Later this week the boys at PBA will be trying to accomplish an incredible feat. They will be trying to secure their 5th straight CCBC Championship title. Since 2010 no team in the CCBC has taken the trophy back home with them. If Coach Hubka has his way the trophy will stay at Lloyd Nolan Yard for another year. Heading into Thursday’s game Coach Hubka knows that winning this championship is never easy, and it is going to take a total team effort to win again.
There have been some incredible games in the four-year run. In 2010 the year the run started. Shayne MacInnis, who is now the assistant PBA Junior Varsity Coach has fond memories. “In the semi final against rival TRU, Mitch Maclean hit a walk off sacrifice fly to advance us to the final game.” The final was against VIBI, and Shayne remembers the team getting off to a slow start. “ We were down early, pitcher Alex Reagan and shortstop Tanner Craswell got into a heated argument. They were able to hug it out, and get back to business. Our bats came alive and we were able to win the game 8-5.” Perhaps it was a sign of things to come. PBA hasn’t had anything come easy when it comes to the CCBC Tournament over the last four seasons.
Last year may have been the most impressive of all. Weather hampered the first couple days of the tournament. PBA lost their first game of the championship last year. In the short format it was a huge blow for the team. Austin Cooper a PBA player for two of those championships, and now the pitching coach remembers the team never thinking they were out of it. “After that loss the team needed to dig deep. I think there were guys who had their doubts, but nobody every thought it was impossible to run the table. As a team we faced more adversity than any team I had ever been on. We knew we had to beat Jake Hein to even give ourselves a chance to get the tiebreaker. Hein had had our number all year.” The team did beat Hein, and they were faced with the unenviable task of having to win three games on Sunday to capture their 4th straight title.
Early Sunday morning last year, PBA played off in the tiebreaker game against Okanagan College to get to the playoff rounds. They were down 6-1 at one point late in the contest and ended up making a charge and winning that game. The next game in the marathon day was against VIBI, who had beat them in game one of the tournament. Cooper had this to say about that final day last year “the teams mindset was we were there to win all three games. Nobody wanted to come that far and go home before the final. Once we reached that game the team’s attitude changed dramatically. We knew all the momentum was on our side, and we wanted to do something special. It truly was a special day that I will never forget.” Many PBA fans can say the same thing. A 14-hour day ended with three wins and a 4th straight CCBC championship.
This year’s version of the CCBC Tournament starts Thursday. The Dawgs will kick off their run this year at 7:15pm Thursday. Come out and support the Dawgs in their attempt to keep the CCBC trophy on home soil.
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