SUMMERSIDE – The Summerside Chevys will play for a Canadian championship.
The Chevys outlasted the Sherwood/Cornwall Knights 8-3 in the championship game of the Baseball P.E.I. provincial bantam AAA elimination tournament on Sunday afternoon to earn P.E.I.'s berth at the Baseball Canada national bantam championship in Vaughan, Ont., from Aug. 21 to 25.
“It’s a great experience at this level of ball,” said Chevys coach Rob McCormack of the upcoming trip to the nationals. “We are going to see some good teams up there.
“We are just going to go up and have fun. Baseball is a great game, it’s not life or death; you just play good baseball, and you never know what will happen.”
The Chevys, Knights and Charlottetown Royals finished round-robin play in the five-team tournament at 3-1 (won-lost). Sherwood/Cornwall won the tiebreaker – fewest runs allowed between the three tied teams – to advance directly to the championship game.
That left the Chevys and Royals playing a tiebreaker on Sunday morning, a game Summerside won 5-3.
“All weekend we knew we had to play our best baseball, error-free, hit the ball and have some solid pitching because the teams we beat today (Sunday), Charlottetown and Sherwood, could easily be going to Vaughan as well,” said McCormack. “They are both great ball teams. Hats off to them, they played great ball all weekend.”
A key point in the championship game, played before a nice crowd at Queen Elizabeth Park’s Legends Field, came in the bottom of the third inning. The Knights were leading 2-1 at the time, and loaded the bases with one out.
The Chevys brought the Summerside infield in, and the move paid off as shortstop Logan MacDougall was able to cleanly field a ground ball and throw a strike to home for the second out. Then pitcher Dawson McCormack, who relieved starter Coleton Perry in the second inning, struck out the next batter to escape the jam.
“That was a big out because Sherwood had some momentum there,” said Coach McCormack.
The Chevys tied the game 2-2 in the fourth inning, and then took control with a four-run fifth inning.
“Ethan Francis got us started with a single and Darian Demchuk got another single up the middle,” recalled McCormack. “That got us going and got us to our big bats, and they drove in some runs for us.”
McCormack earned the pitching win, and Brett Platts came on in the seventh inning to finish up. Gabe Penalver took the loss.
Offensively, Karson Myers (2-3, triple), Demchuk (2-2) and Platts (1-3, double) led the Chevys.
Hunter MacQuaid (2-4) and Chandler Laporte (2-5) were the top batters for the Knights.
Myers earned the pitching win in the tiebreaker game, and Perry came on to notch the save. Thomas Harper went the distance for the Royals.
Brandon Condon (2-3), Perry (2-2) and MacDougall (1-3, double) were tops at the plate for Summerside.
Elijah Hood had a perfect 3-for-3 batting summary for the Royals.