If the 2018 regular season can be used as a measuring stick, then the Kelowna Sun Devils are an exceedingly good bet to repeat as provincial champs.
The Sun Devils (35-2-1), who set a club record for wins this summer, will be in Burnaby this week for the BC 18U AAA baseball’s championship tournament.
The eight-team league finale will feature two four-team pools, with the Sun Devils holding the top seed.
Kelowna opens play Thursday afternoon with a game against Richmond City. Cloverdale and North Shore are also in the Sun Devils’ pool.
With six straight wins to finish up the regular campaign and a second straight league title in their possession, the Sun Devils are in precisely the form they’d hoped heading to Burnaby.
“We’re confident and we know we have a talented team,” said Law,” but we’re dealing with 15-, 16-, and 17-year-old players, so anything can happen on any given day.
“But we’re riding high right now and the boys are feeling good about themselves,” Law added. “We’re looking to have a good weekend and see if we can home with another championship.”
With most of the players from last year’s championship roster returning, the Sun Devils have will plenty of experience in their corner at provincials.
Add in the league’s most dynamic group of 15-year-old rookies and it’s little wonder Kelowna is favoured to repeat as B.C. champs.
“I don’t think there’s going to be a lot of nerves, the boys know what they need to do,” Law said. “We’re not going to take any team for granted, but we know if we play up to our potential we’ll be tough to beat.”
The reward for the B.C. champs following Sunday’s final in Burnaby will be a trip to Yaphank, NY from Aug. 2 to 9. The winning team will represent the province at the 18U Blue Chip Prospect Tournament.
Meanwhile, the Sun Devils closed off the 2018 regular season last weekend with four wins at home.
Kelowna opened the weekend with a 10-4 win over Victoria. Jordan Laidlaw went five innings and struck out seven to push his record to 6-0. At the plate, Jackson Sowerby (.407) continued his hot streak going 3-for-4 with an RBI.
A similar result in Game 2 saw the Sun Devils prevail 12-2. Blake Badger, who leads all rookies with a .382 average, swung the big bat with four hits and a pair of RBIs. Ethan Soroka had a pair of hits including a three-run home run.
On Sunday, Kelowna swept a deuce from Cowichan Valley, avenging a pair of losses to the Mustangs a week earlier. Soroka went 6 1/3 innings for his fourth win, while Nathan Ringness-Law earned his third save in a 4-1 victory.
Matt Fuchs, Brady Renneberg and David Osborn paced the offense with two hits apiece.
In the regular season finale, Ringness-Law (0.38 ERA) went four innings to boost his record to a perfect 8-0 as Kelowna rolled the Capitals 13-1. Blake Badger and Adam Renneberg led the attack with two hits each, while Renneberg had three RBIs.
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