Tsawwassen Brewers baseball players Brandon Graham, Tyler Lauinger, and Joel Bourque, along with coach Dan Hodgens, played pivotal roles in capturing the Provincial AA Men’s Baseball Championship.
The 10-team tournament, which took place over the Labour Day long weekend, featured two pool groups with the top two teams after four round-robin games advancing to the semi-finals.
The Ridge Meadows/Tsawwassen entry dominated all four of their pool games starting with a convincing 10-0 win over pre-tournament favorite Poco Cardinals. The second game saw Lauinger pitch a one-hit complete game shutout against the North Shore Pirates.
He frustrated the Pirates the entire game, striking out multiple batters and allowing his strong defense to take care of the rest. Lauinger was able to use his fastball, which had a lot of movement, to pick apart the Pirates’ batters with off-speed pitches that continually hit the outside of the plate.
In the third game against defending tournament champions, the Howe Sound Cannons, Graham belted a crushing grand slam over the right field fence en route to an 8-1 win. The speedy Bourgue had multiple hits and was able to steal second and home for a run.
In the final game it was a combined team effort with Graham leading the way. It was also multiple hit games for Lauinger and Bourque, resulting in a big 12-0 win over the Vernon Blue Ribbons.
In Monday’s semi against the Poco Blue Jays, Ridge Meadows/Tsawwassen gave up six runs in the first inning only to storm back in dramatic fashion in extra innings. Graham smashed the winning run in with a deep drive to right field to put his team into the final.
That’s where Ridge Meadows/Tsawwassen again faced defending champions, Howe Sound.
With Lauinger back on the mound, Howe Sound jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the third. The Tsawwassen boys led the comeback as Graham, Lauinger, and Bourque all had timely hits, contributing to a three-run fourth inning to tie it up. This sparked the Ridge Meadows/Tsawwassen team and they went on to get three more runs in the fifth and sixth innings to eventually win 7-3 and capture the provincial title.