Jordan Laidlaw (left) and Tyson Lamb will be among the leaders this season for the Kelowna Sun Devils.                                -Image: Kelowna Sun Devils

Jordan Laidlaw (left) and Tyson Lamb will be among the leaders this season for the Kelowna Sun Devils. -Image: Kelowna Sun Devils

B.C. champion Sun Devils expand in 2018

Kelowna to field two teams this season in B.C.’s 18U AAA baseball league

It didn’t take long for the Kelowna Sun Devils to become a force in B.C. midget baseball.

Now, in just its fourth season of existence, the defending provincial championship program is taking another big step forward.

The Sun Devils will field not one, but two teams in the B.C. 18U AAA Baseball League in 2018.

The parent Kelowna Sun Devils’ squad will be joined by the COMBA (Central Okanagan Minor Baseball Association) Sun Devils in the 13-team provincial circuit.

Following the Sun Devils provincial championship win last July, interest in minor baseball rose considerably in Kelowna.

RELATED: Sun Devils win B.C. title

Twenty-eight players came out for Sun Devils fall ball in 2017, with 42 players showing up out for tryouts with the 2018 club.

The response from players in Kelowna prompted head coach Rob Law and his staff to form two teams.

“If we had only one team, we would have had to cut 22 players, and we didn’t want to do that,” said Law. “We’re finding out there are a lot of kids who want to play elite level ball. Some of them will get opportunities to go on to college.

“It’s hard to keep kids at the U16 to U18 level,” he added, “so we think this is another solid option to keep them playing the game.”

The Kelowna team—coached by Law, Jeff Bligh, Curt Moberg and Derek Renneberg—heads into 2018 with 18 players on the roster. The COMBA Sun Devils, coached by Chris Kennedy, Cory Ducharme and Matt Nye, will carry 16 players into the season.

If all goes as planned, this will also mark the Kelowna Sun Devils’ final season playing at the B.C. midget AAA league.

The Sun Devils will soon be applying for a move into the 18U AAA College Prep Division in the fall.

“It’s exciting and the next logical step for us,” Law said. “It would be a chance for the kids to play elite level ball and be seen by a lot of scouts from Canadian colleges and universities.”

As for this year’s squad, the Kelowna Sun Devils will be led into battle by returning veterans Jordan Laidlaw and Tyson Lamb.

“We have high expectations again this year,” Law said. “We’ve added some Grade 12s and we’ve got a really good group of six Grade 10 players coming in. I think we could be scary this year.”

Kelowna will open the new campaign Sunday, April 15 in Penticton. The following weekend, the Sun Devils will raise the 2017 B.C. championship banner at Edith Gay Park when they host the North Island Cubs.

The COMBA team will play its first ever 18U AAA game April 15 in Vernon.

Meanwhile, the Kelowna Sun Devils are one of three finalists for the City of Kelowna’s Bryan Couling Memorial Athletic Team of the Year Award. The awards will be handed out April 26 during the 43rd annual Civic and Community Awards Gala.

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.


@capnewsports

whenderson@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kelowna International Airport. (Contributed)
Contactless parking payment available at YLW

Kelowna International Airport parking now compatible with the PayByPhone application

Good Samaritan Mountainview Village located at 1540 KLO Road in Kelowna. (Good Samaritan Society)
Outbreak at Kelowna long term care home declared over

Penticton, Kelowna long term care home outbreaks declared over Jan. 20

Calls for potential overdoses in B.C. spiked in 2020, especially in the Okanagan - Shuswap. Pictured above is a BCEHS re-enactment of paramedics attending an overdose. (BCHES)
Overdose calls spike in 2020 across the Okanagan – Shuswap

Stats show every major community in Okanagan - Shuswap increased in calls for potential overdoses

The Regional District of North Okanagan is cautioning residents to watch for rock slides along the Okanagan Rail Trail during freeze-thaw season. (RDNO photo)
Residents urged to watch for rockfalls on Okanagan Rail Trail

RDNO reminds rail trail travellers to heed rockfall warning signs during freeze-thaw season

(Pixabay photo)
‘Cocaine bananas’ arrive at Kelowna grocery stores after mix up from Colombia: RCMP

Kelowna RCMP recently concluded an international drug investigation after finding cocaine in local grocers’ banana shipments in 2019

Charlotte is one of the resident pigs at Star's Piggly Wiggly's Sanctuary near Kelowna. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
Kelowna-area pig sanctuary needs a new home

Star’s Piggly Wiggly’s Sanctuary is looking for properties in Vernon, Coldstream, and Enderby

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

The Elk Valley Hospital is adapting to meet the needs of patients in the Elk Valley.
One in five tests in Fernie area coming back positive: doctor

Dr Ron Clark of Elk Valley Hospital said one in five tests was returning positive for COVID-19

Throughout December, RCMP conducted CounterAttack road checks as police worked to keep roads free of impaired drivers. (BLACK PRESS file photo)
From the “You can’t make this stuff up” file – stories from the BC CounterAttack campaign

Amusing, yes, but a reminder impaired driving affects ability to drive and to make good decisions

(Thesendboys/Instagram)
Video of man doing backflip off Vancouver bridge draws police condemnation

Group says in Instagram story that they ‘don’t do it for the clout’

Inspection of bridge crossing on a B.C. forest service road. (B.C. Forest Practices Board)
B.C. falling behind in maintenance of forest service roads

Auditor finds nearly half of bridges overdue for repair

A cow moose wanders around the Silver Star Elementary School neighbourhood Tuesday, Jan. 19. (Contributed)
Public provoking blamed for moose chasing Okanagan residents

‘The problem is people are bugging it’ conservation officer

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Black Press Media files)
Woman steals bottles of wine after brandishing stun baton in New Westminster

Police say the female suspect was wearing a beige trench coat with fur lining

Most Read