UFV Cascades get championship rings for 2019 baseball title

The Cascades captured their first Canadian Colleges Baseball Conference title in May of 2019

UFV players from the 2019 Canadian Colleges Baseball Conference championship team were presented with championship rings Sunday. (Eric J. Welsh/ Chilliwack Progress)

UFV players from the 2019 Canadian Colleges Baseball Conference championship team were presented with championship rings Sunday. (Eric J. Welsh/ Chilliwack Progress)

The University of the Fraser Valley Cascades haven’t been able to play any meaningful baseball this fall, but on Saturday they got a reminder of what they play for.

The 2019 Cascades were given championship rings for winning the Canadian Colleges Baseball Conference title, the first in the program’s short three-year history.

“This team is a family. That’s why we won and that’s why that trophy is sitting over there right now,” said Liam Campbell, a veteran player and team leader, as he pointed to the CCBC trophy on a nearby table. “No one was selfish. It wasn’t one individual. It was the entire team. We all worked together like a well-oiled machine. The great group of guys that we had and we have is going to keep this program growing and growing and growing.

“Looking back at that championship tournament, they told us we’d be (knocked) out by Friday. Well, it’s been 75 Fridays since then and we’re still the champs.”

READ MORE: UFV Cascades win Canadian Colleges Baseball Conference championship

READ MORE: Canadian Colleges Baseball Conference season cancelled

Campbell is right about the way UFV won the title.

After losing their tournament opener in Kamloops, 7-4 to the Calgary Dinos, the Cascades had their backs to the wall and had to rattle off four straight wins just to make the final.

Once they were there, their best-of-three against the Okanagan College Coyotes went the distance, decided by a winner-takes-all game three.

Sophomore centre fielder Stephen Horner led the offence in the clincher, racking up a seven RBIs with a home run, two doubles and a walk. Campbell picked up the win on the mound, coming on in relief of starter Ian Zwartz to toss four and one-third innings of shutout ball.

The catcher/utility player has been with the program from day one and thought it fitting that the ring ceremony was held on a day where strong gusts of wind pounded the walls of the baseball training facility in Chilliwack.

“Our first year, the wind blew the roof off this place,” the Chilliwackian said with a laugh. “Pouring rain soaked all our equipment. The med(icine) balls. The baseballs. Everything. A few guys helped bring it all to my garage to try and dry it out, and that was the first time this program faced real adversity.

“The reason we’re here getting these rings today is because we overcame adversity over and over.”

In a non-COVID world, all of the players would have been presented their rings at the same time.

But with the pandemic in mind, three separate physically-distanced ceremonies were held — two groups of 12 or so players got their rings first followed by UFV baseball staff.

The 2020 CCBC season has been disrupted by COVID-19 but the team hopes to begin defending their title in the spring.


@ProgressSports
eric.welsh@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

BaseballUFV Cascades

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Motorists breaking travel rules can be fined $230 for failing to follow instructions or $575 if the reason for travel violates the essential travel health order, at this Highway 3 check area near Manning Park. Photo RCMP
RCMP begin checking drivers on BC highways

Four check points are set up Thursday May 6 around the province

The Aquilini Investment Group has agreed to a proposed contract of five years to run the Abbotsford Centre. (File photo)
Proposal to run Abbotsford Centre offered to Canucks ownership group

Planned five-year contract to cost city $750K annually, starting Jan. 1, 2022

JANGO the police dog helped track down a suspect on Luckakuck Way in Chilliwack. (RCMP photo)
Alleged thief in Chilliwack can’t fool the nose of JANGO the police dog

An Edmonton man who allegedly broke into a storage container on Luckakuck Way was arrested

Chilliwack RCMP nab two alleged thieves targeting bait vehicle

A man from Port Coquitlam and a woman from Delta were stopped and arrested at Eagle Landing Parkway

The AHL Board of Governors has approved the Vancouver Canucks decision to move their franchise to Abbotsford. (File photo)
AHL approves Canucks’ franchise relocation to Abbotsford

Board of Governors approves move, season set to start on Oct. 15

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Surrey RCMP is investigating after a serious three-vehicle crash at the intersection of King George Boulevard and 128th Street Thursday afternoon (May 6, 2021). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
VIDEO: Serious crash in Surrey sends 1 to hospital

Surrey RCMP say one of the drivers fled on foot, but was later found at an area hospital

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

John Paul Fraser, executive director of the BC Salmon Farmers Association. (Screen shot)
Salmon farmers warn Surrey jobs on line as feds end Discovery Islands operations

344 full-time jobs at risk in Surrey and 1,189 B.C.-wide

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

Al Kowalko shows off the province’s first electric school bus, running kids to three elementary and two secondary schools on the West Shore. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C.’s first electric school bus making the rounds in Victoria suburbs

No emissions, no fuel costs and less maintenance will offset the $750K upfront expense

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

Victoria police say the photo they circulated of an alleged cat thief was actually a woman taking her own cat to the vet. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Photo of suspected cat thief released by Victoria police actually just woman with her pet

Police learned the she didn’t steal Penelope the cat, and was actually taking her cat to the vet

Most Read