The St. Albert Cardinals upended the Vernon Canadians 8-4 in the 11U AAA final of the Valley of the Champions Baseball Tournament in Kelowna.
Jordan Herrington pitched a gem for the Canadians, going 4 2/3 innings while allowing two runs and striking out nine.
“We were right there with one of the better teams around,” said Canadians’ head coach Nathan Lee. “A couple of little things go differently early and it would have been a completely different game. St. Albert was stellar defensively and opportunistic on the basepaths — a well-coached and deserving team. We give them all the credit for a great tourney win.”
Lee said it was the best finish for a Vernon squad in the 16-year history of the Valley of Champions Tournament.
Herrington drove in Micah Davyduke with the winning run as Vernon stopped the West Kelowna Diamondbacks 7-3 in semifinal play Sunday morning.
Kaleb Murray started on the hill for the Canadians, going 3 2/3 innings and allowing three runs with five strikeouts. Vernon scored three times in the bottom of the fifth and closer Dariusz Szwed pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings.
Everett Brown and Drew Sorensen combined to throw a beauty as Vernon ambushed the AAA Tier II Salmon Arm Hornets 13-0 in final preliminary play Saturday.
Brown hurled four innings and gave up just one hit, while Sorensen took the ball in the fifth and shut down the Hornets. Carter Davidson led the Cs with three hits, while Murray, Jordie Brown, Szwed and Vincent Sanfilippo delivered multiple hits.
The Maple Ridge Royals dispatched Vernon 10-0 in round-robin action before the Canadians shaded Victoria AAA T1 6-5 Friday.
It was tied 5-5 with Vernon batting in the top of the fifth when Sorensen grounded out to bring in one run.
Sanfilippo got the start for the Canadians and allowed five hits and five runs over three innings, striking out six and keeping the Canadians in the mix against the strong-hitting Victoria squad. Szwed went 2-for-2 at the plate with the Canadians swiping six bases.
Szwed recorded eight outs and Morgan Hackman was 2-for-2 as the C’s toppled Kelowna 8-5 in their opener.
Jonah Lee led the Canadians with two of their six stolen bases.
The Canadians will attend the Kamloops AAA Tier II Interior Zone tournament July 27-29, followed by the AAA Tier II Provincial Championships here in Vernon from Aug. 2-6 at Lakeview Park.