Down to their last strike, the Victoria Eagles 10U baseball team mounted a furious, last gasp comeback to defeat the Abbotsford Angels by a score of 7-3 at the Mosquito A Provincial Championships in Cloverdale on Sunday, August 2nd. Trailing 2-1 in the 6th and final inning, the Eagles bats came alive to take a commanding 7-2 lead.
With a runner at third base and two outs, Trevor Neil drew a walk on a pivotal 3-2 count to stir the rally. Maguire Lines followed with clutch single, driving in Kavin Bawa, who had singled to lead off the inning, to tie the game.
Quinn Stancil then singled to give the Victoria a 3-2 lead before Josh Burrows smashed a booming double to left-center field that scored two and put the Eagles ahead decisively. Aided by an error, the Eagles tacked on two more insurance runs later in the inning.
Abbotsford sought to rally in the bottom of the inning, scoring one run off Eagles ace pitcher Jacob Yeager. With two outs and two runners on, Angels slugger Breandan McLaughlin scorched a liner that seemed destined for left field, only to be snared by Kieran Morley moving swiftly to his right, to record the final out.
The thrilling finale was a fitting end to a match, which pitted the two top 10U teams in British Columbia. The Angels were odds on favourites heading into the final match, having defeated Victoria on two previous occasions this summer. Abbotsford won by a score of 12-8 on July 19 in the final match of the Valley of Champions tournament held in Kelowna and subsequently by a score of 11-3 in a round robin match in the provincial finals on July 31.
Abbotsford came into the game with a season record of 26-1. Victoria, the only Canadian squad to defeat the Angels this season, had a record of 21-5, but with no defeats to teams other than Abbotsford over their past 16 games. The provincial semifinals also pitted island and mainland teams as Abbotsford coasted to a comfortable 10-2 victory over the Nanaimo Pirates and the Eagles hung on to a tense 14-13 nailbiter over the host Cloverdale Spurs.
Until the final inning, the championship match was a tense, hard-fought affair in which Angels ace Landon Wakelyn faced off against the fireballing Eagles starting pitcher Kieran Morley. While Morley held Abbotsford to only 2 runs over his 31/3 innings, Wakelyn was even more dominant. With a commanding 3 pitch arsenal and a devastating fastball, Victoria could only muster 1 run off the Angels hurler in his 4 innings of work, the lone run only scored on a hit batter by Wakelyn during a brief bout of wildness in the third.
Burke Stancil, the manager of the Eagles, was assisted by coaches Trevor Lines, Brent Yeager, and Dar Rudnyckyj. The provincial championship is the first for a Victoria Mosquito A team in over a decade.