Sports

Midget AA Reds earn provincial gold

Dan Marcinkowski is the Strathmore Standard's Sports and Wheatland County council reporter. Contact him with any and all information, story tips or concerns at 403-934-3021 ext. 308.

By Dan Marcinkowski, Airdrie Echo/Strathmore Standard

The Midget AA Strathmore Reds won provincials in Sherwood Park over the long weekend.

The Midget AA Strathmore Reds won provincials in Sherwood Park over the long weekend.

The Strathmore AA midget Reds are Tier 2 provincial champions after playing their best ball of the season.

 

The Reds went 5-0 in provincials and won some very close games, but they never showed weakness and battled through till the end, which helped them win those close games.

Provincials took place in Sherwood Park Aug. 4-7.

The Reds beat Sherwood Park in the finals after Sherwood Park tied the game at 5-5 at the top of the 6th inning after the Reds had a three run lead, but the Reds stuck to their game plan and regained their momentum and scored two runs in the bottom of the 6th when Garrett Hagel doubled and batted in two runs. The Reds then won the game 7-5 and became champions.

Strathmore pitcher Kadin Wilson earned the win for Strathmore. He tossed one and two-thirds innings, allowing zero runs, one hit and one walk. Mason Kennett started the game for the Reds and went four innings and gave up four runs with three strike outs.

Hagel had another multiple hitting game for the Reds and was rewarded for his great play throughout the weekend.

The tournament MVP for the Reds was Garett Hagel who had a very hot bat throughout provincials.

Strathmore beat Ft. Sasketchewan 11-3 in the semis. They also beat Innisfail 12-11, Red Deer 5-4 and Sherwood Park 12-0 in the opening game.

“We had some big individual performances in every game, but every one of our players contributed,” said Reds coach Willie Mulligan.

“Our pitching was great and so was our hitting. We knew coming in we would face some tough teams and the boys played the best they could and were very deserving.”

Some of the games were very close and the Reds almost lost the lead a couple times, but coach Mulligan doesn’t believe it was luck.

“We were more resilient,” he said.

“When we gave up the lead or some runs and we needed good pitching or a big hit, we did those things and that is the reason we won those close games.”

Being a u18 team, means it could be the end of baseball careers for some players and some players have never won a provincial championship until now.

“It felt really good for the players that never won a championship, so I was really happy for those guys,” said Mulligan.

The Reds now hope they can make Tier 1 next year and go as far as possible at that level in 2018.