The Kelowna Jays got off to a slow start, bounced back to make it to the final before dropping a thrilling championship game in extra innings at the B.C. Junior Baseball Championships held at Elks Stadium in Kelowna on the weekend.
The West Coast Authentic Jays lost 5-4 to Burnaby after two extra innings on Sunday at Elks as the Burnaby Bulldogs claimed the 2012 B.C. Junior Baseball championship.
Jays manager Bill Bayne says it was a competitive weekend of baseball with the teams evenly matched.
“There wasn’t much difference in the two finalists and either team was capable of winning,” said Bayne. “The fans were treated to a thrilling final game and both teams can hold their heads high as they gave their all.”
After dropping its first two games of the weekend, losing 2-1 to Kamloops and 5-2 to Burnaby the Jays bounced back, beating Kamloops 6-5 and thrashing Burnaby 12-3 to put them into the championship final of the three team event.
In the final, Burnaby appeared to be heading for a win, leading 4-3 and with two outs in the final inning. But with Kelowna down to its final out, Jordan Varga hit a clutch RBI double, scoring the tying run and sending the game to extra innings.
Mike Monster came in to pitch in the seventh inning and shut the door until the bottom of the ninth. Burnaby put two runners on before a miscue in the Jays outfield allowed the winning run to score. It ended a thrilling game and the Burnaby Bulldogs were crowned the 2012 B.C. Junior Champions.
As winners the Bulldogs will represent B.C. at the 2013 Canadian Junior Baseball Championships. Because the Jays won the B.C. title in 2011, Kelowna will represent B.C. at the 2012 Canadian Championships in Trois Rivieres, Quebec.