Story by Dave Gramlich, Photos by Bobbi Neal – Tyler Duncan had a career weekend at the plate and Justice Carter pitched a 3-hit complete game shutout to help the Victoria Black Eagles Bantam AAA team bag second place in the Sussex Insurance Bantam AAA All-Star Tournament in Kamloops on the Canada Day long weekend.
Bob Mabee’s Black Eagles squad faced a tough SEEBA team from Edmonton in the Friday night opener. The Eagles had the Edmonton down 6-2 in the 5th before the Cardinals rallied to an 8-6 win.
The Eagles drew 12 noon at 3 PM games on Saturday vs. Kamloops and Prince George. In the Kamloops game veteran Eagle Tyler Duncan caught fire at the plate going 4/4 with 2 home runs, a triple, a double and 4 RBIs, powering the Eagles to a convincing 16-4 mercy win in 6 innings. Against PG Duncan continued his torrid hitting with 3 more hits – two doubles and a triple – and brought in 2 more runs. The Eagles were in control throughout but Prince George’s bats came alive late to make it a respectable at 8-6 for Victoria.
In the Sunday 8 AM semi-final the Eagles faced the Sherwood Park Athletics Bantam AAA team from Edmonton. Justice Carter took the mound for the Eagles and was almost unhittable. JC went the distance striking out 8 and giving up just 3 hits for a convincing 84-pitch shutout win. Tyler Duncan continued his incredible weekend of hitting. In the 1st he went yard with a solo shot to right to put the Eagles ahead 1-0. In the 3rd after Matt Dayton reached on an error the Eagles loaded the bases with back to back walks issued to Kieran Waters and Kevin Wong. Duncan stepped up to the plate and doubled yet again, scoring 2 more runs. Fynn Chester then walked but the Athletics managed to work out of the jam, leaving the bases loaded with Eagles.
In the bottom of the 5th the Athletics had something going with runners on 1st and 3rd with nobody out. What looked like a successful sacrifice fly to left ended up creating the 1st and 2nd outs of the inning. After positioning himself perfectly for the catch, Matt Dayton threw a 200 foot strike to Fynn Chester to nail the runner trying to score from 3rd. Carter then pitched his way out of the situation, leaving 2 runners aboard for Sherwood Park. In the 6th Fynn Chester used his speed to eek-out an infield hit, advanced to 2nd on an overthrow, stole 3rd then scored on a sacrifice fly by Justice Carter. In the 7th the Eagles added to their lead. Sean Gramlich singled then scored all the way from 1st on a Kieran Waters double. Tyler Duncan popped up to right but the fielder made an error allowing Waters to score the 6th Eagles run. Duncan stole 3rd and later scored on a passed ball. Final score 7-0 Eagles.
In the final it was a battle of attrition in the 36C heat. The Eagles faced the strong SEEBA team from Edmonton yet again, and this time they started their ace pitcher Cole Robertson. Robertson was masterful on the mound. He peppered the strike zone with fastballs and stealth curveballs and left the Eagles shaking their heads all afternoon. He went the distance giving up just 1 hit, 1 walk and 1 run when Zeke Holt doubled and scored Tyler Duncan in the 5th.
The Eagles had a different plan as Mabee decided to platoon 6 different pitchers over 7 innings in the sweltering heat. Fynn Chester, Matt Dayton, Zeke Holt, Tyler Duncan, Nick Downer and Sean Gramlich all saw action, but Edmonton hit all 6 pitchers and scored 10 runs to secure the 10-1 win.
For the weekend Tyler Duncan was 11 for 13 with 5 doubles, 3 triples and 3 home runs. He scored 7 times and had 10 RBIs.
The Black Eagles return to Bantam AAA league play this coming weekend with a single game against the Vancouver Mounties on Sunday July 7th, 12 noon at Carnarvon Park.