Baseball players from across Canada in the 11- to- 13-year-old age group are about to play for national glory at City Park.
Starting Thursday and over the following week, all-star squads from B.C., Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec will vie for Little League Canada’s national intermediate championship title.
As the host team, the Langley Baseball All-Stars have an automatic berth and will join the Fraser Valley as B.C. representatives at the July 20 to 27 tournament.
Langley is now home to this national tournament until 2019.
“Part of our application process is, we applied to host it for three years,” explained Sean Corscadden, one of Langley Baseball’s executive members.
Corscadden said Langley Baseball is very excited about hosting the tournament.
“We’re going to see some really good baseball and show off Langley at the same time,” he added.
Langley Baseball past president, current vice president for 13- to- 19-year-olds, and national tournament chair Dan McLaren noted that the association has enjoyed “constant growth” over the past four years and hosting the Canadian championships will only strengthen its profile.
It will also likely add to Langley Baseball’s numbers (this year there were 550 players ranging in age from four to 19) and, McLaren said, “hopefully bring back more alumni players, as they are now dads and coaches.”
‘Big’ is a fitting description for this tournament.
Corscadden estimated that about 90 players will be flying in from different parts of Canada to compete for the national crown.
Corscadden says the nationals were a year in the making.
“It can’t happen without the amazing volunteers and board members that we’ve got,” Corscadden said.
McLaren has been instrumental in the planning process in such details as bringing food trucks to City Park to help feed the players, coaches, supporters, and fans.
The tournament begins this Friday (July 21) with Alberta taking on Quebec at 3 p.m., followed by Fraser Valley taking on Langley at 6 p.m.
Action continues over the next week, with the national championship final slated for Thursday, July 27 at 6 p.m.
Whichever team emerges from Langley as the national champions will qualify for the Intermediate World Series tournament which takes place July 30 to Aug. 6 in Livermore, Calif.
The City of Langley is a big supporter of the tournament, Corscadden said: “It’s nice to see them supporting us and getting behind us to put this on.”
Key parts of the schedule include:
Thursday, July 20 at 7 p.m. — Opening ceremonies, Barbour Field at City Park
Friday July 21 – play begins. Alberta vs. Quebec at 3 p.m., Langley vs. B.C. at 6 p.m.
Saturday, July 22 at 6:30 p.m. — barbecue and skills competition
Wednesday, July 26 at 3 p.m. — semifinal No. 1, first and fourth place teams
Wednesday July 26th at 6 p.m. — semifinal No. 2, second and third place teams
Thursday, July 27 at 2 p.m. — loser semifinal No. 1 vs. loser semifinal No. 2 for third place
Thursday, July 27 at 6 p.m. — winner semifinal No. 1 vs. winner semifinal No. 2 for Canadian championship
To view the full schedule visit llintermediatecanadians.pointstreaksites.com and click on the ‘Schedule’ tab.
July is a busy time for Langley Baseball.
The association recently hosted the district tournament eight-year-olds at City Park, and it involved eight teams from around the Lower Mainland.
The Langley 9 Selects Tournament involving 12 Lower Mainland squads, wrapped up at City Park over the weekend.
The host Langley Baseball squad ran the table during the July 7 to 17 event, going 8-0 to win the title as B.C. District 3 champions.