Strathmore Bantam AA Reds fall just short at Western Canadian Bantam Baseball Championships 0
Submitted The Strathmore Bantam AA Reds went to Morin, MB to participate in the Bantam Western Canadian Championships. The team made the gold medal game before losing in extra innings to Team B.C.
It was ever so close for the Strathmore Bantam AA Reds in their quest to add a Western Canadian Championship to their already stellar season.
The team made it all the way to the gold medal game before dropping the title to a strong B.C. Squad in extra innings.
"I think it was a tough loss. Nobody likes losing the gold medal game. Especially because we had some opportunities to win it and we didn't. I think it was disappointing that we didn't win the gold medal," said Reds' Head Coach Darren Kennett. "You can't hang your heads too low. B.C. is basically an all-star team from the lower mainland. They had a strong team, I'm disappointed we didn't win the gold but silver in Western Canada isn't a bad thing either."
The team earned their berth in the tournament, played in Mordin, Man., by winning provincials earlier in August.
They headed to Mordin a confident group and, after attending the opening ceremonies, began the onfield play with a well-played 7-1 victory over Team Saskatchewan.
Having been to western's before myself, I knew we needed to win that game," said Kennett. "We really went after that game hard. They were a really tough team, they threw their best guy we threw our best guy and we ended up beating them 7-1."
The second round-robin game came against the powerhouse B.C. team that took it to the Reds 10-1.
"Team B.C. threw their best guy against us, they came out really gunning and wanted to beat us. They're just a really good team," said Kennett.
In what might have been the most important game of the tournament for the Reds, against the Manitoba Champions, Strathmore came out hard and took home a narrow 9-5 victory.
"They had two people on base and their big hitter on deck in the seventh, so they were only one swing away from a tie," said Kennett.
The win clinched a berth in the gold medal game so the final round-robin game against the host Mordin team was just a formality.
"I used it as an opportunity to get everybody in some playing time," said Kennett of the game, which Strathmore lost 10-9.
In the championship game the Reds came out slowly against B.C. and were down 5-0 just two innings in. After a pitching change Strathmore righted the ship and tied it up 5-5 by the seventh inning, forcing two extra innings before B.C. cashed in the ninth to come away with the title.
"I think just the experience was excellent. It was a long way to go out there, a 14 hour drive. The opening ceremonies there were probably 1,500 people standing around watching the boys on the field.
When the chips were down in the key games they played really well. We've got a really talented group of fine, young ball players that are good kids, good citizens as well. They played their hearts out. We easily could have come away with the gold medal," said Kennett.
According to the coach the team exceeded expectations from the beginning of the season.
"I knew if they played well we could hang with anybody at the end of the season. At the beginning of the season I knew we'd be decent but I didn't know we'd be that good. Through a lot of hard work and effort they really developed. Every kid on that team is much better than they were before," he said.
The 2012 Strathmore Reds were represented by Mason Kennett, Kody Hammond, Nolan Kent, Liam Rycroft, Ben Bogstie, Grant Blackhorse, Matt Garon, Reece Helfrich, Ryder Quennell, Phoenix Running Rabbit, Kyran Weemeals, Grady White and Jayse Wilson. The team was coached by Darren Kennett and Ross Quennell.