Keaton Mandryrk of the Okanagan Athletics hits a ground ball against the Vancouver Mounties on Friday at Edith Gay Park during the B.C. bantam AAA baseball championship. The A's posted a 2-2 to record to reach the semifinal round where they were eliminated by Abbotsford on Sunday. Cloverdale defeated Abbotsford in the final to win the provincial title.

Host Athletics take 3rd at provincials

Okanagan exceeds pre-tournament ranking at B.C. Bantam Baseball Championship in Kelowna

Seeded seventh heading into provincials, the host Okanagan Athletics proved themselves worthy of a better standing among the best bantam teams in B.C.

The host A’s scrapped and fought their way into the playoffs at the B.C. Bantam AAA Baseball Championship last weekend at Edith Gay Park, before finishing in a tie for third place overall out of 10 teams.

“All the hard work the guys put in this season paid off,” said A’s coach Jon Pryzbl. “They peaked at the right time and had a really good weekend of baseball.”

After losing to White Rock in their opening game, the A’s bounced back with a 5-3 victory over Victoria.

Then after an 11-1 loss to Vancouver Minor, the A’s faced a must win situation against Richmond to make it into the playoff round. Okanagan delivered with a 12-2 victory to advance to the semifinals.

In the semis, the A’s came up short in an 8-5 loss against Abbotsford, but their coach said it wasn’t due to a lack of effort.

“(Abbotsford) took the lead early,” said Pryzbl. “We crept back into it and didn’t give up, but couldn’t quite get it done. The boys fought to the end.”

The championship final saw Cloverdale defeat Abbotsford.

The Athletics are: Jaden Parsons, Kodi Oye, Wyatt Head, Colton Schaper-Kotter, James Fischer, Ethan Soroka, Kadyn Thomas, Keaton Mandryk, Noah Ringness-Law, Jackon Borne, Kade Kozak, Fynn McCarthy, Cole Van Every and Adam Sarafinchin.

The coaches are Jon Pryzbl, Corey Wood and Rob Alksne, and the manager is Dean Mandryk.