Battling sizzling temperatures of 39 C, the Nechako Rotary Timberwolves felt the heat Sunday in Clearwater.
Hanging on to a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning against Williams Lake at the midget under-18 boys C provincial championship, T-wolves starting pitcher Brydon Lessard began experiencing dizzy spells. Despite pouring cold water on his head to cool off and trying to play into the fourth inning, he was pulled off the mound to recuperate.
By then, Williams Lake scored eight runs to take a commanding lead in the game where the winner would advance to the gold medal final.
"It was heat stroke," said head coach Julie Dempsey. "I had to take him off and we brought in Ethan (Abraham) to pitch the last two innings. Williams Lake, everything they did (on offence) went up the middle. They were really aggressive. We started rallying but time was called and we wound up losing by three runs."
The loss meant the Timberwolves won the bronze medal with an overall record of 5-3.
"When we left they were very upbeat after that loss," Dempsey said of her players. "They had a great attitude and I'm proud of every person at how well they did. They're an amazing group."
Williams Lake met host Clearwater in the gold-medal final but lost the game because their pitcher came down with heat stroke.
Prince George opened the tournament Friday with a 9-7 win against Fleetwood of Surrey and a 7-6 loss to Clearwater.
On Saturday, the Timberwolves defeated Williams Lake 9-6 in a morning contest and beat Smithers by default.
"My son (Spencer) cranked out a home run (against Williams Lake) and the team was a well-oiled machine," said coach Dempsey. "Against Smithers, their pitcher was slower (in his delivery) and we couldn't adjust."
In what was supposed to be the last inning of the Smithers game, Prince George, as the home team, didn't get the last-at-bat in the bottom half of the inning, said Dempsey. She protested and the T-wolves got the win by default.
The T-wolves' 3-1 round-robin record put them in second place and they faced Williams Lake again and lost in a close battle.
Under 31 C skies Sunday morning and armed with Gatorade and a lot of water in the dugout, the Timberwolves mercied Fleetwood 15-0 in three innings and Smithers 15-1 in five innings to set up the rematch against Williams Lake that afternoon.
Provincials was the final tournament of the season and the players went their separate ways on holidays on Sunday.