A dozen teams from across Vancouver Island gathered at North Cowichan’s Evans Park last weekend for the Tadpole (U9) Regional Baseball Championships.
The squads included two apiece from the Duncan Junior Baseball Association, Triangle, and Campbell River, and one each from Gordon Head, Salt Spring Island, Ladysmith, Nanaimo, Oceanside and Comox Valley.
The teams went through pool play on Friday and Saturday, with the top six advancing to playoffs on Sunday. Unfortunately, both Duncan teams went 1-2 and finished outside of the playoffs, wrapping up with consolation games on Sunday, the Duncan Reds taking on Campbell River Tyee and the Duncan Cubs facing Salt Spring Island.
The first round of the playoffs saw Comox Valley beat Campbell River and Triangle Red beat Triangle Black. Oceanside defeated Triangle Black in the second round and Nanaimo beat Comox.
Nanaimo held off Oceanside 8-5 in the gold-medal game. Nanaimo led handily until the fourth inning when Oceanside mounted a four-run comeback that ultimately fell short.
The third-place game went to extra innings when the teams were tied 5-5 after five. Comox took a 6-5 lead into the bottom of the sixth, when, with a runner on third and two outs, a Triangle Black player hit a line drive down the leftfield line that a Comox player snared with a diving catch to end the game.
“That was the last play of the entire tournament,” championships chair Tyler Cairns said. “It was fantastic.”
A skills competition held halfway through the day on Saturday included a base race won by Gordon Head, a relay won by Campbell River Tyee, an around-the-horn competition won by Nanaimo, and a home run derby won by Oceanside’s Emerson Mant, with six homers.
The Duncan Cubs included Jack McQueen, Colton Adams, Nixon Robertson, Lewis Christian, Ethan Smith, Boston Theriau, Kennedy Savory, Jaxton Heugh, Cooper Phillips, Weston Carter, Hank Olson, Locklen Hale and Alexander Duncan, and were coached by Jaimie Olson, Dennis Olson and Kyle Savory.
The Duncan Reds included Payton Dice, Oliver Hajer, Evan Vast, Tanner Lochman, Tyler Thomas, Maddison Day, Jace Joseph, Jax Weir, Maverick Flemming, Kieran Dunaway, Rymer Lavigne, Benjamin Stultz, Kinsey Callsen and Maddox Henderson, and were coached by Steve Lavigne and Spencer Day.