The Penticton Tigers entered the recent BC Baseball Tier 2 Western Canada Qualifier as underdogs and came home with a third place win. Now the 18U AAA team is looking ahead to provincials in Victoria in August, following their final eight regular season games. (Photo submitted)

Penticton Tigers place second in tourney, look ahead to provincials

The 18U AAA team entered the tourney as underdogs, worked their way to nearly top of the pack

Following a second place finish in the B.C. Baseball tier 2 Western Canada qualifier last weekend, the Penticton Tigers are ready for the upcoming playoffs.

The U18 AAA team were up against four other teams from their league, and two from the junior PBL at the tournament, hosted in South Fraser Valley. The Tigers arrived as the underdogs and worked their way to nearly the top of the pack.

“The Tigers were ranked as the seventh place team by BC Baseball but rode some great pitching and defence to finish round-robin play with two wins and two losses,” said coach Aqil Samuel. “Which was good enough for third place.”

Samuel said the team managed to take an early lead of 8-1 in the semi final against the PBL’s first place team, the Coquitlam RedLegs. They held onto their victory and advanced to the final despite the RedLegs earning six more runs throughout the game, finishing 8-7.

READ MORE: Penticton baseball team riding the crest of 10-game win streak

“This game featured a (game-ending) throw out at the plate from left fielder Marlo Spence,” said Samuel. “Unfortunately, the magic ended in the final as the Tigers lost 5-1 against the North Delta Blue Jays of the Junior PBL.”

With eight league games left in their season, the Tigers are currently in seventh place with the top eight teams qualifying for league playoffs/provincials in Victoria on the Aug. 8 weekend. On the July 13 weekend the Tigers will be back in South Fraser Valley to face off against the Giants in two games.

The July 20 weekend will be a home stand weekend against the Richmond Chuckers and Vernon Canadians, and the regular season wraps up on July 28 with two games in Kelowna against the Sun Devils.

“The coaching staff is excited to see the team peaking and gelling at the right time of the year. Pitching and defence have always been the focus and will carry the Tigers to the goals that we set at the beginning of the year,” said Samuel.

“The offence has shown signs of life as looks to be heating up with the weather.”

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