Aldergrove Dodgers' Sam Avila dives back into first base as Vancouver Mounties' Terrence Tintero tries to pick him off in a friendly bantam AAA game Saturday

Aldergrove Dodgers' Sam Avila dives back into first base as Vancouver Mounties' Terrence Tintero tries to pick him off in a friendly bantam AAA game Saturday

Aldergrove ready for western baseball championships

Aldergrove was named as host city for the Western Canadian AAA Bantam Baseball Tournament by BC Minor Baseball

All of the plans have come together for a memorable Western Canadian Bantam AAA Championship.

The teams from Canada’s four western provinces are ready to play and the hosts, Aldergrove Dodgers, have all the facilities, volunteers and amenities prepared for their guests.

Aldergrove was named as host city for the Western Canadian AAA Bantam Baseball Tournament by BC Minor Baseball.

From August 16 to 18 the beautiful Aldergrove Athletic Park will see some of the best 14-15 year old baseball players from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia battle for the title of best baseball team in the West.

The Western Canada Baseball Championships brings the highly competitive Bantam AAA baseball players together to play ultimately one of the biggest tournaments of their young lives, outside of the Nationals. Right here in Aldergrove spectators can see some up-and-coming local ball players who will be working toward to making teams like the Langley Blaze, Abbotsford Cardinals, or the Whalley Chiefs.

The teams that will be competing this year are from Manitoba — the South Central Selects and the North Winnipeg Pirates; from Saskatchewan — the Saskatoon Braves and the Regina Buffalos; from Alberta — the Okotoks Dawgs and the Edmonton Cardinals; and from British Columbia — the Vancouver Mounties and our very own Aldergrove Dodgers.

With only two years into Aldergrove’s Bantam AAA program the Dodgers have shown they were already a contender early in their program by finishing fifth overall in the Provincials. The coaching staff was extremely pleased with the team’s tournament performance as the Dodgers competed and became a threat during each of their games. The Dodgers lost 4-3 in their final game against a good Abbotsford team and left the Provincials with their heads held high and no excuses as to their tournament performance.

The Dodgers now look forward to hosting and competing in the upcoming Western Canada Championships.

The action started with a pair of exhibition games between the two B.C. teams last week. Vancouver Mounties won the first exhibition game 9-5 over the Aldergrove Dodgers, Saturday, August 10 at Aldergrove Athletic Park, but the Dodgers rallied for a 2-1 victory over the Mounties later that day.

The Dodgers open the tournament on Thursday morning, 9 a.m., against the Saskatchewan 2 team, followed by Manitoba 1 vs Alberta 1. B.C. vs Saskatchewan 1, Manitoba 2 vs Alberta 2, Alberta 1 vs Dodgers and Saskatchewan 2 vs Manitoba 1 (see schedule for game times: http://www.bcball.ca/teams/schedule.php?team=langleyaldergrove).

On Friday the opening ceremonies are set for 5:30 p.m., followed by the skills event.

Saturday’s games start at 9 a.m. with the Alberta 2 vs B.C., followed by Saskatchewan 1 vs Manitoba 2, Dodgers vs Manitoba 1, Saskatchewan 2 vs Alberta 1, Manitoba 2 vs B.C. and Alberta 2 vs Saskatchewan 1.

If necessary tie breaking games start at 8 a.m. on Sunday, then the four pool semi-final games begin at 10:30 a.m. The final gold medal game gets underway at 4 p.m.

Souvenir T-shirts will be available for purchase at the tournament desk, a full concession is available during the tournament and 50/50 draws will take place throughout each day. There will also be raffles for some tremendous prizes including some special baseball mementoes.

The Dodgers’ team roster consists of Jaron Jeske, Jake Polancic, Jarrod Manick, Ian Burns, Nick Atkinson, Cole Cantelon, Ken Dubois, Laith Sweiss, Owen Napieralski, Riley Ens, Yi-An Pan, Yi-Fan Pan, Mitchell Rennie, Isaiah Hayes, Kobe Morris, Kyle Stubbins, Samuel Avila, and Brendan Coulter. Coaches are Darren Rock, Dean Cantelon, Marty Van der loos and Dave Watkins.

The Dodgers added six out-of-town players to their roster, as permitted by BC Baseball, for the upcoming Western Canada Championships: Mitchell Rennie (Richmond), Isaiah Hayes (Richmond), Brendan Coulter (Kamloops), Sam Avila (Kamloops), Kobe Morris (Victoria Red) and Kyle Stubbins (Tri City). Seven of the players were also on the 2011 Langley Little World Series team which attended the Uganda Goodwill event.

The Aldergrove Dodgers line up. The Dodgers host the Western Canadian Championships at the local park starting August 15, and the Dodgers and Mounties are the two B.C. teams in the eight-team tournament.