Locals lift BC to second at Junior nationals

Provincial team falls to Ontario in gold medal game

Five baseball players from Surrey shared a silver medal won by the British Columbia team at the CitiFinancial Junior (21-and-under) Championships in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia Aug., 15-19.

Pitchers Clayton Franco, Caleb Lefebvre and Chris Fischer of Surrey, Jeff Bouchard of North Delta, and outfielder Declan Murphy contributed to the B.C. team’s strong run through the opposition, one which ended in the championship game.

After outscoring the opposition 40-4 while winning four round robin and one playoff game, B.C. fell 13-3 to Ontario in the gold medal game.

B.C. began the round robin with a 10-1 victory over Newfoundland and Labrador.

Bouchard had a pair of doubles with three RBIs and two runs scored. Lefebvre was the winning pitcher, throwing three innings and allowing one earned run on two hits and three walks. He struck out five batters.

In a 12-1 victory over Manitoba, Bouchard had another excellent outing at the plate with a pair of singles in two at-bats, with one RBI and two runs scored.

Fischer earned the win after pitching all six innings, the one earned run coming off four hits and a walk. He had four strikeouts.

Bouchard doubled and scored in a low-scoring 4-0 win over Quebec.

BC clinched first place in their group with an 11-1 win over the host team from Dartmouth. Franco collected six strikeouts and threw all five innings for BC. One earned run was allowed on four hits and a walk. Murphy was one-for-three with two RBIs and a run scored.

In the semifinal round, B.C. thumped Nova Scotia 7-1, with Bouchard contributing to the BC offense with a single, a double, one RBI and one run scored.

In the gold medal game, a dozen errors committed by the B.C. team didn’t help their pitchers.

Lefebvre took the loss after allowing five runs, two of which were unearned, in three innings pitched. He was tagged for six hits and three walks, while striking out three Ontario batters. Fischer threw one inning, and also allowed five runs on three hits and a walk. Four of the runs allowed were unearned, and two of the three outs in the inning were by strikeout.

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