Devin OwpalukSpecial to The NEWS
The Oceanside Peewee AA Reds made the most of home-field advantage and made history while they were at it, sweeping to the Provincial AA Peewee championship at Springwood Park in Parksville.
The host Reds unlimbered four home runs, including a grand slam by Ellis Vugtuveen, to outscore the Chilliwack Cougars 18-11 in Sunday’s championship final.
“We were undefeated in the provincial tournament, which is basically unheard of,” said Reds’ coach Rob McGorman. “Our team’s motto is ‘attitude is everything’, (although) it was a little stressful (at times). They deserved (the win).
Ten teams from across B.C. took part in the Aug. 4-7 championships, hosted by Oceanside Minor Baseball at Springwood Park.
“The way the community came together is very cool. It’s inspiring to see this many people,” tournament organizer Jared Abel said.
In the round robin, the Reds defeated Chiliwack 5-3, Langley 4-2, Abbotsford 14-2 and Kelowna 11-1.
Oceanside Reds peewee Nathaniel Abel slides into third base Saturday during the U13 AA provincial championships against West Kelowna at Springwood Park. — Image credit: Lauren Collins/PQB NEWS
In the semifinals, they beat South Okanagan 5-0 to clinch a spot in the final gold medal rematch against Chilliwack. The Reds overcame six home runs by the Cougars by putting on their own power display in the high-scoring contest.
In addition to winning all their games, the Reds won all four skills competitions. In the home run category, Vugtuveen came in first with 10 in 60 seconds. Will Fox, Nash Donkersley, Austin Walper and Nathaniel Abel won the base race and Anson McGorman won the accuracy throw. Dawson Meldrum, Nash Donkersley, Will Fox and Malakye Abel won the around the horn competition.
“They practised five days a week,” Rob McGorman said of the Reds players, most of whom have played together as a group for five years. “The City of Parksville went the extra mile. Everybody here at one point chipped in” to ensure that our facilities were in good condition, he said.