The second the last out was made, and he was running from home plate in his catcher’s equipment to join the dog pile near the pitcher’s mound, Brennan Braddick took a moment to look over to his dugout.
There, his father, Dan Braddick, had his cell phone out and was capturing the moment for posterity.
The Vernon father-son duo helped the Vancouver Community Mounties capture the Western Canadian 18U AA baseball championship in Estevan, Sask., Sunday afternoon, with a 3-1 win over Elmwood, Man., a Winnipeg suburb.
“It was so great,” said Brennan, picked up by the Mounties, along with his dad, after the provincial championships late in July in Ladner.
Added Dan – as father-son were on a layover at the Edmonton Airport on the way home Monday, Aug. 22 – on being able to share a Western Canadian title with his son: “It’s huge. The kids were so much fun. And when that last out was made, well, this is something we’re never going to forget.”
Brennan Braddick, who turns 17 on Aug. 31, caught the final game in its entirety and delivered a hit for the Mounties. He had three hits in the Western finals. Dan, 44, was an assistant coach, patrolling Vancouver’s first base coach’s box.
B.C. went 3-2 overall. They opened the five-team event with an 8-0 shutout of the Saskatchewan champions from Assiniboia, located 110 kilometres south-southwest of Moose Jaw.
The Mounties then fell 7-6 to the Alberta champs from Edmonton, a game where Brennan Braddick pitched four and two-thirds inning of no-hit relief. He struck out seven and walked one batter.
In a game that meant nothing in the standings to Vancouver, the Mounties rested their pitching arms against Elmwood, Man., falling 9-3.
A win over the hosts from Estevan Sunday morning by four or more runs would propel Vancouver to the gold-medal game against Elmwood, who finished atop the preliminary round (top two teams advanced to the one-game final). B.C. defeated Estevan 8-0 while Elmwood dropped its final game to Assiniboia.
The Braddicks got in one practice with the Mounties before flying to Regina and carpooling to Estevan.
“Right from the first practice, they welcomed us to the team,” said Brennan. “It was an insane environment to be part of that club. It was great to go from not winning a game at provincials (the Braddicks and Vernon Clearly Canadians went 0-4) to winning the Western Canadian championship.”
The trip to the Prairies was a “ton of fun” for pops.
“It was good baseball and Estevan did a great job of hosting the tournament,” said Braddick. “The players from all of the teams were excellent, everybody all wanted to be there. Before we even got to Vancouver, we were welcomed by the Mounties. All the kids and parents were great.”
The Mounties won the provincial championship in Ladner at the end of July, and had a good look at the Braddicks.
Brennan pitched against the Mounties in Ladner, and also impressed Vancouver coaches with his catching abilities against the No. 1-ranked Ladner team. That included picking off several Ladner baserunners during the game.
The Mounties also picked up a player from Ladner for the Western Canadians.
Brennan, in his second year at the 18U level, has been in the Vernon Canadians system since T-ball. Dan is Vernon Baseball’s director of the Mosquito and Midget divisions. He’s been a coach in the organization for 12 years.