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. And so far they’re doing just that.
After sweeping a best-of-three playoff against the Kamloops RiverDogs Saturday at Latrace Field, winning 4-0 and 12-2, the Chuckers have made it into the season-ending final four tournament next weekend (Aug. 4 to 7) in Chilliwack.
With the regular-season champion Cloverdale Nationals (which lost just twice all year) leading the way, they’ll be in tough. But as Verde Rios says: “Playoffs are playoffs and not necessarily the best team in the league wins but the best team on that day.”
And like last Saturday, when Brayden Carpenter and Cameron Lewis both threw complete-game victories, pitching will be key.
“It has been a while since we have seen so much skill in our Grade 12 players as we have this year,” Verde Rios said. “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.