B.C. champs! Duncan RiverCats are No.1

The RiverCats are headed for Speedy Creek.

Aftertak ing the provincial title at the peewee AA provincial baseball championships in Port Coquitlam last weekend, the Duncan RiverCats are bound for Swift Current , Sask atchewan, where they will suit up as Team BC in the Western Canadian Championships.

"The little team from Duncan did okay," said assistant coach Western Higbie.

The provincial final was a rematch against Chilliwack, who beat Duncan in the teams’ final round-robin game. The game got off to an inauspicious start for the RiverCats, who had the bases loaded with none out in the top of the first inning, but weren’t able to score. They then gave up three runs in the bottom of the inning.

The RiverCats got those runs back in the top of the third thanks to singles by Jackson Stephen, Connor Caskenette and Hayden Plester, then took the lead in the top of the fourth when Brody Deverill singled and made it home on a single by Morley Scott.

Chilliwack tied the score again in the bottom of the fourth, but in the top of the fifth, Mike Arscott singled, stole second and third, and then was brought home by Stephen, and the RiverCats held the lead once again. They added a pair of insurance runs in the seventh as Caskenette and Plester singled and were brought home by Gavin Pringle and Arscott.

Billy Ramwell, a.k.a. "the Iceman," closed out the game, striking out the last two Chilliwack batters to secure the 7-4 win and the B.C. championship.

"When we won, it was gloves in the air, hats in the air, lots of hugs all around," Higbie said. "They captured the moment and really appreciated it."

The RiverCats had previously played Chilliwack in their final round-robin game. Both teams went in with 3-0 records and had already qualified for the playoffs.

The RiverCats got two solo home runs from Matteo Iorio and one from Caskenette, and excellent pi tching f rom Ramwel l, Scot t and Pringle, but ended up on the wrong side of a 5-4 final score.

"We didn’t hit the ball well at all," Higbie said. "Actually, we were pretty sloppy. I think it was because the kids knew we were already in it."

The semifinal against Vernon was, in Higbie’s view, the best game of the tournament.

The RiverCats scored first after Arscott singled, stole a base and made it home on a hit by Stephen. In the second, Josh Hill singled, stole second, then scored on a hit by Luc Wilson. Duncan gave up a run in the bottom of the second, Arscott scored again in the top of the third on another RBI for Stephen, and it was 3-1 after the third.

Vernon made it 3-2 in the fifth, but the RiverCats added another run in the top of the sixth when Stephen walked, then stole second, and finally scored on a single by Ramwell.

Then Vernon went ahead 5-4 with a three-run homer in the bottom of the sixth.

"That just crushed our kids," Higbie said.

It wasn’t over yet, however. Hill singled in the top of the second, s tole second and thi rd, then scored on Scott’s single to tie the game. After a scoreless bottom of the seventh, the game was on to extra innings.

In the top of the eighth, Pringle – who struck out 14 Vernon batters over the first five innings – singled and stole second, then scored on a sacrifice fly by Stephen. Ahead 6-5, the RiverCats turned to Ramwell, the "Iceman," who pitched his four th strikeout of the game before fielding a grounder for the final out.

"It was very exciting to win against Vernon because we had been down. We came back by doing what we do best, which is hit the ball."

The RiverCats took home two individual awards as Pringle was named the top pitcher and Stephen was honoured as MVP.

For Westerns , the RiverCat s will be joined by Connor Hall and Brodie Comerford, two players f om Campbel l River, the most sport smanlike team at provincials.

The RiverCats are the first peewee AA team in the history of Duncan baseball to win provincials, and the first Duncan team to go to Westerns since the bantam AA team did so in 2005, where they won the tournament a year after a combined Ladysmith/Chemainus team did the same.

Head coach Ken Ramwell, who coached a bantam girls fastpitch team to Westerns two years ago, noted that none of his players were named to Team BC af ter spring tryouts, but will still be representing the province.

"I’m more happy for the kids than for any of us," he said.

Steve Bossons , an assistant coach with the RiverCats, was part of the bantam AA team that won Westerns nine years ago, and admits it’s exciting to be going as a coach after experiencing the tournament as a player, and he believes this team has what it takes to win.

"Absolutely. In talking about strategy with them, we made comparisons with the 2005 teams a lot," he said. "We had a handful of superstars, but this team is better top-to-bottom, one-to-12. You can put pretty much anyone anywhere and have success."

Just Posted

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
Cowichan Valley MLA Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

BC Green Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

The city-owned lot at 361 St. Julien St., which has been home to a temporary homeless site for more than a year, will be sold and plans are to build a three-storey mixed-use development there, Peter de Verteuil, Duncan CAO explained at a recent council meeting. (File photo)
New development planned for homeless site in Duncan

Lot on St. Julien Street would see three-storey building

Historian and longtime Citizen columnist T.W. Paterson photographs the historical wreckage of a plane on Mount Benson. Paterson recently won an award from the British Columbia Historical Foundation. (Submitted)
Cowichan’s Tom W. Paterson wins award for historical writing

British Columbia Historical Federation hands Recognition Award to local writer

This electric school bus is the newest addition to the Cowichan Valley School District’s fleet. (Submitted)
Editorial: New electric school bus good place to start

Changing public transit like buses to electric really is important.

CVRD to increase enforcement after audits reveal that curb-side recycling contamination in the district is well above acceptable limits. (File photo)
CVRD reports contamination in recyclables well above acceptable levels

Increased enforcement planned starting this summer

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

B.C. Premier John Horgan leaves his office for a news conference in the legislature rose garden, June 3, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. premier roasted for office budget, taxing COVID-19 benefits

Youth addiction law that triggered election hasn’t appeared

BC Ferries’ newest Island Class vessel is experiencing an issue with one of its thrusters off the Algerian coast. Photo courtesy patbaywebcam.com.
BC Ferries newest vessel having mechanical issues in Mediterranean

Island 4 will be repaired in Spain before crossing Atlantic

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A vial containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is shown at a vaccination site in Marcq en Baroeul, outside Lille, northern France, Saturday, March 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Michel Spingler
mRNA vaccines ‘preferred’ for all Canadians, including as 2nd dose after AstraZeneca: NACI

New recommendations prioritizes Pfizer, Moderna in almost all cases

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum speaks at a press conference in August 2019 about provincial government approval of the city’s change to a municipal force, joined by councillors (from left) Mandeep Nagra, Allison Patton and Doug Elford. Members of the National Police Federation claim there is still no transition plan in place although Surrey RCMP’s contract with the city is due to end March 31.(File photo)
Elections BC approves petition application for referendum on Surrey policing transition

Application was filed under Recall and Initiative Act by the widow of a Surrey murder victim

There were 255 babies born in Victoria in May 2021. (Black Press Media file photo)
Pandemic baby boom makes for a busier Vancouver Island Father’s Day

Victoria’s 255 babies born in May up almost 10 per cent over last year

Queen’s counsel Paul Doroshenko, a Vancouver lawyer, has been suspended from practice for two months after admitting that his firm mismanaged $44,353.19 in client trust funds. (Acumen Law)
High-profile B.C. lawyer suspended over $44K in mismanaged client trust funds

Queen’s counsel Paul Doroshenko admits he failed to supervise his staff and find or report the shortages

House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., center left, reaches over to Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., joined by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., center, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus as they celebrate the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act that creates a new federal holiday to commemorate June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people after the Civil War, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 17, 2021. It’s the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was created in 1983. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Biden to sign bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday

New American stat marks the nation’s end of slavery

Most Read