North Delta Rays pitcher Tomas Mancini against the Abbotsford Angels Red in the semi-final game of the BC Baseball 13U A West provincials at McMillan Park in Abbotsford on Sunday, Aug. 11. (John Morrow photo)

North Delta Rays relish B.C. peewee championship victory

Sunday’s win marks the baseball squad’s first Peewee A provincial title since 2007

By Trevor Beggs for the North Delta Reporter

One year ago, the North Delta Rays finished their season with a .500 record. In 2019, many of those same players returned to lead the Peewee A baseball team to a provincial championship.

The Rays defeated Victoria 9-5 on Sunday, Aug. 11 to capture the organizations first 13U A West provincial banner since 2007.

Head coach Tony Deane would be the first to admit that it didn’t always come easy for his squad, but the team persevered though trials and tribulations for a well-deserved championship victory.

“I’ll be honest, heading into the season I thought we had a really strong team,” Deane said. “Early in the season I told the parents that there’s a chance to do something special here, and here we are raising the banner.”

“We were a .500 team last year so there were definitely some growing pains. To get stronger, you have to suffer those defeats, then you realize what it takes to get to the next level.”

While some squads can rely on the skill of just a few players, Deane noted that the Rays counted on a buy-in from everyone to bring home the title.

“It might be cliché, but we weren’t the strongest group heading into the season. We had all the right attitudes and for the most part, it was a lunch bucket group made up of guys who worked hard rather than guys who relied solely on talent.

“We were the hardest-working team all season long. We won in some really tight games, and our experience with the defeats of last year really paid off in some of those contests.”

The Rays dominated for most of the season, going a combined 13-3 between tournament and regular season action before provincials. Still, they found out during the first game of the Peewee A championship that winning wouldn’t come easy, after they opened the tournament with an 8-7 nail-biter loss to Salt Spring Island.

“Losing the first game of provincials was tough,” Deane said. “You want to win your first game, it’s certainly easier from a coaching perspective with pitch counts.”

“I said to the kids that we gotta go out and win the next three games. Even after winning those games it came down to a tie-break of runs against, and Salt Spring was eliminated based on that.”

After squeaking through to the semis, the Rays beat the host Abbotsford Angels Red 13-6, setting up a showdown against Victoria in the final.

“It was a close game against Victoria right up until the fifth inning,” Deane said. “We scored two in the fifth and two in the sixth, and there were some great plays that made the difference. Our outfielder Hugo Grieves made a huge catch in left field. Sammy Wong hit a home run which was big. Then we had Timothy Yang, our stud pitcher, who pitched in both the Abbotsford and Victoria games.”

Most teams have at least one leader in the locker room, and Deane said Yang was that guy for North Delta throughout the season.

“Yang was the leader and the kids gravitated toward him,” he said. “He kept kids on an even keel. For a 12-year-old to have that kind of power was impressive.

“I said early in the season that we needed a leader and he stepped up. The kids buckled down when he talked, and he backed it up by throwing a ball that people couldn’t hit.”

While Yang’s pitching was vital, Deane said he was whole-heartedly proud of the entire team’s effort on their way to the provincial title.

“This group worked hard and learned from experiences. They knew what it took to get to the next level, and it’s fantastic to see it pay off for them.

“I told the guys that some of them will never experience this again. It’s a tough road and you have to make sacrifices, so I want all of them to enjoy it.”

RELATED: North Delta Rays sweep 11U AAA Tier 2 provincials



editor@northdeltareporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

North Delta Rays catcher Tyler Bernabe makes an amazing tag at home against Abbotsford Angels Red’s Parker Moffat in the semi-final game of the BC Baseball 13U A West provincials at McMillan Park in Abbotsford on Sunday, Aug. 11. (John Morrow photo)

The North Delta Rays are the 2019 BC Baseball 13U A West provincial champions. (Kristina Winter photo)

Just Posted

Surrey RCMP looking for ‘distraction theft’ suspect

Suspect allegedly tried to swipe a man’s necklace while giving him a hug

White Rock brewery turns up the (alcohol by) volume in COVID-19 fight

3 Dogs Brewing is making hand sanitizer for frontline workers, general public

Cloverdale automobile shop offers to pick up, service, and drop off vehicles

Surrey’s Visscher-Pau Automotive starts ‘Blue Glove’ valet service — will cover Cloverdale, Langley, Newton, Fleetwood, and Hazelmere

1,000 food hampers packed for delivery to students of Surrey’s inner-city schools

City Dream Centre-led initiative involved volunteer effort at Horizon Church in Newton

Surrey councillor wants property taxes deferred to December

Linda Annis is expected to present notice of motion to that effect at April 6 “virtual” council meeting

COLUMN: The other graph that shows B.C. can beat COVID-19

Is the curve being flattened? data on hospitalizations provides a crucial answer.

Here’s how to talk to people who aren’t taking physical distancing seriously

Approach the conversation with empathy says conflict expert

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

As 500K+ apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

Wearing non-medical masks can stop spread of COVID-19 before symptoms start: Tam

Health officials had previously not recommended wearing them

UPDATE: UK PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worse

He has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26

Travellers, travel agents ‘in agony’ over refund policies and customer service

Many Canadian carriers are offering customers flights rebookings or travel vouchers — but not refunds

Introverted and extroverted kids likely to react differently to COVID-19 restrictions

B.C. child psychologist says your parenting approach can’t be one-size fits all in social isolation

Most Read