The Langley Blaze head off to California with yet another B.C. Premier Baseball League championship banner in the bag.
The U18 baseball team secured its fifth league regular season title in the past six years after sweeping the Victoria Mariners in a doubleheader on Sunday at McLeod Park.
Langley won 6-4 and 8-2.
The wins came on the heels of Langley dropping a pair of games on Saturday — also at McLeod Park — to the Victoria Eagles, 4-3 and 5-2.
Altogether, the Blaze boast a record of 38-8 heading into a regular season-ending doubleheader on June 25 at Queen’s Park against the Vancouver Cannons.
Following that, the Blaze leave for Los Angeles where they will take part in the prestigious Oriole Scout tournament held at Long Beach State University. They will also play some exhibition games at the Major League Baseball Academy in Compton. They return on July 8.
The BCPBL playoffs begin July 18 with the league quarter-finals, a best-of-three series. Langley will host the eight-place team with the winner advancing to the provincial final four championships.
Against the Mariners in game one, the teams were tied at two heading into the bottom of the fourth inning when Langley struck for three runs on their way to the 6-4 victory.
The first came off a Mason Cratty solo home run, which was then followed three batters later by a Luke Horanski double that scored Nick Rutcykj and Griffin Andreychuk.
Horanski finished the game with three RBIs.
Kyle Ross picked up the win, allowing three runs over four and two-thirds innings. He struck out three.
The second game saw Victoria score the first and last runs, but the Blaze had all eight in between.
Brayden Bouchey pitched a complete-game three-hitter, striking out seven.
Shoma Sasaki drove in four runs while Justin Lawrence, Mitchell Robinson, Mason Verge and Horanski had one RBI apiece.
Against the Eagles, Langley trailed 4-0 and managed to score three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, but came up short, losing 4-3.
Cratty had an RBI double, which was followed a few batters later by Mike Dagg’s two-run double. The Blaze had two cracks to score Dagg and force extra innings, but came up short.
Liam Stroud was tagged with the loss. He allowed a pair of runs.
In game two, Victoria struck for four runs in the fifth on their way to the 5-2 win and doubleheader sweep.
Robinson and Cratty had the RBIs.
Kristjan Storrie, who came on in relief in the fourth inning, took the loss, allowing four runs.