Beacon Hill Little League baseball is hosting the 2017 Provincial Championships at Hollywood Park in Fairfield next month. A 14-player all-star team, including those pictured here, will be guided by assistant coach Craig Shaw (left) and manager Tak Niketas (right). Kendra Wong/Victoria News

Beacon Hill to host Little League baseball B.C. championships

Hollywood Park in Fairfield the site of tournament July 22 to 30

Beacon Hill Little League will welcome baseball players from around the province as it hosts its first-ever B.C. Little League major division championship tournament next month.

Taking place July 22 to 30 at Hollywood Park in Fairfield, the tourney will see seven teams (two from Vancouver Island, one from the Kootenays and four from the Lower Mainland) battle for the title.

Beacon Hill will field an all-star team with 14 players, some of whom have competed in provincials in previous years.

“It’s really important for us. The kids have worked really hard over the last four years,” said manager Tak Niketas, noting that this is the first time the league has hosted a tournament of this magnitude. “We’re not going to back down in our own backyard here … it’s not going to happen.”

Having home-field advantage will be important for the players, who have their sights fixed on winning the tournament and advancing to the Canadian Little League Championships in Medicine Hat in early August. The winner there moves on to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Penn. later that month.

Beacon Hill assistant coach Craig Shaw said the team is well-rounded, with strong pitching and defense, as well as a solid infield and outfield that runs as a “well-oiled machine” when they get going. The mental aspect of the game will be the 11 -and 12-year-olds’ biggest challenge, he added.

“They all have the skills. It’s grit and the ability to bounce back and support each other when things aren’t going well,” he said, “and really developing the character to persevere when things are rough.”

For more information on the 2017 B.C. championships, visit beaconhilllittleleague.pointstreaksites.com.

kendra.wong@vicnews.com

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