Langley Blaze blow past competition at national tourney

The Langley Sr. Blaze are the 2014 Baseball Canada national champions.

The men’s collegiate team earned this distinction by going 5-1 at the Canadian national tournament, held Aug. 20-24 in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

The Blaze posted wins over Ontario (7-3), Nova Scotia (10-2), Newfoundland (6-3), New Brunswick (1-0 in the semifinal), and Ontario (3-0 in the final).

Langley’s lone loss came in its third game, a 7-3 defeat at the hands of Manitoba.

“It was a very tough tournament, especially the final two games, and obviously with the game that we lost. We were facing ex-pros and collegiate pitchers who are very good, for the most part,” Blaze general manager Dave Diachuk said.

“I’ve been trying this [Canadian championship win] for 30 years as a player and a manager and it’s finally happened. It was quite a weight off my back and the rest of ours.”

At the 2013 tournament in Windsor Ont., the Blaze finished as the runners up, losing 3-1 in the final to the host team.

Shawn Schaefer and Scott Tulloch from the Coquitlam Angels and Leon Boyd and Sean Hotzak from the Burnaby Bulldogs joined the Blaze for the tournament, and each played a role in the victory.  


Game one: Blaze 7, Ontario 2

Shane Kraemer got the start and went 5.1 innings for the victory, giving up just two earned runs.  

Keenan Takatch came into the game to preserve the lead in the sixth inning, while Dillon Reynolds got the save.  

Scott Webster and Bobby Wagner each went two-for-three at the plate.

Wagner and Joe Germaine had home runs.


Game two: Blaze 10, Nova Scotia 2

Schaefer got the ball in game two and pitched a complete game while only giving up six hits.  

At the plate, Sean Hotzak went three-for-four and Bob Foerster was two-for-three.

Graig Merritt, Hotzak and Foerster blasted home runs for the winning side.

Game 3: Manitoba 7, Blaze 3

Leon Boyd was tagged with loss going 4.1 innings while Steven Federau came on in relief to try to keep the Blaze in it.  

Game four: Blaze 6, Newfoundland 3

Ryan Eiswerth picked up the win, going 6.1 innings with Reynolds picking up the save.  

Brad Ferraro, Jesse Peters, Hotzak, and Mason Cratty each had two hits.

Game five semifinal: Blaze 1, New Brunswick 0

On the mound, Peters was simply great.

He pitched 7.2 innings, striking out 10 while only giving up two hits.  

Schaefer came on in the top of the eighth inning to hold New Brunswick off the scoreboard.  

Brad Ferraro went two-for-four at the dish while Foerster in the bottom of the eighth inning had a clutch hit, scoring Wagner from second for the win and a berth in the finals.

Game six championship:

Blaze 3, Ontario 0

Kraemer had his best outing of the year, picking up the win in a complete game effort.  

He struck out 13 batters while only giving up one hit.

Foerster was two-for-four, offensively.

It should be noted that Kraemer, although he wasn’t named to the tournament all-star team, was the top pitcher of the tournament (21 strikeouts, two wins).

Foerster (.455 average) and  Hotzak (.409 average) were named to the tournament all-star team.

In 2015, the Blaze will try to get back to the B.C. provincial championships in their bid to earn a third title in four years, and get to the 2016 Canadian championships.

Kraemer had an outstanding season.  

In 13 games, he allowed 36 hits and six earned runs while striking out 83.

He finished with a 9-0 record and an 0.64 ERA.

Kraemer finished with two wins in the provincials and a pair of wins at the nationals.

FINAL OUT: On average, the Sr. Blaze players are between 23 and 26 years of age.

The team’s oldest player is in his mid-30s.

Their home field is McLeod Athletic Park.

Langley residents playing for the Sr. Blaze include pitcher Ryan Eiswerth, infielder Bob Foerster, pitcher Keenan Takatch, and outfielder Jacob Yousif.

Utility player Joe Germaine’s hometown is Aldergrove.


– With files from the Langley Sr. Blaze website.

Just Posted

Cupcakes against cancer: Langley parents rally to help family

Christine Tulloch, a crusader against cancer, has suffered a third relapse

Aldergrove chef sentenced to seven years for million-dollar drug operation

Raymon Ranu has been working as a cook since he was arrested for selling fentanyl and cocaine

Anti-gang forum aimed at helping Langley parents keep teens safe

Preventing gang recruitment is the focus of a forum to be held next week

Langley Blaze display depth despite temporary loss of pitchers

Injury and invitation to play for Team Canada leave team down three

Killer of Calgary mother, daughter gets no parole for 50 years

A jury found Edward Downey guilty last year in the deaths of Sara Baillie, 34, and five-year-old Taliyah Marsman

Raptors beat Bucks 120-102 to even series at 2-2

Lowry pours in 25 as Toronto moves within two games of NBA Finals

Body of missing snowmobiler recovered from Great Slave Lake

Police confirm the body is that of one of three missing snowmobilers

Toddler seriously injured after falling from Okanagan balcony

RCMP are investigating after a two-year-old boy fell from the balcony of an apartment in Kelowna

Cost jumps 35% for Trans-Canada Highway widening in B.C.

Revelstoke-area stretch first awarded under new union deal

Is vegan food a human right? Ontario firefighter battling B.C. blaze argues it is

Adam Knauff says he had to go hungry some days because there was no vegan food

Winds helping in battle against fire threatening northern Alberta town

Nearly 5,000 people have cleared out of High Level and nearby First Nation

Man pleads guilty in Surrey crash that killed two Abbotsford women

Sarah Dhillon and Paige Nagata died following head-on collision on Nov. 4, 2018

Most Read