PIRATES THREE-PEAT AS 45+ CHAMPS IN WALKOFF WIN OVER TOUGH LUCK STARS
THE LMBA’S 2016 SEASON CONCLUDED WITH A THIRD EPIC BATTLE IN THREE YEARS BETWEEN THE 45+ DIVISION’S TOP TWO TEAMS.
For the third straight year, the Delta Stars and Vancouver Pirates met to decide the league playoff winner for the 45+ Ray Edger Division and both teams did not disappoint in the tightly played contest at Robert Burnaby.
The Stars pitching duo of Rick Reining and Doug Simpson and the Pirates one/two of Kevin Gordon and Rick Morrow kept the game close for the entire contest. The Pirates scored 2 runs in the fourth while the Stars countered with one run in the fifth. The Pirates added one run in the sixth but the game was tied up on a clutch two out - two run single by the Stars Ron Pearce in the top of the seventh. The game remained tied until the bottom of the ninth when Pirates Rick Morrow hit a one out double to left centre field. Randy Coutts followed with a solid single to centre field to drive in the fourth and walk off run.
Both teams pounded out nine hits in the close affair and defensively, the Stars recorded three double plays while the Pirates responded with one double play of their own.
With the win the Pirates recorded their third straight championship and lots of credit to the Stars who played well, lost by a whisker, and demonstrated great class and sportsmanship. Thanks to Jerry Tregaskis (Home Plate) and Barrie Redekopp (Bases) for a well umpired game.
The Pirates are pictured with 2016 Americas Masters Games gold medals while the runner up Stars received silver medals - although a formal tournament for the Games did not materialize, the Games committee donated the commemorative medals to the LMBA and two very deserving teams were recognized.
BLUE JAYS TAKE THIRD 30+ CROWN IN STRONG TEAM PERFORMANCE AGAINST HOWE SOUND HOUNDS
THE TOP TWO TEAMS IN THE LMBA’S 30+ DIVISION MET FOR THE THIRD STRAIGHT YEAR IN A WELL-PLAYED FINAL AT ROBERT BURNABY. A STRONG TEAM PERFORMANCE FROM THE BLUE JAYS ENABLED THEM TO REVERSE RESULTS FROM THE PREVIOUS TWO FINALS. WITH THEIR VICTORY, THE BLUE JAYS BECAME 30+ CHAMPS FOR THE THIRD TIME – 2012, 2013, AND 2016.
PHOTO COURTESY OF MR. RON AMMER
REID WILDEMAN LED THE BLUE JAYS ATTACK WITH TWO HOME RUNS AND FIVE RUNS BATTED IN AND NARROWLY MISSED A THIRD DINGER WITH A LINE DRIVE THAT STRUCK THE BASE OF THE FENCE. THE JAYS MOUND CREW OF JEFF WEISBERGER AND JEFF AMMER LIMITED THE HARD-HITTING HOUNDS TO THREE RUNS (ONE EARNED RUN) AND VERY FEW OPPORTUNITIES. THEY WERE BACKED BY A STRONG DEFENSIVE PERFORMANCE, PARTICULARLY THE JAYS OUTFIELDERS WHO MADE SEVERAL OUTSTANDING PLAYS.
THE NINE TIME CHAMPIONS PLAYED RIGHT UP TO THE FINAL OUT BUT IT WAS NOT TO BE THEIR DAY. SIMON POND LED THE OFFENSE WITH A SOLO HOME RUN.
THE CHAMPIONSHIP CONTEST WAS SPLENDIDLY UMPIRED BY A LEGENDARY THREE MAN CREW – LEO GAUTHIER (HOME PLATE), EDDY LANG (1ST BASE) AND KEITH HARTUP (3RD BASE).
PHOTO COURTESY MR. RON AMMER
CONGRATULATIONS TO BOTH TEAMS FOR AN OUTSTANDING 2016 SEASON. WITH THEIR WIN, THE BLUE JAYS COMPLETED AN UNDEFEATED SEASON – 18 WINS AND 1 TIE GAME. A RESPECTFUL RIVALRY HAS DEVELOPED BETWEEN THESE TWO OUTSTANDING TEAMS AND THERE WILL UNDOUBTEDLY BE MANY MORE EXCITING GAMES BETWEEN THESE TWO SQUADS.
Coquitlam Cardinals 2016 LMBA 18+ Champs
Ninth Inning Walk Off Win Against North Langley Expos in One of Best Ever LMBA Finals
The Coquitlam Cardinals and North Langley Expos battled it out at beautiful Robert Burnaby Park on a sunny Sunday, producing one of the closest final championship games in LMBA history. The Expos jumped out to a quick 4 - 0 lead but couldn't quite put away a powerful Cardinals squad. The Cards clawed their way back into the game one run at a time as spectators from both teams nervously watched both squads battle pitch by pitch in a closely fought contest that could have gone either way. The winning run was pushed across in the bottom of the ninth inning giving the Cardinals their third LMBA championship (2010, 2012, 2016). The Cardinals had reeled off three straight wins over the South Delta Padres, Maple Ridge J's, and Dewdney Bulls to reach the final.
The North Langley Expos were very worthy opponents - having finished fifth in their division during the regular season, the Expos defeated the fourth place Newton Royals, the first place Newton Beavers, and the second place Newton Pirates to reach the championship game. Their month long journey ended in a razor thin defeat by the Cardinals.
Congratulations to both teams for a great game and a great display of sportsmanship prior to, during, and after the game.
Thanks also to the blue crew - Mike Yamaguchi (plate), Greg Teasdale (1st) and Dave Wong (3rd) for a job well done!
16 Lower Mainland Baseball Association Teams in Action for 2016 Americas Masters Games Opening Weekend
Masters level baseball was very much in evidence during the opening weekend for the 2016 Americas Masters Games as 16 teams from the Lower Mainland Baseball Association were in action at the two official venues at UBC and at Hillcrest Park beside Nat Bailey Stadium.
Saturday, August 27th saw all six teams from the LMBA’s 45+Division complete their regular season schedule prior to the start of playoffs in September. At Hillcrest Park, the White Rock Legends solidified their hold on third place with a 7 – 4 victory over the Surrey Royals. Breakfast Television meteorologist Russ Lacate not only predicted outstanding weather he also put in a steady pitching performance for the White Rock Crew. Players from both teams were greatly impressed by the outstanding condition of Hillcrest Park – thanks to the combined efforts of the Vancouver Parks Department and Vancouver Community Baseball.
Two 45+ contests were played at UBC on the outstanding all weather turf field which serves as the home diamond for the powerhouse UBC Thunderbirds Collegiate team. The White Rock Eagles brought the big bats in the morning encounter as they downed the Richmond Monarchs by a score of 14 – 6. The feature game between the first place Vancouver Pirates and the second place Delta Stars did not disappoint as it took ten innings for the Stars to squeak out a narrow 7 – 6 win. By virtue of the victory, the Stars vaulted past the Pirates into first place.
Ten teams from the LMBA’s 30+ Division took to the diamonds on Sunday, August 28th with three games at UBC and two playoff games at Hillcrest Park.
In the first playoff game at Hillcrest Park the tenth ranked Surrey Sentinels pulled a major upset beating the seventh ranked Surrey Angels by a 7 to 5 margin. The win represented the first victory in 31 contests over two years for the very deserving Sentinels. The 8th ranked New Westminster Mariners brought the big bats in their 11 to 3 win over the 9th place Fraser Valley Cubs. Both the Mariners and Sentinels will advance to the LMBA 30+ playoffs in September.
At UBC, the top six teams in the 30+ Division finished off their regular season schedule with three well-played contests on the Thunderbirds home diamond. The Richmond Rainiers clinched third place with an 8 – 4 victory over the Burnaby Pirates, while the Howe Sound Hounds wrapped up second place with an 8 to 2 win over the Vancouver A’s. The Burnaby Blue Jays had clinched first place several weeks ago, but they completed an undefeated season with a solid 8 – 3 win over the Aldergrove Giants. Apparently the Blue Jays uniforms attracted considerable attention as several spectators took “selfies” with the players.
Approximately 200 players from Canada’s largest adult baseball league took part in the 2016 Americas Masters Games contests on two outstanding baseball venues and they certainly enjoyed being part of this inaugural event. Baseball action will conclude on Saturday, September 3rd at Hillcrest Park with an All Star Game between teams from the LMBA’s 45+ Division. First pitch is at 10:00am and everyone is welcome.