The Ladysmith Mosquito 49ers have brought a silver medal home from the BC AA Mosquito Provincial Tournament in Port Alberni after losing just one game.
The tournament began Aug. 1 with opening ceremonies and a skills competition.
“We did well in the skills — we won the hitting competition and accuracy competition and the tug of war,” said coach Shawn Freer. “We won the title of strongest Mosquitos in B.C.”
Games began Aug. 2, and Ladysmith’s first game was against Vancouver.
“We took an early lead 11-4 and hung on to win 11-10,” said Freer.
Zachary Robinson was named Player of the Game.
Later in the day, Ladysmith played North Delta, defeating them 10-1. Reece Melnick was named Player of the Game.
On Aug. 3, Ladysmith’s first game was against Newton.
“We defeated them 10-2 behind the pitching performance of Dru Wright, which earned him Player of the Game,” said Freer.
That night, Ladysmith played its last round-robin game against the only other undefeated team left in the tournament, the defending champions, Burnaby Minor.
“The game was back and forth all the way,” said Freer. “We took over the lead in the top of the sixth and took a 9-8 lead into the bottom of the inning. We had two outs and a full count on the batter when they came through with a hit to tie and then the next batter struck out, ending the game 9-9.” Sadie McMullan was named Player of the Game.
“This game was the game of the tourney,” said Freer. “There was so many people watching and cheering on the kids. Our fan support all weekend was great from all the people from Ladysmith who showed up to cheer on this group of youngsters!”
Playoffs began Aug. 3.
Ladysmith’s first game was against Aldergrove.
“We found ourselves behind 5-0 halfway through the game but started picking away at their lead,” said Freer. “Starting the last inning, we where down 5-3. After two quick outs, we where down to our last out, with the top of our order coming up. The next two batters got on base, third and second. Kaleb Freer then hit a fly ball to the left centre gap, which bounced over the fence, resulting in a ground rule double. He later scored. We entered the bottom of the sixth with the first lead of the game, 6-5. Zach Robinson closed the game.”
Kaleb Freer was named Player of the Game.
With the win, Ladysmith advanced to the final against Burnaby Minor, a rematch of the night before.
“We were down 5-2 heading into the last inning due to a great pitching performance by their starter — his changeup kept our hitters guessing,” said Freer. “We ended up losing 9-3, resulting in a silver medal.”
James Joyce was named Player of the Game.
Freer is very proud of his team.
“This group of kids can hold their head high,” he said. “They left it all on the field. What a weekend, and what a team.”
Freer is also very thankful to the team’s supporters and sponsors.
“We would like to thank all the people who showed up to the games for support and those who supported our fundraising events,” he said. “Special thanks to Lorne Lafleur for his time spent working with the kids in the bullpen. Also to our sponsors Porter Petroleum, Tidal Transport, Empire Steve Doring, Surespan, 49th Parallel Grocery, and the service groups in Ladysmith and Chemainus that helped these kids create memories that will last a lifetime.”