Kevin Biro (4) of the Victoria Mavericks pounds fists after hitting what proved to be the game-winning home run against Manitoba on Saturday at the Baseball Canada men’s national championships at Royal Athletic Park. Don Descoteau/Victoria News

Mavericks look forward to next year’s baseball nationals in Victoria

Host squad finishes with a flurry, but fails to make playoffs

There were plenty of offensive fireworks late Saturday afternoon at Royal Athletic Park and the Victoria Mavericks came out on the right end of the score, 11-7 against Manitoba.

Unfortunately it was a case of waiting too long to put it all together for the host team at the Baseball Canada men’s national championships, as their 2-2 round robin record saw them miss the playoffs.

The tournament wraps up today, with Team B.C. soon wrapping up the morning semifinal against Red Deer, Alta. and Fredericton, N.B. taking on Sherwood Park, Alta. in the other semi at noon.

The medal round sees the semifinal losers play for bronze at 4 p.m. with the semifinal winners meeting in the gold medal game at 7 p.m.

The Mavericks, who opened the tournament 0-2 with losses to Fredericton (10-4) and Tecumseh, Ont. (6-1), rebounded for a 4-3 win over Red Deer, but needed other teams to help their bid for a playoff spot.

That didn’t happen, as Tecumseh beat Manitoba 3-2 and Red Deer beat New Brunswick 4-2 Saturday.

“We knew going in that we didn’t have a chance, but we wanted to give the fans a show for showing their support all week long, and we think we gave them a good last game of the tournament for us,” said Mavericks league veteran Lanny Burrows. “That was the first game where we really broke out offensively as a group, and it’s great to watch.”

Down 4-3 to Manitoba in the top of the seventh, Victoria built a solid 7-4 lead on three straight singles, a sacrifice fly by Duncan Blades and a towering three-run home run over the left field wall by Nanaimo’s Liam Goodall, who finished the day with six runs batted in.

But Manitoba hit Mavericks pitcher Cooper Misic hard in the bottom of the inning, and tied the game on a big three-run homer by Brendan Gaunt.

Sent to an extra inning, the Mavericks responded again. Kevin Biro smacked a leadoff homer to provide the ultimate winning run, then his teammates added four more hits, with Goodall adding to his totals with a two-run single.

Victoria reliever Mitch Davidoff gave up an opening hit to Manitoba, but shut them down in order, with the Mavericks turning a double play to end the game.

“It seemed to be the theme of the week for us, after we got a lead the [other] team would come back with a home run of their own,” Burrows said. “So, we were battling all week but we showed good character coming out on top there.”

Mavericks head coach Dave Diachuk appreciated the offensive sparks, but knew his team needed to find their offence sooner to have a chance at making the playoffs for this tournament.

“The pitching is top-notch. There’s a lot of guys that can hit and when you make a mistake they make you pay for it,” he said.

“We kind of thought our bats were going to catch up a little quicker. We knew we were going to be rusty at the start cause of a lag between playoffs and [nationals]. Guys were playing to try and stay in shape and keep up with it. I thought we really started hitting the ball well in the last half of the tournament.”

With Baseball Canada and the Victoria organizing committee having agreed to host the tournament here in 2018, it gives the host group a chance to further fine tune things on the field, Diachuk added. “We’re going to try and build another squad up next year and hopefully we’ll be more productive early in the tournament and later on as well.”

Diachuk said he’s been to many nationals and hadn’t seen a better-run event, with “first-class facilities.” He gave kudos to the committee led by Jim Swanson or the Victoria HarbourCats, and the field operations crew.

editor@vicnews.com

 

Liam Goodall of the Victoria Mavericks totalled six runs batted in an 11-7 win over Manitoba on Saturday at the Baseball Canada men’s national championships at Royal Athletic Park. Don Descoteau/Victoria News

Just Posted

Athlete who survived head-on collision offers GameChanger award for women

Victoria woman competed in an Ironman two years after doctors told her she wouldn’t walk

PHOTOS: Bear fishes for salmon in Goldstream Park

Each fall thousands of vistors head to the park to watch the annual salmon spawn

Man convicted in 1978 Victoria killing dismissed of murder charges in U.S.

Tommy Ross Jr. expected to be released from Clallam County jail after 40 years behind bars

HarbourCats van ticketed at Braefoot Park

Braefoot association dinged $50 for parking baseball team’s van

Victoria resident unable to vote after a move across the Saanich border

Lucia Espino moved just a few blocks, but unable to vote in either municipality

Canada Post strikes leaves small shops in the lurch as holidays approach: CFIB

Rotating strikes began in Victoria, Edmonton, Halifax and Windsor

VIDEO: Fire destroys historic small-town B.C. restaurant

Two people were injured as fire ripped through the Hedley restaurant around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday

B.C. town’s mayoral race a tie, come down to luck of the draw

Harry Gough led incumbent Cindy Fortin by one vote on election night Saturday

Outdoor retailer MEC vows to boost diversity after online complaint

Mountain Equipment Co-op was criticized for perpetuating a white-only picture of the outdoors

Trump vilifies caravan, says he’ll cut Central American aid

Despite Mexican efforts to stop them at the Guatemala-Mexico border, about 5,000 Central American migrants resumed their advance toward the U.S. border Sunday in southern Mexico.

Federal carbon tax rebates will exceed the cost for most people affected

Officials say 70 per cent of people in those provinces will get back more than they end up paying out as fuel costs rise to incorporate the carbon tax.

Rotating strike in Toronto will have ‘significant impact,’ says Canada Post

Canada Post union announces rotating strikes in four Canadian cities.

Cancelling Saudi Arabia arms deal would cost $1 billion: Trudeau

Canada has added its voice to global calls for answers, with Trudeau telling the CBC in an interview today that the Saudi government’s explanation of what happened lacks credibility.

Former B.C. sheriff caught in sex-related sting pleads guilty to lesser charge

Kevin Johnston will be sentenced on Nov. 6 for his role in communicating online with a person posing as a 14-year-old girl.

Most Read