The Trail AM Ford Orioles are off to the B.C. Senior Men’s Baseball Championship in Kelowna but the team faces some tough competition as it finds itself in a division with last year’s national champion Burnaby as well as Kamloops and Victoria.
“The tournament on a whole this year, is going to be as competitive as I’ve ever seen it,” said the Orioles’ manager/player Jim Maniago. “There’s seven really strong teams here, but we’re definitely in a tough division.”
The O’s have practiced hard for the last two weeks, finishing up their first season in the Pacific International League (PIL) earlier this month. Despite some scheduling problems, PIL teams were some of the best competition the O’s have faced and Maniago hopes the experience translates into a run at the provincial title.
The O’s lost to Burnaby at a Kelowna tournament in July but on any given day, Maniago feels the O’s can win.
“With Burnaby we need to play a very sound game, you can’t give them anything or you’re not going to win,” he said. “Last year we lost our first game to Burnaby but it was really tight. We had left the bases loaded a couple times; you know if we score, we win, instead they win the nationals.”
The Orioles last won the provincial title in 2008. Their first game goes at 10:20 a.m. Saturday against Victoria.