For the second year in a row, the Okanagan College Coyotes hoped the familiar surroundings of Elks Stadium would lead to their first ever Canadian College Baseball Conference title.
And for the second straight year, the Coyotes watched the Praire Baseball Academy Dawgs leave Kelowna with the championship trophy.
On Sunday afternoon at Elks, PBA won its seventh consecutive CCBC crown, defeating Thompson Rivers University 6-4 in the final game.
The Dawgs, based in Lethbridge, have won a league-high 10 titles since 2002.
For the Coyotes, it was another good season with a respectable finish. Geoff White’s OC squad went 3-1 in the round robin over the weekend—including handing PBA its lone defeat of the tournament—to qualify for the playoffs.
But the Coyotes title aspirations were halted in the semifinal on Sunday, losing 6-2 to the TRU Wolfpack.
The Coyotes’ pitching staff, which struggled at times during the regular season, performed well for most of championship weekend. However, in the semifinal against TRU, control troubles resurfaced for the staff with six walks and two hit batters.
Still, all things considered, White was relatively pleased with the Coyotes’ season.
“We threw the ball well most of the weekend, but it came back on us a little in the semifinal and that cost us,” said White, the Coyotes head coach. “I was pretty happy, considering we some key injuries, specifically our pitching staff.
“We wanted to get back the final, but couldn’t get there,” he added. “We had lots of growth this season with our young players and we’re looking forward to coming back with a really good group next year.”
OC came agonizingly close to a championship win in 2016 at Elks Stadium, losing to PBA in walk-off in last year’s final game.
Statistically, Jared Frew had a solid 2017 tournament for OC, batting .500 with five RBIs, while Davis Todosichuk batted .455 with 10 hits and three RBIs. Brandon Graham had a pair of home runs and five RBIs.
On the mound, Trevor Brigden allowed just two hits in five scoreless innings of relief.
The Coyotes will find out in the next couple of weeks whether they’ll be hosting the CCBC championship for the third year in a row. Kamloops is also in the running for the 2018 tournament.