The Abbotsford Angels were well-armed heading into mosquito AAA Tier 1 provincials, and their firepower on the mound paved the way to a gold medal.
In the mosquito (age 10-11) division, pitchers are on a strict pitch count, limited to 90 per week. So in a six-game provincial tournament, pitching depth is at a premium, even moreso than usual.
“The more pitchers you have that can throw strikes and let your defence play defence, the better,” noted Angels coach Lance McDonald.
“You’re pretty limited unless you have a lot of kids who can throw, and we used all 12 of our kids as pitchers.”
That pitching prowess helped the Angels go a perfect 4-0 in the round robin, with John Boulanger, Brady Rempel, Dayton Peters and Carlin Dick earning game MVP awards.
In the semifinals against Richmond, Abbotsford rallied from a 5-4 deficit to win 6-5, thanks to Kole Jessamine’s two-run double.
In the title game, the Angels blasted Victoria 10-2, with Dick picking up game MVP honours.
It marked the group’s second straight B.C. title – they also won at the single A level last season. They wrapped up the 2012 campaign with a 22-3-1 record.
“They’re a bunch of young boys who aren’t selfish,” McDonald said. “On their house teams, they’re all playing shortstop and back-catcher, but on this team, they knew not everyone could play those positions. They were willing to do whatever it took to get better and beat other teams.”
Provincial championship weekend was a big one for Abbotsford Baseball, as five other local teams advanced at least as far as the B.C. semifinals.
Four of those teams won silver medals. The mosquito A Angels went 5-0 in the round robin before losing 8-7 to Cloverdale in the final, while the mosquito AAA Tier 2 squad lost 10-0 to Ladner in their title game.
The peewee AA’s lost 9-5 to the Kelowna Cubs in the gold medal game, while the bantam AAA team lost 6-5 to Vancouver Mounties in final. The Abbotsford bantam AA team bowed out in the semis, falling 8-2 to the eventual champion Chilliwack.