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Home Run Derby at Ogden Point Kicks Off Baseball Canada Senior Men’s Nationals

Victoria Maverick’s Sean Murphy takes some practice swings prior to Wednesday’s home run derby at Ogden Point (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart

August 23, 2017, Victoria, BC – The Baseball Canada Senior Men’s Championships kicked off in Victoria on Wednesday night, with the first ever “Harbour Derby” in Canadian history, where participants from each of the teams in the tournament tried to hit home runs into the ocean between the cruise ship piers at Ogden Point in the outer Harbour.

“Tried” was the operative word on this night, as a stiff ocean breeze blowing straight in off the water toward the batters severely limited anyone’s ability to reach the boom in the water, approximately 316 feet from home plate at its closest distance.

This was the batter’s point-of-view for Wednesday’s Home Run Derby at Ogden Point in Victoria (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

A few batters came close despite the breeze, with Dartmouth’s Jake Sanford being named the winner thanks to his longest shot that landed just a few feet short of the target.

Despite the lack of home runs at the home run derby, the players and fans had a good time watching the event in a unique environment and a group of kayakers got their exercise in, retrieving balls from the water and returning them to the pier to be used again.

A batch of fresh baseballs await their chance to be hit into the ocean Wednesday at the Nationals Home Run Derby (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

Wednesday’s fun event was a precursor to the more serious tournament that begins in earnest Thursday morning at 9:00 am with games at Royal Athletic Park (RAP) and Lambrick Park in Victoria.  Other games on Thursday go at Noon and 3:00 pm at both parks, with opening ceremonies at 6:15 pm at RAP followed by the host Victoria Mavericks playing New Brunswick at 7:00 pm.

Harvey-the-HarbourCat takes a swing or two in preparation for the National’s Home Run Derby Wednesday at Ogden Point in Victoria (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

On Friday, games continue at 9:00 am, Noon, 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm at RAP, while games at Lambrick go at Noon, 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm. Saturday sees round-robin games at 8:00 am, 11:00 am and 2:00 pm at both parks, while quarter-final games take place at 5:00 and 8:00 pm at RAP.

Victoria Mavericks slugger Kyle Orr takes a swing during the home run derby Wednesday night (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

 

 

 

Team BC’s Josh Larson watches his bid for a home run head toward the water on Wednesday night (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

Final day action is all at RAP, with semi-final games at 9:00 am and Noon, with the bronze medal game at 4:00 pm and the championship final at 7:00 pm.

Sherwood Park Athletics batter Greg Wallace takes a hack during the Home Run Derby Wednesday at Ogden Point in Victoria (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

The teams in the tournament include the host Victoria Mavericks, British Columbia (represented by the Burnaby Bulldogs), Alberta 1 (represented by the Sherwood Park Athletics), Alberta 2 (represented by the Red Deer Riggers), Manitoba (represented by the Winnipeg SBL), Ontario 1 (represented by the Tecumseh Thunder), Ontario 2 (represented by the Mississauga SW Twins), Nova Scotia (represented by the Dartmouth Moosehead Dry), New Brunswick (represented by the Fredericton Royals) and Newfoundland and Labrador (represented by the RMM Gonzaga Vikings).

Dartmouth’s Jake Sanford watches his Derby winning shot head into the ocean at Ogden Point on Wednesday night (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

The host Mavericks play round-robin games Thursday at 7:00 pm (New Brunswick), Friday at Noon (Techumseh – Ontario 1), Friday at 7:00 pm (Red Deer – Alberta 2) and Saturday at 2:00 pm (Manitoba). All the Mavericks games take place at RAP.

A number of kayakers were on hand Wednesday to help retrieve baseballs hit into the water at Ogden Point (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

British Columbia is represented by the Burnaby Bulldogs who open the tournament at 3:00 pm against Sherwood Park -Alberta 1 at RAP. They continue at RAP on Friday morning at 9:00 am against Nova Scotia and 3:00 pm against Mississauga SW -Ontario 2. They close their round robin Saturday at Lambrick Park, taking on Newfoundland and Labrador at 2:00 pm.

Dartmouth’s Jake Sanford (left) and his pitcher Matt Harding (right) with the prize bat awarded at the Home Run Derby Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

For details on the tournament including scores and schedules, visit the Baseball Canada web site at http://old.baseball.ca/seniormen/index_eng.cfm?

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