Nationals serve up 18-under upset

Some mergers result in magical dividends.

The joint project that is the North Fraser Nationals – a merger of Burnaby and Vancouver minor baseball associations in the 18-under division – proved wildly successful and has the team in New York this week in hopes of running the table.

article continues below

The Nationals captured the 18u AAA B.C. title 10 days ago, with a powerful string of games that featured their share of ups and downs.

Exacting a little revenge for their lone loss of the tourney, North Fraser took down the North Island Cubs 11-5 to capture the title and a spot at this week’s Blue Chips Prospect tournament on Long Island, New York.

Behind a strong pitching performance from Matthew Shewfelt, who gamely took the mound after getting hit on the ankle by a foul ball earlier in the day, the Nationals held the Cubs to four runs in the first five innings.

Outfielders Carter Kada-Wong, Jason Merkens and Leo Chen chased down a number of dangerous hits off Island bats, erasing the memory of a 7-1 setback in the second game of round-robin action.

To advance to the final, the Nationals faced the No. 1-seeded Kelowna Sun Devils and a harrowing pitchers duel that ended with a 2-1 win.

Michael Ellis was masterful in matching Kelowna’s best hurler, while a 1-0 deficit was flipped when Burnaby’s Nicolas Santarelli launched a two-run homer in the third inning to the opposite field to secure the victory.

North Fraser kicked off the Burnaby-hosted tourney by blasting South Fraser 10-0, before suffering their single loss to North Island. In a must-win game against the No. 2-seeded Cowichan Valley Mustangs, the Nationals responded with a convincing 17-3 win.

Burnaby's players are Jackson Mazzucco, Christian Melo, Kada-Wong, Merkens, Santarelli and Shewfelt.

Read Related Topics

© 2018 Burnaby Now