Rich Haldane of the Okanagan Installers delivers a pitch against Team B.C Under 19 in exhibition fastball play Saturday at Alexis Park Stadium. (Lisa Mazurek/Morning Star)

Installers sweep Team B.C. U19s

Fastball exhibition doubleheader at Alexis Park Stadium in Vernon

Based in Smithers, there is no way Scott Groves can get his Team B.C. Under 19 men’s team together for weekly fastball practices.

Have glove, must travel is the theme for the provincial selects as they prepare for the nationals, Aug. 12-19 in Napanee, Ont.

They gathered in Vernon for a doubleheader Saturday at Alexis Park Stadium, falling 8-1 and 10-8 to the Okanagan House of Floors Installers, a Masters men’s team out of the Kelowna league dotted mainly with Vernon players.

Rich Haldane, a flamethrower who pitches for Great Britain at the world championships and often is a hired gun for teams all over the U.S., tossed a two-hitter in Game 1.

“Rich and the rest of his team were all top-notch and pretty skilled,” said Groves. “Rich wasn’t trying to be tricky. He was throwing close to the strike zone. That was our first set of games before the nationals and the kids enjoyed the day.”

Groves went with his only 19-year-old pitcher, son Logan Groves, in the opener. He gave the ball to 16-year-old Ethan Lans of Chase in Game 2. Lan’s father, Mark, used to play for the M&K Ready-Mix Steelers in the now-defunct Vernon Major Men’s Fastball League and played against his son Saturday.

“Ethan is a rock star, just phenomenal,” said Groves. “For 16, he’s solid and throws all kind of stuff. He pitches a lot for native and men’s teams in tournaments.”

Groves held two identification camps in Vancouver and also uncovered five players from the Lower Mainland, two from Sooke, two from Smithers and one from Ashcroft. The roster will change on an annual basis.

“Our whole objective is to build a U23 team for the 2021 Canada Games in Niagara Falls. To build a team that’s going to be competitive, they have to be together for a few years and have the same core.”

Haldane hit a solo home run, while Ryan Schneider came out of retirement and smacked a three-run shot to spark the Installers in the opener. Murray Caton went yard in the second tilt, while John Pagnotta went 2-for-3.

Dale Ortman took the mound for the Installers in Game 2, giving up a dinger to 17-year-old Tanner Roberts of Vancouver.

Barry Lachuk, Chad Rideout, Dave Munk, Barry Dennis, Darren Fidler and John Coffey rounded out the Installers’ lineup as they prepare for the North America Fastball Associaton championships in Carson City Nev. in mid-September.

“Hopefully these games can spur on more fastpitch in our great city and the surrounding area for years to come,” said Caton, a third baseman.

Groves will take a roster of 13 to Napanee, located 45 minutes west of Kingston.


Ryan Schneider of the Okanagan Installers hits a home run against Team BC U19s in men’s exhibition fastball play Saturday at Alexis Park Stadium. (Lisa Mazurek/Morning Star)

Rich Haldane of the Okanagan Installers delivers a pitch against Team B.C Under 19 in exhibition fastball play Saturday at Alexis Park Stadium. (Lisa Mazurek/Morning Star)

Just Posted

Controversial supportive housing project gets green light from Kelowna city council

Land for 52-unit project on Agassiz Road rezoned after lengthy, packed public hearing

Youth losing human connection in digital era

Forum offers advice to Kelowna parents about managing a child’s social media screen time

Kelowna Art Gallery hosts new exhibition, Poetics of Space

The exhibition can be viewed from Feb. 2 until May 5

Kelowna RCMP use spike belt to apprehend alleged car thieves

Both suspects were expected in court Thursday morning

Kelowna RCMP ask for assistance to identify suspects

The break and enter resulted in a firearm being stolen

Fashion Fridays: Inspirational gym outfits

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Heavy snowfall expected on the Coquihalla

Snowfall warning in effect for the Coquihalla Highway, from Hope to Merritt

BC Hydro scammers bilked customers out of nearly $45,000 in 2018

Nearly 2,000 people reported scams to the utility, as they continue to be more common

Olympian snowboarder Max Parrot diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Hergott: Memories of crashes fade

Lawyer Paul Hergott writes about the importance of journaling after a crash

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Vancouver Island photographer makes National Geographic’s 2018 elite

Rare double honour for Marston from the 36 best Your Shots out of nearly 19,000 photos

Ex-Liberal candidate in Burnaby, B.C., says volunteer wrote controversial post

Karen Wang dropped out following online post singling out NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s ethnicity

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Most Read