Another feather in the cap for Blaze baseball team
For the fourth time in five years, the Langley Blaze have won the B.C. Premier Baseball League pennant.
The Blaze accomplished the feat even before wrapping up the regular season on the weekend, thanks to an impressive 39-9 record, three games clear of the second-place Nanaimo Pirates (36-12).
Langley closed their regular season by splitting a pair of doubleheaders.
On Saturday at Delair Park, they hammered the Abbotsford Cardinals 9-0 but lost game two 6-5.
And on Sunday at Mundy Park, the Blaze fell 5-3 in the opener to the Coquitlam Reds before bouncing back with a 10-3 victory.
Preston Kokotailo drove in three runs, while Tyler O’Neill, Bill Germaine and Mason Cratty each had a pair of RBIs.
O’Neill finished 3-for-3 with two runs scored and a home run. He finished a triple short of hitting for the cycle.
Liam Stroud earned the victory, allowing one hit over three innings.
In the opener, Mitchell Robinson and O’Neill had RBIs.
Against Abbotsford, Greg Rodgers drove in three runs.
Justin Atkinson earned the win with six solid innings of four hit-ball.
Langley’s hopes for a split were dashed when the Cardinals scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning, snapping a 5-5 tie to earn the split.
Cratty led the way with a pair of RBIs while Nick Rutckyj, O’Neill and Germaine had one apiece.
Aaron Horanski led the league with a .416 batting average while Tyler O’Neill was tops in RBIs with 39, thanks in large part to a hot-hitting final weekend where he went 8-for-12 with six RBIs. He also had two home runs to finish with a league-best six dingers.
Bill Germaine finished second in the league in hits with 56.
Among pitchers, Jon Bauer had a league-low earned run average of 0.82 while going 11-1, also best in the PBL.
Langley faces the North Shore Twins (20-26) in the league quarter-finals..
The best-of-three playoff series begins on Saturday at noon at McLeod Park. Game two is at 2:30 p.m. If necessary, game three would be on Sunday at noon.
All three games are at McLeod and the winner advances to the B.C. PBL Final Four championships over the August long weekend in Nanaimo.
The Blaze are the defending provincial champions.