The Williams Lake Prospects minor fastball team laid down a gold-medal finish last weekend in Surrey at the Fleetwood Fastpitch Tournament.
The Prospects, an under-16 club, edged Prince George’s BC Summer Games team, 9-8, in the tournament final of the ‘B’ division.
“We started the game off strong scoring five runs in the first inning, then we had a couple lapses in the field,” said coach Darren Sanford, who co-coaches the team with Nick Surette.
The 9-8 victory was, however, a little too close for comfort, Sanford noted, as Prince George had the tying run on third base when the Prospects closed out the inning.
Prospects left fielder Chris Fontaine came up clutch in the final inning, gunning out two runners looking for extra bases — one at third base, and another one at second base.
“They never gave up in the championship game,” Sanford said.
Brandon Moore, Wyatt Buller, Hayden Lyons and Fontaine were named tournament MVPs for the Prospects.
Sanford pointed to some strategic play from his club in hanging on for the win.
“Our guys started bunting and Prince George didn’t know what to do,” he said. “Wyatt was MVP for the game — he laid down some nice drag bunts and is probably our most improved player.”
Williams Lake began the tournament facing under-19 teams, despite entering in the ‘B’ division.
The Prospects lost their first game to the Fraser Valley Vipers, before rain put a damper on the rest of Saturday’s games.
Next Williams Lake met Sooke, an under-16 team, winning 11-10, with Lyons opening the scoring by driving in Devon Hill.
“Devon was our lead-off batter and was on fire all weekend,” Sanford said. “[He made] timely bunts all weekend by Tyler Tenning, Cole Broen, and Wyatt. [The games] we won we started out winning, then by the end we had to battle back to win.”
Pitcher Moore was also solid on the mound, Sanford said.
In Sunday’s morning game the Prospects lost to Cloverdale, leaving them second on the ‘B’ side and putting them into the ‘B’ final against Prince George.
Sanford and Surette recently took over the coaching duties for the team, and said they’ve seen remarkable improvement in a short amount of time.
“We got asked to go evaluate eight or so of them who were trying out for the BC Summer Games,” Sanford said. “We saw so much they could work on, so they asked if we could come out and help.
“They have so much talent. They just need to build on the skills they have. We could beat those under-19 teams, but they’re improving and they all want to play midget next year. It was awesome to see.”
The Prospects have two games this weekend as Prince George and Clearwater are bringing teams to Williams Lake’s Dave Means Ballpark.
Williams Lake meets Prince George at 11 a.m. and Clearwater at 3 p.m. Prince George and Clearwater are set to play at 1 p.m.
The Prospects are also attending the B.C. Fastball Championships in Clearwater from July 4-6.