The Beaver Valley Blue Jays bounced back from a round-robin loss to the Trail Mariners to capture the West Kootenay Little League Major title on Sunday at Andy Bilesky Park with a 5-1 victory.
“That was a good game, it was one of the best Major league games I’ve seen in a while,” said B.V. coach Shane Drake.
The Jays fell to the Mariners 5-4 in a round-robin game Saturday, which earned the undefeated Trail team a bye to the final.
However, B.V. dispatched a tough Nelson squad 8-1 Sunday morning in the semifinal to capture a spot in the final against the Ms, and they kept that momentum rolling.
Beaver Valley jumped out to a 3-0 first inning lead on well-executed small ball. Deegan Kyle laid down a bunt single, and Carson McInnis singled to put two runners on. Braden Tremblay then stepped up and belted a three-run shot to the fence for a lead the Jays would not relinquish.
“It was just ball luck,” said Drake. “We made the plays. We had good pitching all weekend, key hits, and Tremblay, he had four key hits for us on Sunday so that was big.”
The Mariners threatened with a two-out rally in the fourth inning. With two runners on, the Trail player looped a ball into right field, but a quick reaction by the second basemen fired a throw to bat-catcher Connor Drake and snuffed out a potential run in a close play at the plate.
“That was huge,” said the Jays coach. “The laid a little looper over a first-baseman’s head, and our second basemen fired it home and Connor made the tag at home. That was the biggest part of the game right there.”
Trail was able to get one back in the fourth inning but Tremblay hit another deep shot to score two more runs in the top of the fifth for the 5-1 final.
Tremblay and McInnis were solid on the mound and combined for the victory. The championship finishes off a successful year for the Jays team, which also won the May Days Little League title.
It was coach Drake’s third championship after winning back-to-back titles with B.V. Minor league teams.