Penticton AAA Mosquito Thunder is Rolling
After capturing the bronze medal at last summer’s provincial championships, expectations for the U11 AAA Thunder were high at the start of the summer ball season this year. Well so far the team has met those expectations with nothing but success including a 9-8 win in the gold medal game last weekend at the Valley of Champions tournament in Kelowna. The team is currently 15-0-1 and has 3 tournament golds under their belt. The team isn’t just squeaking out wins either. They’ve outscored their opponents 196-50 in the 16 games, and is doing it with a .547 team batting average and 57 extra base hits. This teams success didn’t just start at their first summer tournament tough. This season BC Baseball allowed associations to form Spring Select teams and SOMBA put together a select team that competed against other AAA teams in Kamloops on the May Long Weekend. That program allowed the coaches to begin working with the kids earlier in the season on things like hitting, defence, throwing and base running so by the time summer season came around everyone was primed and ready for stiffer competition. This year’s Thunder offence has really been something to behold. The coaches can’t help but compare it to last summer’s team and describe it as a graduation from small ball to big ball. “Last year we bunted and hit singles, this year we’re hitting doubles and triples, and coming up with big hits in important situations” says head coach Rob Burnett. The other thing that is really contributing to the teams success is that everyone has bought into the team mentality. Everyone believes in one another and is confident that who ever comes up in a big spot is going to come through whether it’s at the plate or in the field playing “Thunder Defence”. The team has this upcoming weekend off and then they’re back at it the following weekend July 28-30 in Vernon for the Zone Qualification Tournament to determine who goes to provincials in Campbell River on August Long Weekend. Go Thunder!