The White Rock Junior Tritons pose for a photo after finishing second at the Lee Johnson Firecracker Tournament earlier this month. (Contributed photo)

The White Rock Junior Tritons pose for a photo after finishing second at the Lee Johnson Firecracker Tournament earlier this month. (Contributed photo)

White Rock Tritons seek wins as playoffs draw near

All three Tritons squads gained valuable experience at recent Seattle tournament: GM

With their respective playoff hopes hanging by a thread, two White Rock Tritons teams need to end the regular season with a string of victories – while also getting some help from other teams on the out-of-town scoreboard.

The Tritons’ senior team (U18) has four games remaining in their BC Premier Baseball League regular season – two Friday at home against the Whalley Chiefs, and two more Sunday against the North Delta Blue Jays. The team currently sits ninth in the PBL standings, and needs to move into eighth in order to qualify for the playoffs.

With a win-loss record of 17-23, they’re two wins back of the eighth-place Okanagan Athletics, but due to teams having played an unequal number of games due to postponements earlier in the season that were not rescheduled, Tritons’ general manager Kyle Dhanani told Peace Arch News that winning percentage may be what determines the playoff seeding, rather than win-loss record.

In that case, the Tritons – whose current winning percentage is .425 – can boost their number to .477 if they can sweep all four games this weekend, while the A’s – who also have four games left – could win no more than two.

“The seniors, they’ll need some help to get into the playoffs,” Dhanani said.

This year, the PBL playoff format will not be the traditional head-to-head style – which would see the No. 1 seed play the No. 8, No. 2 versus No. 7 and so on – but would rather be a round-robin format, in which the winners of two pools would play for the championship.

The Tritons’ juniors (U16) find themselves in a similar spot as their older teammates. They sit 10th in the junior circuit, with a 15-22 win-loss record, and though they find themselves further back from the last playoff seed than the seniors do in their league, the U16 squad has seven regular-season games left – beginning tonight (Thursday) against the Whalley Junior Chiefs.

They play four games this weekend – all at home, against the Parksville Royals and North Shore Twins – before two games next week, July 20 and 21, against the Langley Junior Blaze and the Chiefs, respectively.

The Tritons’ bantam (U15) team, meanwhile, is firmly in a playoff spot; they sit seventh in the bantam-division standings with a 22-22 win-loss record, with four games left to play – two Saturday on the road against the Coquitlam Reds and two more Sunday against the Mid-Island Pirates, also on the road.

Seattle tournament

Earlier this month, all three Tritons teams headed south to the Greater Seattle area for the Lee Johnson Firecracker Tournament.

The trip was the White Rock club’s first foray into Washington since prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dhanani noted.

“It was good to get back there and play (against) some Americans, especially teams from the Pacific Northwest, just to see where everybody’s at, and see how you stack up,” he said.

The senior and bantam squads each finished with 2-2 records in the round-robin portion of the tournament, which was not enough to advance to the playoff rounds. However, the juniors did qualify for the playoff portion of the tournament, and advanced all the way to the final – their third game of the day – but lost.

For the Tritons’ graduating senior players, the experience was one they’d missed out on in the last two years, and Dhanani also pointed out the trip was good for the organization’s younger players, too.

“For the guys coming up – it shows them where they need to get to, and what a high level (of competition) looks like. It was a good weekend for motivation.”



sports@peacearchnews.com

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