It was a stunner of an upset to cap the Langley Majors B Division baseball playoffs.
The newly crowned champions are the North Langley Cardinals, who downed the North Langley Giants 19-2 in the final of a playoff tournament that involved four 11- and- 12-year-old baseball teams from Langley City and North Langley.
After winning only two games during the regular baseball season, the Cardinals were expected by most to make a quick exit in the playoffs.
However, under the tutelage of head coach Mark Kredba, the team steadily improved during the regular season.
Entering the playoffs, the No. 4-seeded Cardinals were confident, believing they could be competitive with any of the other teams.
In their first game, played June 1 at Zarrelli Diamond, they played the top-seeded Langley Yankees.
The Yankees won 13-6.
Playing a strong game at catcher and getting on base twice, Owen Kredba was selected player of the game for the Cardinals.
Brock Story had two base hits for the Cardinals.
Fortunately for the Cardinals, the playoffs were a double knockout format so the team was still alive.
However, if the Cardinals lost another game, their season would be over.
In their June 3 game at Zarelli Field, the Cardinals faced Langley Cityâ€™s B2s, with the winning team moving on and the losing team done for the year.
The Cardinals won a nailbiter by a score of 12-11.
Down 9-8 going into the last inning, the Cardinals put their rally caps on and scored four runs to take the lead. Daniel Kim drove in the winning run, and the Cardinals shut down the B2s in the bottom half of the fourth inning to preserve the win.
In the semifinal, played June 5 at Cooke Field, the Cardinals once again faced the Langley City Yankees, this time with a trip to the finals on the line.
The game was a thriller with the Yankees coming back in the bottom of the fourth inning to tie the game and force an extra inning.
In the extra inning the Cardinals scored three runs and then hung on for the 17-16 win.
With the tying run for the Yankees on third base, pitcher Wade Alton was able to get the Langley batter to hit a grounder to first base for the final out of the game, and seal the win for the Cardinals.
Aaron Zhang went four-for-four at the plate for the Cardinals.
Pitching three solid innings at the start of the game, while going three-for-four at the plate, Eric Nordal was selected player of the game for the Cardinals.
In the championship final game, played this past Saturday, June 7 at Zarrelli Diamond, the Cardinals faced a strong Giants team, their rival from North Langley, and a team they had not defeated all year.
At the start of the game the Cardinals coaches told the players that they had much to be proud of in getting to the final game but that they could do more.
Most importantly, they were reminded to enjoy the moment and have fun.
The Cardinals then proceeded to score 19 runs in the next four innings, getting offensive contributions from the entire team.
Player of the game for the Cardinals, Juhon Park, pitched his best game of the year, striking out eight batters over a complete game three innings while giving up only two runs.
â€œThe coaching staff and I have told the players at each and every game throughout the season to not focus on the score, but to think about what they can do to get the next hit, make the next out, or steal the next base: the score will work itself out,â€ Cardinals head coach Mark Kredba said. â€œThey really came together as a team in the last half of the season, with each player showing improvement in [his] baseball skills. Anything can happen and their hard work and determination paid off.â€