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BC Premier Baseball League

Langley Blaze Power their way to BCPBL Championship

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Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart

August 1, 2021, Langley, BC – The Langley Blaze powered their way to the 2021 BC Premier Baseball League (BCPBL) title on Sunday afternoon by defeating the Victoria Eagles 13-1 in the Championship Game of the BCPBL playoffs at McLeod Athletic Park in Langley.

Langley’s Nathan Kirkpatrick had a three-hit and five-RBI day to lead the Langley offence against the Eagles (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

Led by Nathan Kirkpatrick with three hits and five RBI, the Blaze pounded out 14 hits on the day and broke open a relatively close 3-1 game with six runs in the top of the fifth inning and then another four in the top of the sixth to put the game out of reach for the Eagles.

The Eagles Ty Burton slide safely into second ahead of the throw to Langley second baseman Nathan Kirkpatrick (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

Tom Poole started for the Blaze and he went the distance, giving up the one Eagle run on four hits, while walking one and striking out five in his six innings of work.

Earlier in the day, the Blaze offensive machine put up nine hits in a 8-1 win over the White Rock Tritons in the first semi-final of the day. Poole was the offensive catalyst in that game, slashing a triple and two doubles and scoring three runs.

Langley’s Jacob Sedun threw a complete game two-hitter to defeat the White Rock Tritons 8-1 in the first semi-final of the day Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

Jacob Sedun was brilliant on the hill for the Blaze against White Rock, giving up the one run on two hits, while striking out seven in his complete game, seven innings of work.

Langley centre fielder Jude Hall makes the catch of the year in Sunday’s semi-final win over White Rock (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

The Blaze were certainly deserving winners of the title. As hosts for the Sunday games, they did not need to win a single game in the round robin portion of the tournament, held Friday through Saturday, to earn a berth in the semis, but they made sure they did, finishing with a 3-1 record in their playoff games, defeating North Delta Blue Jays, the Victoria Mariners and the Royals, while losing their very first game, in a 3-2 squeaker, to the Coquitlam Reds.

Langley’s Tom Poole was an offensive beast for the Blaze in the semis against White Rock, with two doubles and a triple (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

They also had the best regular season record, finishing with a 19-5 record.

For the Eagles, the silver medal marks the end of a very good season for the scrappy raptors, as they went 14-8 in the regular season and then put together a 3-0 run in the round robin portion of the tournament, that was not without its dramatic moments.

White Rock’s Scott Allan does a little dance to celebrate his double, one of only two hits the Tritons could muster against the Blaze in their semi-final on Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

After defeating the Okanagan A’s 8-2 in their first game, the Eagles then needed a walk-off hit from Oliver Mabee in their second, to defeat the Whalley Chiefs 9-8. And on Saturday afternoon, with a berth to the semis on the line, they used an eight run fourth inning to overcome a 6-1 deficit to the Abbotsford Cardinals and come away with a 10-6 win.

Victoria Eagle’s baserunner Witt Nevins upends Parksville second baseman Keitaro Adachi at the end of a double-play in semi-final action Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

That win put the Eagles into a semi-final match-up with their Island rival Parksville Royals, who used their own drama Saturday night in their final game of the round robin to defeat the Victoria Mariners 2-0 and punch their ticket to the semis.

Eagles shortstop Tyrus Hall goes to put the tag on Royals baserunner Tyler Kolopenuk during a rundown (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

In that game, the Royals used a complete game, four-hit, 12-strikeout shut out from their ace Anson McGorman to get themselves the win.

Parksville’s Breydan Riecker slides happily into third base after driving in one of Parksville’s two runs Saturday against the Mariners (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

In the Eagles, Royals match-up at Noon Sunday, the Eagles once again scrapped their way back from a 6-2 deficit by scoring five runs in the top of the sixth inning and then held on for the thrilling 7-6 win.

The Eagles Jordon Bond had two hits and three RBI in the semi-final win against Parksville (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

Jordon Bond was the Royal killer at the plate for the Eagles, with two hits, including a double and three RBI, while Jack Finn and Owen Luchies pitched two innings each of shut-out ball down the stretch. Luchies also had four big strikeouts, including two in a row to end the bottom of the sixth inning, after Parksville had put runners on first and second with just one out.

Jack Swinton’s pinch-hit RBI would be the difference in the Eagles’ 7-6 semi-final win over Parksville (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

And while the Eagles looked like they might fight back against the Blaze when, trailing 3-0 in the third, Kai Gray singled and eventually scored on an error, it was not to be, as the Langley offensive machine kept grinding away at Eagles pitching en route to the 13-1 win.

Jordon Bond (10) and the Eagles celebrate the go-ahead run against the Royals on Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

The Eagles Owen Luchies would shut the door on the Royals, striking out four in two innings of work to get the save in the semi-final victory (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

Sunday’s finals, put as normal a finish on the BCPBL season as it could, given the delayed start of the season because of COVID and early travel restrictions that saw many teams only play one opponent over the first eight games of the year.

The Eagles Jordon Bond (left) and Dylan Brown (right) leap to celebrate the 7-6 semi-final win over the Royals (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

However, the bottom line is that for all players involved, many of whom have not had the chance to play meaningful games for a season and a half, just being back on the field, playing a game they love, was reward enough.

Langley shortstop Pierce Radke makes a nice play on a ground ball against the Eagles (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

Congratulations to the Langley Blaze on their 2021 title and season. And congratulations to the Eagles, Tritons and Royals on their playoff runs, as well as to all teams in the BCPBL for making the best of the 2021 season.

The 2021 BCPBL Champion Langley Blaze (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

All images from the BCPBL Championship by photographer Christian J. Stewart will be posted at https://christianjstewart.zenfolio.com/f338471608

BC Premier Baseball League

Baseball BC High Performance Pathway’s Document Now Available

Share Baseball BC High Performance Pathway’s Document Now Available February 9, 2024 9:04 AM PST   The purpose of this document is to provide athletes, parents & guardians, and associations with a comprehensive summary of the Baseball BC high-performance program for the 2024 season. This includes explaining the high-performance pathways for each age division, event…

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Baseball BC High Performance Pathway’s Document Now Available

February 9, 2024

9:04 AM PST

 

The purpose of this document is to provide athletes, parents & guardians, and associations with a comprehensive summary of the Baseball BC high-performance program for the 2024 season. This includes explaining the high-performance pathways for each age division, event dates, selection processes, and camp locations. The Baseball BC staff contact for high-performance is Kyle Williams (kyle@baseball.bc.ca)

To view the document, click here: https://baseball.bc.ca/uploads/files/High-Performance%20Pathways%202024.pdf

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BC Premier Baseball League

Langley Blaze are heading to AZ for their Annual Pro Tour March 16-26, 2024

From the Langley Blaze website: The Langley Blaze Pro Tour is gearing up for its 23rd consecutive year of excellence, promising to showcase top-tier talent and add another chapter to its storied legacy. This annual high-performance baseball pilgrimage is set to take place from March 16 to March 26, 2024, across various cities in Arizona,…

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From the Langley Blaze website:

The Langley Blaze Pro Tour is gearing up for its 23rd consecutive year of excellence, promising to showcase top-tier talent and add another chapter to its storied legacy. This annual high-performance baseball pilgrimage is set to take place from March 16 to March 26, 2024, across various cities in Arizona, reaffirming its status as THE premier event on the Blaze calendar.

What sets the Langley Blaze Pro Tour apart is its ability to attract top-tier talent, evident in the staggering numbers of players drafted into professional leagues. A remarkable 166 players who participated in the tour have been drafted, and among them, an impressive 11 have been selected in the first round. This statistic not only underscores the caliber of talent on display but also solidifies the tour’s reputation as a crucial platform for talent scouts and baseball enthusiasts alike.

This is the trip of a lifetime for many of the young athletes participating as they get set to walk on and play on professional diamonds vs professional players along with facing competition from top-level AZ JUCO Colleges.

The 2024 edition promises to be exciting, with an extensive itinerary covering various cities in Arizona. The tour will weave through baseball hotspots, including Peoria, Yuma, Prescott, Coolidge, Thatcher, Tucson, and more. Each stop is carefully selected to provide players with diverse playing conditions and exposure to different baseball communities, enriching their overall experience.

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BC Premier Baseball League

Perfect Game coming to Canada in 2024!

Share Perfect Game coming to Canada in 2024! November 6, 2023 10:37 AM PST   Nov 6.23: The Langley Blaze, Abbotsford Cardinals and White Rock Tritons are excited to announce the West Coast Canada Challenge hosted by Perfect Game.  4 fields will be used throughout the Pacific Northwest including McLeod Park in Langley, Delair Park…

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Perfect Game coming to Canada in 2024!

November 6, 2023

10:37 AM PST

 

Nov 6.23: The Langley Blaze, Abbotsford Cardinals and White Rock Tritons are excited to announce the West Coast Canada Challenge hosted by Perfect Game.  4 fields will be used throughout the Pacific Northwest including McLeod Park in Langley, Delair Park in Abbotsford and South Surrey Athletic Park in Surrey.  Teams from across the west will be split into 2 divisions, 17u and 15u.

To request your invite to participate in this event, please click here: https://tinyurl.com/perfectgamecanada

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