The 2013 B.C.’s Best baseball tournament is in the books, and this years installment could easily have an asterisk as opening day was a wash due to monsoon conditions.
Six of the eight scheduled games were called because of a weather system the likes not normally seen in these parts.
“We knew Friday was going to be a marginal day; the forecast was correct, but it rained a lot harder than we normally see at that park,” Parksville Royals skipper Dave Wallace said after, adding “they didn’t call for monsoon rain though, which is exactly what it was. In all my years I’ve never seen it rain that hard there. Ever.”
Parksville’s Quality Foods Royals were one of the two opening day games that got in — the pinstripes came up on the short end of a 7-4 battle to the Okatoks Dawgs in a game that saw six lead changes.
“It’s just life. It’s just the weather; you can’t do anything about it,” Vancouver Cannons coach Jason Andrew surmised with a shrug from the dugout during Sunday action adding “I’ve never seen rain like that before. I mean 15 minutes and boom — the field was gone.”
Because of the rainouts and reworked sked, it was the Cannon’s fifth game in 24 hours (they played three on Saturday and two Sunday, one of those went 11 innings), and Andrew was all about getting his players through it.
“You can’t do anything about it, my hats off to these guys though,” he said of the tournament volunteers, “they worked their asses off to get the fields redone.”
The rains rolled in early Friday and lasted “all day,” said Wallace, explaining how the skies opened up at around noon and again at 2:30 p.m. Friday for about half an hour each time “which really created some havoc,” said Wallace, explaining how the field crew pumped over 250 gallons of water off Royals’ field. They were able to get the two games in at one of the other fields at Springwood Park which are sand based and were playable.
“And that’s not the best part,” panned Wallace, explaining how they got the water off Royals field “and then put three and a half tons of material on the field. We got it all down and the field was good to go, we were just getting ready to play around six then the third system rolled through, and it was by far the worst. There were rivers of water flowing off the field.”
The fans and players scattered for shelter, the system passed through, and volunteers and players got the field back up to speed.
“And then the sun came out at 7 p.m. and we were good to go the rest of the weekend,” said the longtime local manager.
On the field, the hometown Royals went 0-for-4 in the tourney but got an extra exhibition game Monday against the Victoria Eagles giving them five games and a lot of reps.
“We were good hosts,” Wallace panned dryly, “but it was good to get the extra time in and get a chance to play. It was a successful weekend; maybe not on the scoreboard, but certainly for the amount of playing time we got, which is what we’re trying to do.”
On Saturday when The NEWS stopped by the Quality Foods crew turned in a good effort but lost 3-1 to the North Delta Blue Jays.
Royals’ local senior short stop Justin Dieleman turned in the play of the game when he reacted quickly, dove to his right and made a great stab to rob a Blue Jay of a sure base hit and an RBI.
In the end it was the Nanaimo Pirates edging the Dawgs 2-1 in the tournament final.
The Royals were home to the White Rock Tritons Saturday for a double header first pitch 12:30 p.m.