More than 100 people showed up at Lakeview Park Monday night. And it wasn’t for the grand opening of the Peanut Pool.
Instead, fans were there to watch the Wayside Mavericks bounce the Hi-Pro Sports Blackhawks 11-7 in the final of the Vernon Mosquito Baseball League playoffs.
Wyatt Cleverly started on the mound for the Mavericks and threw two great innings, narrowly missing a doubleplay on a hard come backer in the second. Jamie Campbell and Mason Swanson got the Mavericks through the third and fourth innings, minimizing the damage and keeping the game close before giving way to Kaleb Murray.
Murray, who was rock solid all playoffs giving up only one run in eight innings pitched, shut the door by striking out six batters and allowing one baseruner on a walk.
Offensive stars of the game were Jackson Brown, Emma Pedersen, Josh McCaig and Morgan Hackman. Huge defensive plays were recorded by Ella Macpherson, Nixon Swanson, Liam Shaw and Cy Exner.
Coach Derek Murray praised all of his players and attributed the Mavericks’ playoff success to pitching, timely hitting and defence.
“We didn’t have the most powerful offence in the league but we got clutch hitting from several different players during our playoff run; someone different each game stepped up and a made a big play,” said Murray. “We knew our pitching was pretty solid so us coaches (Brad Swanson and Scott Mcpherson) tried to get out to an early lead each game and let our pitching shut the door. It didn’t always work out that way but the kids managed to find a way to win each night.”
Meanwhile, the two Vernon 13U AA teams hosted a tournament at Creekside Park last weekend with teams from Spruce Grove, Alta., Penticton, West Kelowna and Kelowna competing.
Penticton won the gold medal against West Kelowna behind stellar pitching and heavy hitting.
Vernon # 1 cranked nine homeruns as they outslugged Kelowna 20-19 for the bronze.
Terry Johnson got the home run party started (earning MVP), followed by Jace Weir, with three, Brydon Pilon, Colby Restiaux, Erik Pastro, Blake MacPherson, and Cooper Hanson.
Also contributing with stellar hitting and fielding were Ben Thompson, Nicholas Hawthorne, Bennett Kuhnlein, Connor Applegate, Reece Holmes, and bunt specialist Levi Orchard. It was an emotionally-charged game that stayed close the entire way.