a few weeks ago.
“The first time we played them they ‘mercyed’ us 11-0, then the second game we lost by two and, then we beat them.”
“The boys have been working really hard and it shows,” said Elfstrom, “we’ve been practicing like crazy — we’re only taking two days off between the Island’s and the provincials; we have everyone at assigned positions now and they’re looking really good, so we’re hopeful.
“I think we’re one of the best teams out there in terms of raw talent, they just needed a bit of polishing, and they’ve been getting better and better every game.”
Rounding out the coaching staff are Jeff Pilon, Barb Nicoll and Andy Frew.
“These people have dedicated a lot of their time and effort with the kids,” said team dad Steve Boley. “They work them hard and have done a great job with these kids in a very short period of time,” adding ‘these kids have worked very hard to get where they are right now.”