For the second consecutive year, two local athletes, Mitchell Rainer and Avery Tweedy, have qualified for the Canadian National Slowpitch Championships, after a third-place finish at B.C. provincials this past Canada Day long weekend.
The two-day tournament saw men’s and women’s teams from across British Columbia competing to become provincial champions, with the top three teams each earning a berth to Canadian Nationals in August 2023. Rainer and Tweedy are both infielders for the BC Kings who contribute hot bats and quick gloves, making them an essential part of the team’s young and dynamic lineup. Saturday morning, Tweedy would open the tournament weekend on an exciting note leading off the game with a hard line drive down the right baseline. Speedy base running and a slide at home would earn Tweedy an in-the-park home run. After a tough round robin full of ups and downs, the Kings would rebound Sunday morning in the playoffs with a strong offensive showing eliminating the Phillies with a 22-7 victory. The Kings would go on to lose a nail-biter in the semi-final, losing by one run to the number one in B.C. ranked Bus Drivers. This would earn the Kings bronze medals and the final spot at national championships next year. Rainer was strong defensively all weekend long and had an impressive semi-final showing batting three for four with two doubles and a triple.
The third-place finish for the BC Kings was reminiscent of last July when the BC Kings participated in the 2021 BC Provincial Qualifiers and earned themselves the same third spot in the upcoming 2022 Canadian National Championships, scheduled for August 7 to 14 at Softball City in South Surrey after being postponed last year because of COVID. Information for purchasing tickets and round robin schedules can be found on the Softball City website.
This will be the BC Kings’s first time participating at Canadian nationals and while they are optimistic of their chances, they know the road ahead will not be easy. One of their first round robin games at nationals is against the defending champions from Ontario. The BC Kings hope that hard work and strong team camaraderie will be key factors that will set them apart during tournament play. Both Rainer and Tweedy are long-time residents of the Sunshine Coast who live and work in the community, giving back to the local slowpitch league by volunteering for the executive board. Rainer is also a volunteer coach in the youth sporting community for minor soccer and tee-ball. If you see these men around town wish them good luck in August as they represent the Sunshine Coast well.