Peewee Duncan RiverCats sweep their way to provincial tourney

Nobody at the Island peewee AA baseball championships at Evans Park last weekend had an answer for the host Duncan RiverCats.

The RiverCats were unstoppable at the tournament, going 4-0 and mercying every opponent they faced. According to assistant coach Western Higbie, the team’s secret is in its chemistry.

"We’ve got a really well-balanced team," he said. "The kids have a really good attitude; there are no egos. They look after each other. Everybody warms up with somebody different before every game."

The RiverCats opened the tournament with a 19-0 win over Nanaimo. Matteo Iorio and Luc Wilson pitched, giving up just two hits in a combined four and a half innings.

In their second contest, the Duncan team beat Campbell River 12-2. Billy Ramwell and Gavin Pringle shared pitching duties, compiling 14 strikeouts and surrendering just two hits over five innings.

"We had quite a few doubles and triples in that one," Higbie said. "Everybody had at least one hit."

Rolling along, the RiverCats downed Oceanside 20-6. Jackson Stephen pitched the first three and a half innings and shut out Oceanside, giving up just two hits. With the score 20-0 after four innings, the team brought in Hayden

Plester to pitch the fifth.

"Our defence fell asleep, which was kind of unfair to him," Higbie said. "He pitched really well."

Finally, the RiverCats beat Victoria 14-0. Josh Hill pitched three scoreless innings, giving up one hit, and Morley Scott finished the last one and a half innings, also surrendering just one hit.

Over the four games, the River-Cats had about 15 or 16 doubles and about a dozen triples.

"All the kids had at least a couple of hits," Higbie pointed out.

The RiverCats are fortunate to have depth throughout the roster.

"Most teams that we’ve played this year have their top four or five hitters and a couple of top pitchers," Higbie said. "We’ve got 12 guys who can play in any position, and it doesn’t matter. Our nine, 10 or 11 hitters can all hit home runs."

Not getting carried away with their success, the players are "businesslike" in their respect for other teams, not taunting opponents during a lopsided win, and not stealing bases late in a rout, the proud coach said.

With the goal of winning provincials and playing for the Western Canadian championship, the RiverCats are bound for the Port Coquitlam later this week, where they will play in a pool with Richmond, Abbotsford, Prince George and Chilliwack.