Casey Stengal famously equivocated, “Good pitching will always stop good hitting and vice-versa.”
Monday at Bill Moore Memorial Park, the vice-versa was on display as Chemainus scored 28 runs in their final two games to claim the 2015 BC Bantam A Baseball Championship.
After knocking off Vancouver Community 15-5 in the morning semifinals, Chemainus kept the bats booming in the afternoon with a 13-1 win over Port Coquitlam in the gold medal game.
The host Comox Valley Cardinals earned a piece of the bronze medal at the 10-team event. Tourney organizers note the losers of the semis share third place, and the Cards dropped their Monday morning semi 9-6 to Port Coquitlam to give them a share of the bronze along with Vancouver Community.
Cards’ coach Steve MacNamee noted it was a tough loss in the semis, as Comox Valley led 6-1 going into the seventh inning.
Other than that, the team played “lights out” all weekend, MacNamee said. “Our kids in the round-robin of the tournament played probably their best baseball of the season.
“They were really coming together as a team. The pitchers threw well, all of our defence played well, and our hitting came alive.”
The scoreboard backed up MacNamee’s statements as the Cards opened Friday with a 10-3 win over Newton then on Saturday handed Chemainus their only loss of the tourney, 6-4, and whipped White Rock 14-1.
An 11-8 loss to Abbotsford Sunday left them with a 3-1 record in Pool B and a date with PoCo in the semis.
“I can’t be more proud of the way the boys played,” MacNamee added. “Every single person contributed…from our starting pitchers right down to the guy who batted in our #12 spot, we could not have got into that semifinal without all of them contributing the way they did.
“They were fantastic. They were enthusiastic. They were happy. They were just playing good fundamental baseball the whole time. They did everything we asked of them,” the coach said.
Comox Valley Baseball Association president Shannon Gaboury said the provincial tourney was a success.
“I think it went really well. We had great weather, good umpiring, the teams were fantastic and there was some good play. We heard nothing but good things about it,” Gaboury said.
“Things went smoothly. There were no hiccups. I think the teams and all the representatives from BC Minor minor were quite pleased with what went on.”
Gaboury said the city and a team of volunteers worked hard to get the park in top shape for the event.
He added Friday night’s skills competition that followed the opening ceremonies were well received, with players getting a chance to make new friends with players on other teams.
“Which is what this whole experience is all about…opening up kids’ horizons. This is a provincial tournament, something you don’t always get to go to…enjoy it and take away whatever you can get.”