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Thunder Roar! UBC Captures first ever BC Junior Premier Baseball Championship

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UBC's Ryan Kennedy celebrates the first score of the game against Whalley in the final game Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

Full BCJPBL Championship Wrap-Up

Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart

August 30, 2021, Surrey, BC – The UBC Thunder captured their first ever BC Junior Premier Baseball League championship on Sunday afternoon, defeating the host Whalley Chiefs 10-1 on a beautiful day at Whalley Athletic Park in Surrey.

UBC’s Lucas Huynh reacts and flips his bat after walking against the Chiefs (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

The Thunder broke open a tense, scoreless tie by scoring eight runs in the bottom of the fourth inning and cruised from there, using a solid defence and great pitching to keep Whalley batters at bay and to shut down any potential threats before they got started.

UBC’s Levi Soper delivers a pitch in the final game against Whalley (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

Lucas Soper got the start in the final and while he was not 100% perfect, his defence picked him up early, including a perfect throw to the plate to nail a Chiefs baserunner trying to score and he got some clutch outs himself that kept the game scoreless into the fourth.

UBC catcher Rico Domingo puts the tag on the Chiefs Eric Burshtynski on this play at the plate early in Sunday’s final (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

The Thunder used some solid defence against the Chiefs early to keep the game knotted at 0-0 into the fourth inning (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

When he faltered later in the game, reliever Jaron Palaschuk stepped in to get out of an initial jam and then went the rest of the way to get the final out and begin the celebration.

UBC’s Jaron Palaschuk (left) is congratulated by Freddie Sale after getting UBC out of a jam late in the final against Whalley (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

The Thunder, who finished the regular season with one of the best records in the BCJPBL (21-15), had a bit of a scare en route to the finals, winning a pair of close and tense games in the round robin portion of their tournament Friday, including a 3-1 win over the White Rock Tritons and then holding on to defeat a pesky Victoria Eagles team 3-2.

UBC’s Ryan Kennedy catches North Shore’s Cam McLeod in a rundown in the semi-final Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

That was enough to earn them a first place seed and a re-match with White Rock on Saturday in the ultimate play-in game in their pool. White Rock, who had beaten the Eagles 12-9 Friday, earned the re-match by beating the Eagles again Saturday, this time by a close 5-3 score.

The Twins Cam McLeod slides safely into second ahead of the throw to UBC’s Ryan Hsu during the semi-final Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

In the play-in game, the Thunder dominated, cruising to a fast 7-0 win and moving them into Sunday’s semi-finals against the North Shore Twins. The Twins earned their way into the semis thanks to a pair of nail-biting round robin wins over the Victoria Mariners (5-4) and the Chiefs (7-6).

They would not have the same luck against the Thunder however, as UBC would score runs in each of the first four innings and cruise to a relatively easy, 13-hit 7-4 win.

Twins left fielder Declan Barry makes a valiant effort for this hit in the semis against UBC (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

Relatively easy because starter Freddie Sale went the distance and kept the Twins at bay, allowing the four runs on just seven hits while striking out three.

UBC’s Freddie Sale had a complete game win over North Shore in the semi-finals Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

For the Chiefs, their route to the finals, was straightforward because as hosts, they had a bye to the semi-finals. They did play spoilers early though, defeating the always strong Langley Blaze 6-4 on Friday – a loss that combined with the Blaze’s 4-3 loss to the Mariners knocked them out of contention – before dropping the 7-6 decision to the Twins and an 8-3 decision to the Mariners.

Whalley’s Parkor Sarai (33) and Dio Gama (34) head around the bases en route to scoring on a triple from Ryan Holford in the first semi-final Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

The Chief’s Ryan Holford strokes a two-RBI triple in the semi-final against the Pirates (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

In the semis, the Chiefs met up with the surprising Mid-Island Pirates (16-20 in the regular season), who in perhaps the biggest upset of the tournament, defeated the (26-8) Coquitlam Reds 3-0 Saturday night in the deciding game of the Pool B round robin to earn their way into the final four.

Whalley reliever Marcus Siemens was solid in relief against the Pirates in the first semi-final Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

 

Whalley second baseman Lleyton Anselmo reacts after scoring against the Pirates on Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

It appeared in Sunday’s highly emotional semi-final that the Pirates magic would continue, as they held a 4-2 lead into the seventh inning, however the Chiefs would stage an amazing comeback, scoring six runs in the top of the inning and then blanking the Pirates in the bottom half, to escape with the 8-4 win.

The Pirates had plenty to celebrate for most of the game Sunday as they took a 4-2 lead into the seventh inning against Whalley (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

The Pirates Trevor Foley does his best Freddie Mercury impression after a double against Whalley (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

In the finals, UBC’s Soper and the Chief’s Dowon Kim went toe-to-toe through the first few innings, both teams helping their pitchers out with solid defence, until Kim seemed to run out of gas in the bottom of the fourth, an inning that just seemed would never end, as the Thunder kept finding ways to score.

Whalley second baseman Lleyton Anselmo looks for the call after putting the tag on the Pirate’s Graham Stephen on this play at second in the first semi-final Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

Whalley would finally break the goose-egg with a run in the fifth inning, but it would not be enough as the Thunder would add another in each of the fifth and sixth innings to close out the 10-1 win.

The Chief’s Kai Scheck was a key hitting cog for the Chiefs in their route to Sunday’s final (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

Like the Premier league finals held over the August long weekend, Sunday’s Junior finals, put as normal a finish on the 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.

UBC’s Lucas Huynh celebrates a hit by catcher Rico Domingo during the final against Whalley (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. This was evidenced by one Thunder player overhead on the bench just prior to the completion of the finals, “I’m so pumped! We’ve waited two years for this boys!”

The UBC Thunder celebrate their win as Whalley’s Kai Scheck (25) and Head Coach David Hadlow (64) walk off the field (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

Congratulations to the UBC Thunder on their 2021 Junior title and season. And congratulations to the Chiefs, Pirates and Twins on their playoff runs, as well as to all teams in the BCJPBL for making the best of the 2021 season.

The 2021 BC Junior Premier League Champions UBC Thunder (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

All photos from the Junior Premier Semi-Finals and Final, plus a couple of round robin games on Saturday will eventually find their way to Christian J. Stewart’s web site at https://christianjstewart.zenfolio.com/jpbl2021

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2022 BCPBL Championship Game 10 Summary

Share 2022 BCPBL Championship Game 10 Summary July 23, 2022 3:45 PM PDT                   2022 BC PREMIER BASEBALL LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP                   GAME 10 SUMMARY                     Runs Hits Errors LOB  …

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2022 BCPBL Championship Game 10 Summary

July 23, 2022

3:45 PM PDT

                 
2022 BC PREMIER BASEBALL LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP
                 
GAME 10 SUMMARY
                 
  Runs Hits Errors LOB        
Okanagan Athletics 1 4 2 9        
Coquitlam Reds 0 3 3 8        
                 
                 
Okanagan Athletics Pitching Summary            
                 
Pitcher IP H R ER SO BB AB  
Brayden Dewitt (W) 4 2 0 0 5 3 18  
Max Tremblay 3 1 0 0 2 2 11  
                 
Coquitlam Reds Pitching Summary            
                 
Pitcher IP H R ER SO BB AB  
Jacob Hageman (L) 6 4 1 0 5 2 27  
Jeffrey Pacholko 1 0 0 0 0 0 4  
                 
Game Highlights                
Top 1st                
Luke Petrie (A’s)-RBI Single              
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 

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BC Premier Baseball League

2022 BCPBL Championship Game 6 Summary

Share 2022 BCPBL Championship Game 6 Summary July 23, 2022 4:30 PM PDT                   2022 BC PREMIER BASEBALL LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP                   GAME 6 SUMMARY                     Runs Hits Errors LOB  …

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2022 BCPBL Championship Game 6 Summary

July 23, 2022

4:30 PM PDT

                 
2022 BC PREMIER BASEBALL LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP
                 
GAME 6 SUMMARY
                 
  Runs Hits Errors LOB        
North Shore Twins 13 9 1 5        
Victoria Mariners 6 6 0 7        
                 
                 
North Shore Twins Pitching Summary            
                 
Pitcher IP H R ER SO BB AB  
Sam Jennings 3+ 5 5 4 0 3 17  
Ken Nakane (W) 4 1 1 1 3 4 17  
                 
Victoria Mariners Pitching Summary            
                 
Pitcher IP H R ER SO BB AB  
Max Globman (L) 3 1/3 5 7 7 2 4 20  
Dylan Graw  2/3 1 3 3 0 3 6  
Myles Chamberlain 3 3 3 3 4 2 13  
                 
Game Highlights                
Top 1st                
Jakob Poturnak (Twins)-Scores on wild pitch            
Bottom 1st                
Sam Shaw (Mariners)-Solo Homerun            
Tyson Skinner (Mariners)-2 RBI Double            
Top 2nd                
Jakob Poturnak (Twins)-Solo Homerun            
Bottom 3rd                
Griffin Gladych (Mariners)-Sac Fly              
Top 4th                
Ethan McDonald (Twins)-RBI Single            
Wylie Waters (Twins)-RBI Single              
Yonatan Marom (Twins)-Sac Fly              
James Brock (Twins)-3 RBI Double              
Bottom 4th                
Ben Sargent (Mariners)-Sac Fly              
Top 5th                
Wylie Waters (Twins)-RBI Double              
Yonatan Marom (Twins)-RBI Single              
James Brock (Twins)-Sac Fly              
                 
Game Notes                
Wylie Waters (Twins)-3 for 5, 2 RBIs            
James Brock (Twins)-1 for 3, 4 RBIs            
Tyson Skinner (Mariners)-2 for 4, 2 RBIs            

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BC Premier Baseball League

2022 BCPBL Championship Game 11 Summary

Share 2022 BCPBL Championship Game 11 Summary July 23, 2022 6:00 PM PDT                   2022 BC PREMIER BASEBALL LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP                   GAME 11 SUMMARY                     Runs Hits Errors LOB  …

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2022 BCPBL Championship Game 11 Summary

July 23, 2022

6:00 PM PDT

                 
2022 BC PREMIER BASEBALL LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP
                 
GAME 11 SUMMARY
                 
  Runs Hits Errors LOB        
UBC Thunder 4 7 2 5        
Delta Blue Jays 10 6 2 8        
                 
                 
UBC Thunder Pitching Summary              
                 
Pitcher IP H R ER SO BB AB  
Callum Young (L) 4 4 7 5 6 9 25  
Freddie Sale 2 2 3 0 0 1 11  
                 
Delta Blue Jays Pitching Summary            
                 
Pitcher IP H R ER SO BB AB  
Noah Bourgeois (W) 4 7 4 3 3 2 21  
Will Anderson 2 0 0 0 1 0 6  
Noah Del Rosario 1 3 0 0 0 1 0  
                 
Game Highlights                
Top 1st                
Ryan Hsu (Thunder)-Scores on FC              
Matthew Perkins (Thunder)-2 RBI Single            
Bottom 1st                
Kyle Hepburn (Blue Jays)-Solo Homerun            
Everett Swaim (Blue Jays)-RBI Single            
Top 3rd                
Ethan Kwong (Thunder)-RBI Double            
Bottom 3rd                
Ryan Heppner (Blue Jays)-RBI Single            
Bottom 5th                
Kyle Hepburn (Blue Jays)-GRAND SLAM            
                 
Game Notes                
Kyle Hepburn (Blue Jays)-2 for 3, 2 HRs (Solo & Grand Slam), 5 RBIs      

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