Four baseball players with strong ties to the North Shore will take the field with Team Canada in a bid to make the Tokyo Olympic Games at the WBSC Baseball Americas Qualifier tournament running May 31 to June 5 in Florida.
North Vancouver native Will McAffer and longtime North Van resident Scott Richmond will pitch for the Canadians while former North Shore Twins star Michael Crouse and current North Vancouver resident Tyson Gillies will play the outfield. Gillies and Crouse also run a Lower Mainland baseball training academy that frequently works with North Shore players.
On Team Canada they’ll be joined by several other British Columbia links, including Aldergrove’s Scott Mathieson, on the roster as a pitcher, along with catcher Kellin Deglan from Langley and infielders Wes Darvill from Richmond and Jesse Hodges from Victoria.
Team Canada will be in tough as eight teams, including powerhouses such as U.S.A., Cuba, and Dominican Republic, will be battling for just one Olympic berth. Canada will open the tournament against Colombia May 31 before facing Cuba June 1 and Venezuela June 2. The winner of the tournament will earn one of six berths available for the Tokyo Olympics, joining Japan, Mexico, Israel and South Korea.
The final Olympic berth will be awarded at a world final qualification tournament in Mexico, dates TBD. This will be the first time baseball will be played in the Olympics since 2008.