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Peewees power to tourney title

Tyees baseball team sweeps to 5-0 record, gold medal in Diane Cook Memorial tournament in Surrey/Newton
Campbell River's peewee Tyees came home with gold medals after sweeping to the title in the Diane Cook Memorial Tournament in Surrey/Newton.

The Campbell River Tyees 13U Pee Wee summer baseball team swept to perfect 5-0 record and the championship of the Diane Cook Memorial Tournament in Surrey/Newton June 27-29.

The Tyees clinched the title with a 9-8, extra-inning win over Rutland in what was arguably the most exciting game of the weekend.

Two runs by Rutland in the top of the seventh inning erased a slender Tyees lead and left them three outs from a loss, trailing 8-7. In the bottom of the seventh, Branden Lambert reached with a walk, stole second and advanced to third on a sacrifice by Laine Rogers. On the next pitch, Tyee batter Gage Windle squared to bunt, but the Rutland pitcher threw one in the dirt, allowing Lambert to race home with a score that forced extra innings. The Tyees shut down the Rockies with three quick outs in the top of the eighth, and wasted no time putting the game away.

Leadoff batter Isaac McKenzie drew a walk and proceeded to steal second on the next pitch. The next Tyees batter, Greyer McLain, worked himself to a 1-1 count before lacing a line drive up the middle that chased McKenzie home as the Campbell River dugout emptied and mobbed him at the plate.

Rogers, McLain and Riley Sutherland all took care of the pitching, while McKenzie picked up the game MVP honours.

Campbell River earned it berth in the final by overcoming a 3-0, first-inning deficit to roll past the Port Coquitlam A’s 10-3 in the semifinals. Sutherland led the offence with a heavy bat, hitting his second ground-rule double in as many days with a one-hopper over the right field fence. McLain and Sutherland shared the pitching assignment, while Joe Frumento was solid at the plate and on the bases all game. Sutherland had a convincing closing effort on the mound and earned himself game MVP.

The Tyees opened tourney play with an 11-9 thriller over Kamloops. Austin Gurney, McLain, Sutherland and Rogers all shared the pitching duties, and the Tyees’ baserunning and hitting proved to be the difference as the locals stole bases at will and manufactured runs all game. McLain was awarded game MVP for his solid three-inning pitching effort.

Sunday morning's red-eye special saw the Tyees and Tsawassen engage in a wild slugfest. The game was tied 8-8 tie after two innings before the Tyees defence slowly came alive in the third inning. The turning point of the game came when Campbell River turned a double play by getting two runners out in two consecutive run downs in the same play sequence. Tsawassen never recovered, and the Tyees rolled to a 20-16 win. Brodie Gardner, Gage Windle, Austin Gurney, Robert Gurney and Cameron Bell took care of the pitching duties, and Bryce Idiens picked up game MVP for his defensive play.

The Tyees clinched the top spot in their pool with a 13-5 romp over the Newton Dodgers in the teams' round-robin finale. Lambert was 3-for-3 at the plate with seven RBIs to earn MVP honours. Bell, Idiens and Rogers were solid on the mound, and catchers Robert Gurney and Rogers had Newton’s base runners hesitant to steal after throwing them out at second and third bases throughout the game.

The Tyees head back to the mainland to resume tournament in Ridge Meadows beginning today, then move on to the Island Zone Provincial qualifying tourney July 17-19 in Duncan.

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