The South Okanagan Minor Baseball Association Tigers’ 10th win of the midget AAA season proved to be its most important.
Trailing 2-0 early to the West Kelowna D-Backs at Carmi Field, the Tigers put five runs on the board in the bottom of the second. They went on to win 8-3.
Tigers assistant coach Reed Quaal agreed the offensive outburst was the turning point which clinched them a playoff spot.
“That was really good because the first inning we had a bunch of guys on base and didn’t score,” said Quaal. “The next inning we had the same thing. A couple guys on base and didn’t score them. To score those runs finally kind of lifted a weight off our shoulders and the kids playing too.”
The Tigers efforts forced the D-Backs to remove Mason Boppre from the mound in favour of Donny Lee, who was strong. Chase Decosse, who plays outfield and catcher for the Tigers, said they played well, making good contact with the ball backed up with solid defence.
“They had trouble hitting the ball,” said DeCosse of the D-Backs. “I think we pretty much put it on cruise control and carried through.”
The only way the D-Backs can make the playoffs is by winning their remaining games. Quaal said that will be tough for the last-place team to do. Quaal and Tigers coach Junior Deleon are pleased with the team’s play. They have six wins dating back to May 12.
“About halfway through (the season) the team just decided to turn it on,” said Quaal. “We’ve played really solid defensively. Started to hit the ball a lot better.”
The Tigers next play a double-header today at Carmi Field when they host Vancouver at 4 p.m. Victoria sits fifth in the league with a 12-15-0 record. Quaal said they are a tough team, who in May defeated the Tigers 7-4 and 15-5.
“I think it will be a couple of good games on Friday,”