Photo by Don Fennell
Raul Verde Rios is justly proud of the success Richmond City Baseball’s 18-and-under Chuckers have enjoyed this season.
"It was nice for the boys to get third place (posting 23 wins in 40 games in the B.C. Minor College Prep league)," he says. "It was well-deserved. They worked hard to get there."
Now, the team's skipper is hoping the boys can build on that success in the post-season.
"As we say, playoffs are playoffs and not necessarily the best team in the league wins but the best team on that day," he says. "If our pitching comes out well from the beginning, we have a good chance to go past the first round best-of-three this weekend."
Richmond is scheduled to play the Kamloops RiverDogs, with the winner moving on to the final four Aug. 4 to 7 in Chilliwack.
Verde Rios says Richmond City Baseball going to great lengths to retain Grade 10 players in its program, and not losing them to the Premier league, paid immediate dividends. It meant “for the first time we were able to retain five players for our program.”
"It has (also) been a while since we have seen so much skill in our Grade 12 players as we have this year," Verde Rios says. "Our older boys' pitching has been, for most of the time, phenomenal with Will Thiessen, Jordan Moffat, Cam Lewis and Brayden Carpenter as some of the top players in the league."
Moffat's 0.78 earned-run average was tops in the league, while he also had the second-most strikeouts with 75. Carpenter was the league's top hitter with 51 hits and 30 runs batted in, and sported a batting average of .425.