The Duncan RiverCats romped to the mosquito AAA Tier 2 baseball Island zone championship at Evans Park last weekend, surprising even their own head coach with their dominance as they qualified for the provincial championships.
The RiverCats opened the tournament with a 14-0 thumping of Victoria last Saturday. The next day, they beat Campbell River 8-2, then wrapped things up by trouncing Comox 18-1.
When the dust settled, they had outscored their opponents by a combined 40-3. It wasn’t until head coach Bryn Battye went home and reflected on it that he realized what his team had accomplished.
“I didn’t really expect that,” he said. “And I didn’t even feel it in the moment.”
The lopsided victories were a bit of an outlier for the RiverCats, particularly against Victoria and Campbell River, who will be joining Duncan at provincials.
“Victoria played us close all season,” Battye said. “But things that were bad snowballed for them, and things that were not bad snowballed for us. Campbell River is a good team. We beat them 8-2, but it felt closer. It always does when you’re playing a good team.”
One thing that didn’t surprise Battye was the way his team’s bats came alive for the zone tournament.
“This is a hitting team,” he said. “The last three years I’ve had good hitting teams, but this is the best I’ve had, for sure.”
The RiverCats are a pitching team, too. They have a handful of aces, but Battye prides himself on having given everyone a chance to chuck.
“We’ve played a dozen exhibition games, and every one of the kids pitched,” he said.
Experience is a factor for the Duncan players. Almost all of the RiverCats are in their second year of mosquito. Most of the 10-year-olds on the team played mosquito ball last year, a year early. Two of those 10-year-olds, Dylan Gage and Curtis Atcheson, were game MVPs in the zone tournament
This coming weekend, the RiverCats will head to Victoria for the provincial championships. Battye has won provincial championships in mosquito AAA the last two years, so he knows it won’t be an easy go.
“I’m always nervous,” he admitted. “Every year, I just want to get to Sunday. That’s our goal. On Sunday, we’ll reevaluate our goal.”