With little time to dwell on their semifinal loss, the Langley Prep Blaze re-focused and made sure their return trip home included a medal.
The Blaze defeated Alberta 7-0 in the bronze medal game on Sunday at the 2016 Baseball Canada Prep (15 and under) boys national championships in Summerside, PEI.
“Hats off to our guys. They were really pumped to play the bronze medal game,” said Langley coach Russell Kennedy.
What helped matters was there was not much time to dwell on the team’s 5-2 semifinal loss to the eventual champions from Ontario, as that game finished just 90 minutes prior to the bronze medal game.
“It is a great sign off on the season. Obviously it wasn’t the medal we came for but to get bronze, and win the last game of the year, is really great,” Kennedy said.
Langley, which qualified for nationals after winning the provincial title in early August, went 5-2 with both losses at the hands of Ontario.
Kennedy said the Ontario team had strong pitching and bats.
Their roster contained just two players under six-feet tall and both were five-foot-eleven.
Against Alberta with a medal on the line, Theo Millas struck out 13 and allowed just four hits and no walks in six innings in the third-place game.
He also picked up the tournament’s top pitcher award, giving up zero runs in 11.1 innings while striking out 24 batters.
Offensively, both Justin Thorsteinson and Nick Holdershaw hit home runs over the course of the championships.
Kevin Kim, Carson Chorpita and Ryan Blight had four RBIs apiece to lead the team.
“I would have taken bronze at nationals before the season started, hands down, no question,” Kennedy said.
“For this being the first year of the program, we couldn’t have asked for a better result.”
The Blaze players will now set their sights on the Fall Ball season (for U14, U16 and U18 levels) which gets underway this weekend.
The Langley Senior Blaze senior men’s baseball team’s quest for a national championship ended in the quarter-finals.
The Blaze were in Fredericton, N.B. and they lost to the host side 9-3 in the quarter-finals on Saturday.
Langley went 2-3 at the tournament.