The South Okanagan Minor Baseball Association had three teams clinch provincial berths on the weekend.
It’s the first time in the associations
history. The Tigers peewee under-13 team advanced with wins over Central Okanagan Minor Baseball (Kelowna/Rutland) 14-3 and Salmon Arm Minor Baseball, (Salmon Arm/North Shuswap) 9-5.
“We played really well. It was gruelling in the 35 degree weather,” said Raymond. “We played well defensively and got good pitching and an active offence.”
The Tigers lost the 27-22 “slugfest” as coach Jamie Raymond described it, and a provincial seeding match 10-0 to Kamloops. Raymond said they will be in a competitive pool at provincials in Mission, but feels they will do well.
“The boys are gelling and are piquing at the right moment,” he said. “The goal is to try and reach the medal round.”
The Thunder mosquito under-11 team won twice and tied a game in zones hosted in Penticton. The Thunder routed Kamloops 16-3 as well as Kelowna 12-2 then earned a 5-5 draw against West Kelowna.
Thunder coach Rob Burnett said he has a really good team that went 14-2-3 during the season and have faced many strong teams.
“It’s a special group that is dedicated,” said Burnett.
In the zones, Burnett said his players always come out with intensity and a desire to win. From the start of the season it has been their goal to advance to provincials in West Kelowna this weekend and win. Burnett said the team has a motto, “Earn your dirt.”
“They want to get dirty,” said Burnett. “They want to make a big play.”
The Thunder team as follows from left to right: Coaches John Weber, Paul Foreman and Rob Burnett. Back row: Jace Shuttleworth, Logan Goodwin, Cole Mohns, Mason Sherburne, Cody Thompson and Ben Foreman. Front row: Kayden Clarke, Carson Burnett, Nate Weber, Luke Sandham, Joey Conquergood, Cole Wadsworth and Kaden Collins.
The Thunder under-13 peewee team won its summer league playoffs by winning its three games in convincing fashion. The Thunder powered past Kamloops 22-0, West Kelowna 20-2 and Kelowna 30-4.
“Some might say that we are peaking at the right time,” said Thunder coach Stephane Delisle-Lavoie. “We’re a good team.”
Along with the ability to score, the Thunder play strong defence behind good pitching. Delisle-Lavoie said his players do everything well. All of the players on the Thunder are second-year players, except one. The Thunder head into provincials in Parksville from Aug 4 to 7 as the top Okanagan seed. Delisle-Lavoie believes they have a good chance at winning, but added it will come down to the pitching match ups. To help with their trip to Parksville, the Thunder had a fundraiser with local businesses helping raise approximately $8,000. Delisle-Lavoie thanked them for their support.
SOMBA Tigers president Aqil Samuel said the association is pretty proud of what the three teams have accomplished.
“It’s huge for us,” said Samuel.
Samuel added since the Penticton Minor Baseball Association merged with SOMBA there had been some rough moments. This makes it worthwhile.
“It’s exciting for the future,” he said.