The Buccaneers are B.C.’s best.
Nanaimo’s midget AAA baseball team won the provincial championship Sunday in White Rock, defeating Parksville 5-0 in the final.
“They played really good baseball,” said Jordan Blundell, Buccaneers manager. “When you win a big game, there’s some adversity here and there and not everything goes your way. They just kind of stuck to the plan.”
For much of the game, the Bucs led by 1-0 and 2-0 scores, not enough of a lead to feel comfortable. But pitcher Jayden Marsh helped make sure the lead stood up, throwing a no-hitter.
“He made a decision that we didn’t need to score much,” Blundell said. “It was impressive. Ninety pitches, seven innings, lots of strikes, command and composure.”
The Buccaneers strung some hits together to extend their lead, and then closed it out for a championship.
“It’s a confident group; they’re not cocky … but they believe in themselves. They want to be successful and they try to achieve that,” the manager said.
The Buccaneers went 27-7 in Baseball B.C.’s prep league this season, putting them in the top half of the brackets at provincials.
They handled White Rock by a 9-2 score in Sunday’s semifinal, with Josh Laukkanen throwing a complete game, striking out eight. Dylan Kirby went 3-for-4 at the plate, Peter MacNeil and Nolan Baker had two hits apiece, Laukkanen hit a triple and Nick Yu stole three bases.
In the final, Marsh finished with eight strikeouts, Gus Wilson went 3-for-4 with two doubles and MacNeil was also 3-for-4. The provincial championship means the Buccaneers will represent B.C. at Baseball Canada nationals in Sherbrooke, Que., in mid-August.
“I’m excited for them to get that experience,” Blundell said.
With baseball season extended, he said the team will be “smart and strategic” with its practice schedule.
“There’ll be some days off,” he said. “I want the kids to have a bit of a summer, too.”