Tigers excited to play on home field

Invitational baseball tournament attracts Vancouver and Edmonton teams

Runner Alex Tonge of the Bantam AA Vernon Canadians and pitcher Seth Kennedy of the South Okanagan Tigers look to the umpire for the call at home plate Saturday at Marshall Field. Tonge was called safe.

Runner Alex Tonge of the Bantam AA Vernon Canadians and pitcher Seth Kennedy of the South Okanagan Tigers look to the umpire for the call at home plate Saturday at Marshall Field. Tonge was called safe.

Two wins and two losses by the SOMBA bantam AA Tigers put them in third place in a Vernon baseball tournament last weekend.

The Tigers picked up 17-7 and 9-8 wins against Salmon Arm, then lost to Rutland Rockies 14-4 and 10-7 to the Vernon Canadians.

“Overall I was pretty happy,” said Tigers coach Aqil Samuel, who has a changed summer team with five new players from the A Tigers. “It was just great to see guys in competitive situations. To make a team like this, guys have to come out of their comfort zone, try new positions.”

Samuel said that by Sunday he could feel his team coming together. The early strength of the group is on the mound. Samuel wanted to see what his players could do and the pitching stood out.

“That will help with a tournament schedule in July,” said Samuel. “A lot of games in a short amount of time. You need to develop seven or eight kids.

“We’re trying to just progressively work towards that zones tournament,” continued Samuel.

The Tigers will host a 15 and under AA invitational July 3-5 at McNicoll Park and Carmi Field. Salmon Arm, Edmonton, Vancouver and Vernon are competing in the tournament. The Tigers open the tournament Friday when they face Salmon Arm at 5 p.m. at McNicoll Park. At the same time Vernon and Edmonton play at Carmi Field. On Saturday at 9 a.m., the Tigers face Edmonton at McNicoll, while Vancouver City and Vernon play at noon at McNicoll. At 3 p.m., Salmon Arm and Edmonton battle at McNicoll, then Edmonton and Vancouver play at 6 p.m. Pool play begins on Sunday at 9 a.m. with first in pool A facing second in pool B at Carmi, and first in pool B versus second in pool at McNicoll. The consolation final is noon at Carmi with the final at 1 p.m. at McNicoll.

The Tigers are excited about the weekend.

“We didn’t get a lot of home games this year. Kind of felt like road warriors all spring and so far in the summer,” said Samuel. “It’s nice to have a home tournament. It’s nice to be able to show off Penticton a little bit.”