Sports

Chilliwack Cougars claim Western crown

Chilliwack Cougars designated hitter Danny Hollins (19) slides into a force-out at home Saturday, as Saskatoon Diamondbacks catcher Daniel Keck mitts the throw just in time. The Diamondbacks were the only team to defeat the Cougars on the weekend, taking the game 11-3. - Greg Laychak
Chilliwack Cougars designated hitter Danny Hollins (19) slides into a force-out at home Saturday, as Saskatoon Diamondbacks catcher Daniel Keck mitts the throw just in time. The Diamondbacks were the only team to defeat the Cougars on the weekend, taking the game 11-3.
— image credit: Greg Laychak

The Chilliwack Cougars had double cause for celebration last weekend, after hosting and winning the Western Canadian 18U AAA Baseball Championships at Fairfield Island Sports Field.

“Chilliwack is on the hosting map,” said Brent Bogart, president of Chilliwack Minor Baseball (CMBA).

“After three hosting successes in three years, we are the place to hold tourneys.”

Bogart added that he envisions the city hosting the Canadian Nationals in the near future.

“We heard several comments regarding the beautiful ballpark, how well the tournament was run and what a fantastic organization the CMBA is,” he said.

Bogart credits the volunteer base and sponsors for making the tournament a success.

The Cougars showed their formula for triumph with a close 7-6 victory over provincial champions Tri City in the final championship game.

Chilliwack was down by six runs in the second inning and climbed back from no runs to nab the win in the seventh inning.

“Coach Shawn Corness had Riley Ens enter the game to pitch in the third inning, and from that point BC was held off the board,” said Lee Rogers, vice-president of the CMBA. “It was just a matter of the Cougars scoring.”

They did so, scoring seven runs and holding their opponents to none, with Ens pitching two final dramatic strikeouts in the last at-bats.

As the national team was heavily loaded with western players, many of the Chilliwack and Tri City players who represented B.C. in the mid-August Canadian tournament faced off in the final match Sunday.

Last weekend’s competition saw teams from Alberta and Saskatchewan travel to Chilliwack for the event.

Bogart hasn’t run the official numbers, but said with sponsorship and provincial grant money received the weekend should break even.

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