The peewee AA Duncan River-Cats powered through the Island zone baseball tournament at Evans Park last weekend, putting up a perfect record with mercies in four of their five games and outscoring their opponents 76-19 as they advanced to the provincial championships. By and large, that was just a continuation of how the team had been playing all season.
"The kids have been dominant all season since coming together as a summer ball team," head coach Warren Hewitt said. "They had only one loss and it was a reminder to them how hard they have to work."
The RiverCats opened the tournament last Friday morning with an 11-1 win over Victoria in five innings behind the pitching of starter Connor Caskenette. Later that same day, Daniel Larson got the start as the team crushed Powell River 18-1, also in just five innings.
In their lone game Saturday, the RiverCats downed Comox 20-8 in five innings with Kyler Hewitt on the mound. Sunday morning had
the RiverCats mercying Oceanside 16-6 in yet another five-inning outing, started by Connor Caskenette. The Duncan team’s last game of the tournament was the only one that went all seven innings, but they still blew away Campbell River 11-3, with Jordan Atcheson starting.
Also pitching well in relief were Nathan Tiemer and Nathan Lavallee, with all the pitching backed up by impressive fielding.
"Unbelievable defence by the whole team all weekend helped keep our pitch count down," Hewitt said.
At the same time as the River-Cats were shutting down the opposing bats, the Duncan hitters were putting together an offensive tour de force. Caskenette, Atcheson and Owen Ketch hit home runs during the tournament to set the tone.
"All the kids hit like machines, but timely hits by Mitchell Billings, Payten Moreside, Joran Branting and Arjan Manhas led the way to the high scores," Hewitt said.
Hewitt was expecting a strong showing from his team at the Island tournament. He isn’t sure
what to expect at the provincial championships in Mission, although this group of players has a track record that includes success at that same location.
"I haven’t seen the other teams this year," Hewitt said. "But these kids, two years ago when they were together, in their age group won the [mosquito] provincials in Mission."