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Richmond Red Sox clinch first-ever championship win

The Richmond Red Sox won 2-1 with a dramatic double play
The Richmond Red Sox were crowned champions of the Lower Mainland Baseball Association 45+ division on Saturday. Photo submitted

An adult baseball team from Richmond has snagged their first-ever championship win in the 45+ division.

The Richmond Red Sox beat the Burnaby Pirates two to one on Saturday, Sept. 16, in the Lower Mainland Baseball Association’s final playoffs.

The Red Sox were up 2-1 at the top of the ninth inning when a short fly ball was hit to the centre field.

It didn’t seem like centre fielder Rafer Boyle would catch it in time, said Red Sox coach Warren Oikawa, who added the Pirate baserunners thought the same.

“Rafer caught the ball on his belly, jumped up, threw a rope to our first baseman Dusty McAvoy, stretched his whole body and ended up on his back to turn the double play to win the game,” said Oikawa.

“There are movies made with that ending.”

Oikawa told the Richmond News he is “very proud” of the players.

“It took me three years to build the Richmond Red Sox, now we are contenders,” he said.

With the first championship win under their belt, the Richmond Red Sox is set to start training again in January in preparation for the 2024 season.

The 2023 season was dedicated to teammate Darren Shane’s father, Leonard Shane, who passed away after battling cancer.

Leonard, like his son, “always had a smile for everyone,” said Oikawa.