Alberni’s Blazers miss out at B.C.s

The Alberni Blazers were in action at the squirt fastpitch provincial championships.

Alberni Valley Blazers pitcher Alan Charlesworth delivers a strike against the Prince George Timberwolves

No one could say the Squirt Boys’ C fastpitch provincials were boring this year.

With weather and wild scoring marking the weekend, the Squirt C boys’ finals were the only provincial tournament to complete all its games. This despite a weather delay on Saturday that had Alberni Valley officials vacuuming excess water off the fields with a Shop-Vac.

“It was stressful,” said Maria Charlesworth, assistant coach to the host Alberni Valley Blazers. “All the coaches and players were well-mannered and patient with it.”

The rain delay set them back two hours, but all the games were played,” she said.

Sunday morning a slight breeze helped dry the fields—as did the Shop-Vac again—and all the scheduled games were played.

The Blazers played a couple of high-scoring games on Friday in the rain. After playing four round robin games, the Blazers entered the double knockout playoff round seeded fourth and facing the Whalley Ravens. They won 13–6 but dropped their next game 8–1 to Clearwater Stingers.

Facing elimination, they rebounded to knock out Prince George Thunderbirds 15–9.

They met the Fleetwood Outlaws from Surrey next. After going down 9–1 after three innings the Blazers rallied to draw within one.

“They were coming back with the bases loaded, down by one and there was a strikeout at the plate for the third out,” Charlesworth said.

“That must have been a lot of pressure on that little guy. He went down swinging.” She declined to name the player.

The Blazers settled for a bronze medal. “They played phenomenally,” Charlesworth said.

“They had a tough draw.”

Fleetwood lost the final 10–2 to Clearwater, who finished the tourney a perfect 7–0 to win gold.

The Sooke Sliders won gold in the rep side of the double knockout and Richmond Mariners finished with silver.

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