In only their second year in operation the Kelowna Sun Devils midget AAA baseball team doubled its win output and had a solid provincial championship tournament, finishing with a 2-and-2 record and in fifth place at the Richmond event.
The Sun Devils won their first two games on solid pitching performances, but couldn’t muster enough offence in dropping its final pair of games and missing the playoffs at the provincials.
After finishing the round-robin at 2-and-1 and in a three-way tie, the Sun Devils lost a 7-3 decision to South Fraser in a tie-breaker game, ending its season.
Coach Rob Law said despite dropping its final game, he was extremely proud of the efforts of his team.
“Talk about a bunch of kids full of heart who can count on one another,” said Law. ” I couldn’t be prouder of this team. This was our first provincials in just two years of having this program going.”
The Sun Devils opened the tournament with a 3-1 win over the second-ranked Aldergrove Dodgers. Pitcher Jay Taylor tossed a gem, scattering three hits and striking out five Albergrove batters en route to the win. Brandon Mallam-Kunz had a decisive two run triple to lead the offense.
Tyson Lamb followed Taylor’s opening pitching effort with a solid outing of his own as the Sun Devils moved to 2-and-0 with a 2-1 win over South Fraser. Lamb gave up six hits and just a single run in the victory.
Unfortuantley while the pitching and defense was solid, the Sun Devils bats cooled off in game three as they dropped a 4-0 decision to the Vernon Canadians that sent them to the tie breaker game where they would bow out of the tournament.
“Offensively we struggled,” said Law. That now what we had a problem with this year. Our problem during the year was defines. But our defines and our pitching was fanstasic at the provincials. We just couldn’t muster any offence.”
The Sun Devils played in the 11-team B.C. AAA baseball league and were operating in just their second season under the Central Okanagan Minor Baseball Association banner.
The team will graduate just three players this year and has 14 eligible to return to the team next season.
“We’re going to be stronger, better and faster next season,” said Law.