Kelowna Sun Devils Nathan Ringness-Law and the Kelowna Sun Devils were eliminated in Sunday’s semifinals at the B.C. 18U AAA baseball championship.

Sun Devils stopped short in B.C. title defense

Kelowna falls to North Fraser in semifinals of B.C. 18U AAA baseball championship

With a club record 35 regular season wins, the defending champion Kelowna Sun Devils were once again, without question, the team to beat at the B.C. 18U AAA baseball finals.

On Sunday in Burnaby, Mike Ellis and the underdog North Fraser Nationals found a way to derail the Sun Devils’ aspirations of claiming back-to-back titles.

In the semifinals, in a bona fide pitcher’s duel, Ellis allowed just four hits and struck out 10 as the Nationals eliminated Kelowna with a 2-1 win.

Nathan Ringness-Law, who went 8-0 during the regular season, was nearly as solid for the Sun Devils, allowing five hits and a pair of runs in five-plus innings.

In the end, a go-ahead, two-run home run in the fourth inning by Nick Santarelli stood up as the difference as the heavily-favoured Sun Devils watched their 2018 season come to an abrupt halt.

Down by a run, the Sun Devils threatened with base runners in both the sixth and seventh innings with just one out, but couldn’t find a way to get the equalizing run home.

“As I’ve said before, any given Sunday, anything can happen,” Sun Devils coach Rob Law said. “It was just a great game and that performance by Mike (Ellis) was the best against us all year, he’s an unbelievable pitcher. We just couldn’t execute when we needed to. That’s baseball.”

While Sunday’s loss wasn’t the desired result for the Sun Devils, Law said there were more than a few positives to take away from the 2018 campaign.

“We finished first in back-to-back years, we set a club record for wins this season, the program just continues to get better and better,” said Law. “We can sit here and harp on stuff that happened (at provincials), but that’s the way it goes. Hopefully it does leave a bad taste in the guys’ mouths and those returning players will be even hungrier.

“There’s no reason to hang our heads,” he added, “it just wasn’t our time.”

Despite the graduation of seniors Tyson Lamb, Jordan Laidlaw and Ethan Soroka, Jackson Sowerby and Spencer Klassen, with 11 returning players, Law expects the Sun Devils will be “very talented” again in 2019.

Kelowna has filed an application for a promotion into the College Prep League next season but has yet to receive an answer from BC Baseball.

“That’s where our program needs to go, it’s the next step in our evolution,” said Law. “We’re ready and we’re hoping BC Baseball gives us the go-ahead.”

Meanwhile, North Fraser went on to capture the B.C. 18U AAA baseball title, defeating North Island 11-5 in the championship final.

The Nationals will represent B.C. at the 18U Blue Chip Prospect Tournament, Aug. 4 to 9 in Yapshank, NY.

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.


@capnewsports

whenderson@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Kelowna’s Two Hat changing landscape of content moderation

Two Hat is using new image recognition technology

Peachland’s wharf is in need of repair

Council will decide whether to approve of $50,000 to repair it tonight

Candy Cane Lane collects 12,000 lbs of donations for non-profits

Donations were given to Freedom’s Door this week

Cannabis store operating illegally near Lake Country

Indigenous Bloom opened on Commonwealth Road last week on Okanagan Indian Band land

United Way anticipates greater need in the community in 2019

United Way’s 2019 Charity Fund is now open for applications, deadlines are due March 22

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

Cannabis-carrying border crossers could be hit with fines under coming system

Penalties are slated to be in place some time next year

Man accused of threatening to kill ‘as many girls as I see’

Christopher W. Cleary wrote he was angry because he’d never had a girlfriend and wanted to ‘make it right’ with a mass shooting

Canadian talent abound on newly revamped Vancouver Whitecaps squad

Lineup is full of new faces after the organization parted ways with 18 players over the off-season

B.C. Green leader calls for long-term legislature financial audit

Andrew Weaver says trust in clerk and sergeant at arms is gone

No charges in fatal police Taser incident in Chilliwack

RCMP watchdog concludes no evidence of excessive or disproportionate force was used by officers

Here’s what the B.C. legislature officers are accused of buying with tax payers’ money

Personal trips, purchases, alcohol and more laid out in 76-page report by Plecas

Alberta youth charged over theft of $17,000 in snow equipment at B.C. ski resort

Alberta RCMP recovered $17,000 in skis/snowboards believed stolen from Fernie Alpine Resort Saturday

China demands U.S. drop Huawei extradition request with Canada

Hua said China demands that the U.S. withdraw the arrest warrant against Meng Wanzhou

Most Read