Tigers have potential to be strong club

Tigers coach sees lots of potential in team for 2012

SOMBA Tigers Brett Fleming stretches to snag this throw from the plate as Okotoks Red Dawgs runner Doug Clapperton safely reaches third base in the recent Best of the West midget baseball tournament at McNicoll Field. The Tigers finished with a two-win

SOMBA Tigers Brett Fleming stretches to snag this throw from the plate as Okotoks Red Dawgs runner Doug Clapperton safely reaches third base in the recent Best of the West midget baseball tournament at McNicoll Field. The Tigers finished with a two-win

The start wasn’t so great for the SOMBA Tigers, but the finish was better.

Mercied 10-0 against the Okotoks Dawgs to open the Best of the West tournament, which the Tigers hosted, coach Junior Deleon liked how his group bounced back to win its last  two games.

The Tiger responded by defeating the Langley Blaze 5-3, despite not getting a base hit. Deleon said it was “weird” to win in that way.

Heading into the 2012 season, which begins April 14 in Cowichan, Deleon said he needs players to step up in key situations.

“We have the potential to be quite a strong team,” said Deleon.

The Tigers lost two players from last season but added five from the bantam program.

“It’s having them learn to adapt to new ways quick,” the Tigers coach said. “The guys that are coming up do have some tools and some skills that benefit the team right away.”

Deleon is still trying to figure out which positions suit certain players. One player on the pitching mound who can help is Tyler Lemke. Deleon sees him filling a crucial spot, while Branton Grinde is expected to step up in the middle infield with Brett Fleming.

Deleon feels the Tigers have a shot at provincials as eight of 10 qualify. The recipe for success will be limiting their small mistakes. Deleon believes that can happen within the first month of the season, which they play 12 games. The North Shore Twins won the Best of the West tournament.