The Portage Collegiate Trojans head coach Cam Asham is extremely proud of the resilience his team showed last night.
PCI won the Zone 4 High School Baseball League Championship in extra innings last night over the Garden Valley Collegiate in an extremely high-scoring 20-19 affair.
To get to the final, PCI's Maddox Shindle hit a walk-off double in extra innings, which set the table for what the championship game would be. Cam Asham says they were down by a significant margin at one point in the final.
"When we came into bat in the bottom of the third inning, we were down 16-3," Asham explains. "Not much went right in the first three innings for us, but we just started chipping away a little bit. Eventually, we were able to tie it up and go to extra innings. They scored a couple in the extra inning to go ahead by two, and then we scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth for the walk-off win."
Asham notes the energy wasn't too high, being down by 13 runs. The coach shares the message he sent to the dugout at that moment.
"We just said 'there's a lot of game left, and we can score a lot of runs too,'" Asham continues. "We got a little bit of momentum as we scored seven runs in the bottom third. That got us back into it, and we just kept riding the momentum from there."
Over the final five innings, Trojans pitcher Chad Melnic gave up just three runs to keep PCI within reach. Alex Van Deynze hit a pair of home runs in the comeback effort, and Layne Rands ripped a grand slam as well.
The head coach couldn't be happier with the way this team performed.
"All of the coaching staff is very proud. We were talking about how none of us have ever really seen a game like that," says Asham. "The guys have a lot to be proud of, that's for sure."
The Trojans will now be off to provincials next week.
"Next Thursday, Friday, and Saturday in Brandon are provincials. We'll spend the early part of next week practicing," Asham explains. "The guys will take a day or two off. and then they'll play a bit of their club ball. We'll spend a few days early next week practicing for the start of provincials."