It was a tournament of ups and downs for ball player Conner Edle, as the 16-year-old from 100 Mile
House was on a team representing British Columbia at the 2013 U16 Western Canadian Fast Pitch Championships in Winnipeg on Aug. 2-5.
Edle was a team member of the Williams Lake Prospectors Bantam A squad this season before joining the current U16 Provincial A Champion Chilliwack Vipers, which went 3-3 in Winnipeg.
Edle sometimes pitches in the 100 Mile Men’s Fastball League and says the level of ball at the under-16 tournament was comparable to that level of play.
“It’s a really high level of ball. The pitching is great. They can all hit the ball.”
Nine teams competed on the men’s side of the tournament and eight teams on the women’s side. Although Edle mostly played left field for the Vipers, he did step on the mound briefly when Chilliwack faced the Kitchener-Waterloo Kolts from Ontario, which went 6-0 and won the tournament. Edle says the Kitchener-Waterloo hitters lit him up.
“They put me in to pitch an inning versus [the Kolts] and that didn’t go very well. We were down 15 to nothing. Instead of putting in their number 1 or 2 pitcher, they threw me in…. [At that point], you’re only laughing about it.”
However, Edle adds his play improved as he adjusted to the pace of the game.
“I didn’t start hitting very well, but I found my groove, and by the end of the tournament, I was ripping the ball.
“I was in left field and some guy ripped one, a big towering fly, and I stole a home run from him. That was good.”
It was a hard adjustment, Edle says, but the whole experience was worth it.
“[I learned] not to over think and take my time. That’s a major thing.
“The team I played with was great. They were a great group of guys.”
He also wants to thank all of his sponsors who make it possible for him to go to the Westerns.
With ball season finished, Edle is turning his attention to the hockey season.
He plans on joining the Chilliwack Vipers midget fastball squad next year.