West Vancouver edges out Sunshine Coast in rare Nat Bailey game

The Sunshine Coast Baseball Association (SCBA) 15U Bantams took on their counterparts from West Vancouver Minor Baseball on Saturday, Aug. 29 at Vancouver’s world-famous Nat Bailey Stadium, in a game which no one thought would be possible. 

Thanks to some lengthy organizing, and a gift from local baseball legend and former Major League player Ryan Dempster, the kids of summer were finally able to play some real baseball – in a big league stadium – during a season which had been very much in doubt.

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The game was an intense and fun battle, with big-league plays from both sides. 

West Van struck first with a few runs coming home in the early innings. But our Bantams would not let them get too far ahead before rallying back. 

Defensively, both teams had strong pitching. Starting pitcher for SCBA was Charlie Dempster, followed by Grant Pedenaud and Maverick Shannon coming in to relieve from the bullpen.

Offensively there were a number of nice hits from our entire lineup. It was great to hear the crack of the bat echo inside the historic stadium. 

Our SCBA team proved they can compete with the big city teams, when several offensive gems brought us to within reach of the powerful West Vancouver team. 

At the end of the ninth inning, the final score was 7-4 for West Van. Both teams got together for some post-game pizza, with a surprise video call from the man himself –Ryan Dempster. 

These young athletes signed up for a season knowing there was very little prospect of anything more than mere practice and scrimmage. To play in an epic game like this was their reward for sticking it out and showing up for practice every day, simply because they love the game. They deserved every inning.

It was a day to remember and a bright spot in this 2020 season.

– Submitted by Andrew Appleton

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