Powered by a grand slam and a triple from Riley Jepson, the University of the Fraser Valley baseball club completed an undefeated run through the round-robin portion of the Canadian College Baseball Conference championship tournament in Kamloops.
The Cascades (5-0) defeated the Vancouver Island Baseball Institute Mariners 12-8 on Saturday morning, punching their ticket to the CCBC championship final in the process. It’s the first-ever trip to the title game for UFV, which is in its second season of CCBC competition.
The final is set for 1 p.m. Sunday at Norbrock Stadium, and the Cascades will face the winner of a 10 a.m. semifinal between the No. 2 and No. 3-ranked teams (to be determined). Live stats will be available at the CCBC website, and the tournament host Thompson Rivers WolfPack will be webcasting the game; that link can be accessed here.
“We had some team meetings before we came up here and discussed what we wanted to get out of this week,” said Cascades head coach Shawn Corness, whose team finished fourth in the CCBC regular season at 11-15. “We talked about team chemistry, everyone pulling together and battling for each other.
“It’s been fun to watch them come together – it’s been a total team concept.”
On Saturday morning, the Mariners jumped out to a 4-2 lead through two innings, but the Cascades’ hitters feasted at the plate in the third and fourth. They racked up four runs in the third, highlighted by run-scoring triples from Jepson and Stephen Horner. In the fourth, Jepson went yard with the bases loaded to spark a five-run frame.
VIBI responded with four runs in the seventh to cut the deficit to 11-8, but in the bottom of the inning, yet another UFV triple – this one from Brody Vogel – followed by a sacrifice fly from Horner provided the final margin of victory.
Jepson, Horner, Josh Berenbaum, Colin Kellington, Dan Rogers and Matt Legg each registered two hits in the Cascades’ balanced attack.
Looking ahead to Sunday, Corness said that lefthander Riley Ens and righty Dylan Emmons are ready to go, and he’ll select a starter based on his team’s opponent.
“If they can do what they do and we support them defensively, we’ll be right in it,” he said.