Two Salt Spring Island youth concluded an exciting season of baseball with a gold-medal win at the B.C. Summer Games.
Flynn Shugar and Sisaye Patterson started playing baseball together at age 10 with the Salt Spring Island Minor Baseball Association and that is where their love and passion for the game began.
One of their best memories from the early years was winning the U11 AA provincial championships with the Salt Spring A’s. Last year the boys began travelling off island to play ball for the AA U14 Mustangs out of Ladysmith where they had a strong season and made it to the finals of the provincial championships.
In September of 2021 the boys trained with and played fall ball for the Nanaimo Pirates and then tried out and made their Premier Baseball League (PBL) U15 team. The PBL is the most competitive baseball league in B.C. The boys’ strong skills, speed, effort and great attitudes quickly earned them starting positions on the team at second base, shortstop and third base. Their Pirates team had a strong season, narrowly missing a berth in provincials.
Shugar and Patterson have had a number of exciting highlights to their season. At spring break the boys travelled to Phoenix, Ariz. with a Big League Experience select team of players from across B.C. and Alberta for a week to train and compete in the West Coast Premier Tournament. Their team played spectacular baseball throughout the tournament against teams from Washington State, Colorado and Oregon and earned a silver medal against a very strong Southern California selects team. A bonus of the trip was they got to check out some MLB spring training games with their team, which was an unforgettable experience for both of the boys.
Another incredible highlight was their recent gold medal win with their Vancouver Island and Central Coast team at the B.C. Summer Games in Prince George. In May Shugar and Patterson tried out for the Summer Games team with 90 other boys and ultimately made the team of 16 players from Nanaimo, Victoria, Parksville and Sidney. The team flew to Prince George where they joined 3,000 athletes in an incredible opening ceremony and then competed in a three-day tournament against some of the best players in B.C.
Vancouver Island finished 3-1 in their pool with some very close one-run games and this gave them a berth in the semi-final against Fraser Valley. The semi was a nail biter that went to two extra innings with Vancouver Island prevailing with a 8-7 win and earning a spot in the final against Vancouver Coastal A. From the first pitch to the last, Vancouver Island played their best ball of the tournament. They had outstanding pitching, fielding and hitting from the get go.
With Shugar starting at third base and Patterson at second with quick gloves, excellent batting and speed on bases, the Salt Spring boys helped their team dominate Vancouver Coastal A with a 5-0 score and capture gold.
The boys would like to thank the Salt Spring Island Minor Baseball Association, all of the coaches they have had over the years and their parents for all of their support.