The South Okanagan Minor Baseball Association Tigers are hoping for a bounce back weekend.
The Tigers are coming off a weekend where they won just one of four games and are now 1-11-0 in the B.C. midget AAA standings. The Tigers lost 14-0 to the Richmond Chuckers, then won 8-7. They also lost to the Chilliwack Cougars 5-1 and 11-3. This weekend features a rematch with the Chuckers and will be seeing Vancouver for the first time.
“I don’t know what to expect from them,” said Deleon.
Deleon said different guys stepped up last weekend. Among them Brett Fleming, who knocked in the winning run on a bases loaded situation, with two outs and staring at a full count.
“Brett Fleming had the chance of a lifetime to be a hero and he came clutch,” said Deleon. “Had he not hit the ball, we would have lost on a technicality. We had subbed all our players in and Samuel Barker had been tossed from the game for interfering with the catcher.”
What Deleon knows about his team is that they are the best conditioned in the league in his opinion.
“I keep telling these guys that there’s no team in this league that is better than us,” he said.
Yet, there is a problem with his group. He said there is no team continuity.
“There’s no hey I will pick you up, don’t worry about it,” said Deleon. “It’s me, me, me and it shows. We boot the ball and we get down on ourselves. For as young as we are, we’re quite talented. I have a feeling once we figure it out, we will be a force to be reckoned with. I just hope its not too late to make it to provincials.”
The attitudes of his players resulted in Deleon suspending practice this week.
Fleming said he saw Deleon’s decision as sending a message.
“He’s letting us know what has to be done first before our own stuff,” he said. “I respect his judgement and I agree with it.”
Fleming said the decision will help the team. He realizes the players looked after their equipment before the team. Fleming added that the players showing up to practice on the field next to their home park is a good sign.
“We feel like we need the practice no matter if there is a practice with the coaches or not,” said Fleming, admitting they don’t like how their season is going.
Their actions were noticed by Deleon, who was impressed.
In other Tiger news, Deleon said former Tiger Dustin Houle contacted him to say he hit his first professional home run with the Arizona Brewers, farm team of the Milwaukee Brewer. It came against the Los Angeles Dodgers farm team. Deleon is a Dodgers fan.