As host team for this year’s B.C. Provincial AA Peewee Baseball Championships, the Oceanside Reds will have an automatic berth into the Aug. 6-7 tourney at Springwood Park.
But that’s not good enough for the AA Reds, who will travel to Victoria next week to compete in the provincial-qualifying Vancouver Island championships.
“We know we’re in, but we’re going down to win it,” peewee coach Rob McGorman said. “We’re going to earn our way.”
The Reds are certainly in a strong position to do so. The team is unbeaten in league play heading into a season-ending doubleheader against Campbell River this Saturday at Springwood Park.
The peewees got a little tune-up for the Island tourney Sunday when they travelled to Victoria and rolled to a 19-2, 15-4 doubleheader sweep of the hosts. That followed a home doubleheader Saturday against the Duncan Rivercats that included a 10-4 win and a 5-5 tie, following a two-run rally in the bottom of the sixth inning that preserved the team’s unbeaten record.
Oceanside peewee AA Reds pitcher Ellis Vugteveen fires a pitch during a league doubleheader against the Duncan Rivercats Saturday at Springwood Park in Parksville. — Image credit: J.R. Rardon/PQB NEWS
McGorman and fellow coaches Greg Donkersley and Kirk Walper credit the dedication of the players, who practised and played twice a week throughout the spring while they were also dispersed among teams in the Oceanside Minor Baseball house league.
The peewee program is so strong this year that a second, Peewee A team was formed and is competing for its own provincial berth at the Vancouver Island A tournament in Campbell River next week (see related photo, page A38).
The local association will also unveil its best face to visiting teams during the AA provincial championships.
With the help of community sponsors and volunteers, the hill beyond the outfield fence at the peewee field in Springwood Park has been cleared, contoured and planted with grass, providing a functional and visually appealing pavilion for spectators.
This weekend’s final regular-season doubleheader against Campbell River kicks off Saturday at noon. The second game is set for 2:30 p.m.