Sports

Bantam AA Reds start season off hot at home

By Monique Massiah, Strathmore Standard

Bantam AA Reds Jonathan Rilling soar to home plate as another Reds player follows behind him rounding third base as the Red took on the Chestermere Crushers on May 6.

Bantam AA Reds Jonathan Rilling soar to home plate as another Reds player follows behind him rounding third base as the Red took on the Chestermere Crushers on May 6.

The Strathmore Reds bantam AA started their season off on the right note, scoring 34 runs in their first two games.

 

The Reds played their first two games of the 2017 season on May 6 at Kinsmen Park. In the first of a double-header, the Reds beat the Chestermere Crushers 22-6. In the second-game, the Reds beat Lethbridge 2, 12-2.

The Strathmore baseball team has practised hard indoors leading up to the season and early on, it looks like their efforts in practice have paid off.

Because of the not so warm spring weather, the Reds haven’t been able to practice much outdoors.

“The whole team was looking forward to playing outside and we were blessed with a beautiful day on Saturday (May 6),” said assistant coach Darren Cockx.

The team performed very well and maybe the biggest reason is because a lot of the players are familiar with playing with one another.

“Many of the kids have played together before and everyone is working very well together,” said Cockx.

“We have a very deep defensive talent and the commitment to excellence shows when watching this group play.”

Winning by such high margins is great, but the team knows they still will have to work hard to have a successful season and repeat their success from last year, winning provincials.

“Hitting is always something we are developing,” said Cockx.

“There are some very strong hitters in this league and we will strive to put balls in play and have great at-bats. The kids are constantly working on the hitting fundamentals.”

“I think we were just glad to get outside and play a real game. Practice is vital to success, but the kids were looking forward to getting onto the field and playing.”

“This group has played enough ball to realize they can never take the foot off the gas when competing in this great sport. There are so many talented teams in the league and we have to bring our best every game.”

The team has several returning faces from last year’s provincial team and the new guys are hungry to help bring the team back to provincials.

“Being fortunate enough to win provincials last year only makes us work harder this year,” said Cockx.

“It is a high bar we have set and I believe if we keep focused on the teams values of constant improvement, respect for the game, and having fun, we can build an excellent team who will compete at the highest level.”

“Every one of our players wants to be there, wants to work hard, and loves the game. It is rewarding as coaches to see such a dynamic group of young ball players.”

The Reds will have two away games in Calgary on May 27 against the Calgary Grizzlies and the Calgary Bandits. There are plans for the team to play at the new Cheadle Ball Diamonds for some of their upcoming home games as well.