Nobody said it was easy, but nevertheless, the Prince George Surg Med Midget Knights are back on top.
After overcoming a seven-run deficit in the semis, the local club pulled away from the Vancouver Expos in the last two innings of the gold medal game for a 9-4 victory and captured their third B.C. Minor Baseball provincial pennant in four years.
Kolby Lukinchuk threw a near-complete game in the championship final on Sunday (Aug. 4), going six-and-a-third innings before Jacob Ross came in to nab the last two outs.
The 18U AA event in Kelowna saw the Knights go undefeated at 6-0.
However, they nearly missed out on a chance for the title, finding themselves down by as much as seven runs in the semi-final match against Vancouver (the Expos had two teams at the tournament) earlier in the day.
The Knights had never trailed on the weekend, starting a little bit behind on the sticks and were down 5-0 after two and 8-1 after four.
Then, in the sixth, Prince George scored 14 runs in an inning that lasted an hour and 15 minutes to make it a 15-8 score with one frame to play.
The Expos managed to get one run in the seventh through Brady Pratt’s relief-pitching efforts, allowing Prince George to punch their ticket to the final.
The Knights outscored provincial opponents 86-22; the round-robin scores were:
- 7-3 win over Vancouver Expos 1
- 24-1 win over Penticton Tigers (Mercy rule)
- 14-4 win over Mission Twins
- 17-1 win over Tri-City Thunder (Mercy rule)
The win is also a sigh of relief for the Midgets after missing out on the chance to win a third straight B.C. Minor Baseball finale last year, getting edged out 7-4 by eventual-champion Aldergrove Dodgers in the semi-final.
That being said, Prince George will now try to capture a Baseball B.C. 18U AA provincial championship for a third consecutive season when they head to Burnaby this weekend (Aug. 8 to 11).
Their schedule is as follows:
- Aug. 8 = Knights host Tri-City Thunder @ 1:10 p.m.
- Aug. 9 = Knights visit Vancouver Expos @ 10:50 a.m.
- Aug. 9 = Knights visit New West/Queens Park Royals @ 5:50 p.m.
- Aug. 10 = Knights host Ladner Red Sox @ 3 p.m.
- Aug. 11 = Playoffs TBD
Unfortunately, the long weekend did not favour three other Prince George teams at their B.C. Minor Baseball championships.
The 13U AAA and 11U A squads could not win a single game, finishing with a 0-4 record in Victoria and Kamloops respectively.
The 11U AAA Tier One Knights mustered one victory over a 1-3 weekend in Abbotsford, a 5-0 shut out over the Duncan River Cats.