Sox Win Provincial Gold
One of the best feeling in the world is when you get the water jug dumped over your head. Why, because your hot and stinky and need a cold shower? That is true, you do stink after sitting in the hot sun for about three hours, but no that’s not it, it’s because you know you just won the big one when the boys are having a little fun with their skipper.
And at the start of every season that is your ultimate goal to bring home the gold. Its kind of funny though, every time they still manage to catch me off guard, this time my back was turned and I was starting walk over for our post game meeting with the press. Thought about it before the game but still got caught all the same . Baseball has been great to me. Four gold provincial medals and four silver medals since 2003. Not bad if I do say so myself, I should brag a little bit, but you never want to get to cocky because sometimes like last year you go home empty handed pouting with your tail between your legs and that is how baseball is. Gold is always better than silver . Just ask any of the Beaumont kids, they will tell you .They lost to the Sox in a real dramatic game 13 to 12 that had every kind of possible play and misplay, big hits, bunts, huge catches in the outfield , bad throws , dropped balls, stolen bases, pick offs, you name it, both teams did it, it was exciting, but hard on the old mans heart. But silver is still a lot better than a whole lot of other teams.
Before the final game on Sunday at noon I told the boys that I’m a superstitious guy and knew we would win. It is true, I am a little, but you really need to make them believe to make it happen. Both of the games we won, the one Friday against Wainwright and Saturday at noon against St Albert we were the visiting team and batted first. The game we lost against Beaumont Saturday afternoon we were the home team and took to the field first. Plus playing back to back games we didn’t have time for our pre game little joke. Sunday morning when the boys showed up two hours before game time and started warming up I knew they were committed. All year we told them warm up was an hour and a half before game time. That way even the stragglers are there for a decent warm up. Sunday when they all showed up a two hours before game time you knew they wanted it. The other team showed up an hour later at 11am.
Because we came in second we had to bat first, that was a good thing too, superstition starting to kick in. And when we had our pre game prayer and chat the boys all stared straight ahead, totally silent, everyone of them focused on the game, almost scary to see them so quiet. Told them a joke to break the tension. Superstition number two. High noon, the singing of O’Canada by Breanne Smereka and the game is on. The boys bat first, three up three down, we do the same to them. Second inning we put two across, and shut them down, looking good boys, looking good. Third inning they score two, tie ball game now. Forth inning we finally get to their ace starter and hammer the ball, they bobble it a bit, we get 7 runs across, chase the starter out of the game, they go to the bull pen. Fifth inning , their turn to return the favour, starting to pound the ball off our stud, game MVP Dustyn ‘ Dust Pan’ Pankiw, we bobble the ball too, 3 runs in for them , then a few more in the fifth when we bobble the ball again . Then the ‘ Dust Pan’ is done for the day, maxed out a 97 pitches, 5 and 2 /3 innings the score, 13 to 9. In comes rookie reliever Dalton ‘007’ Reed. he gets out of a jam in the sixth. Top of the seventh no runs for the Sox, still 13 to 9 bottom of the seventh, ‘007’ still up on the mound , Beaumont scores three, the tying run on third, two out, the count two balls, two strikes, ‘007 ‘ delivers a dark one that paints the outside corner of the plate, the umpire pulls the rip cord……..the Sox win…frigging awesome…put another one in the books boys because…..the Sox just won the big one again!!
The veteran players Braiden ‘ Magnet’ Fairbairn, Kaiden ‘ K Rock’ Evans Anderson and Dustyn ‘ Dust Pan’ Pankiw came through with the bats all weekend like we knew they could, hitting singles, doubles and triples, and a two dingers for the four game winning MVP’ Dust Pan. The big unit ‘Crusher’ getting the start over St. Albert and winning the heart and hustle in the game doing a fantastic job, closer ‘ K Rock ‘ coming in shutting the door with some big ‘K’s’ to finish them for the win, that was huge, that game put us in the finals. Our other starter Cody ‘ the Babe’ Fairbairn out with a broken ankle the day before the tournament making it tough on the coaching staff Darcy Pankiw and Dennell Anderson trying to decide who to pitch, but not as tough as it was for the competitive ‘Babe’ watching with his leg up on a pail instead of up on the mound. The biggest surprise was how well the rookies played. The two game heart and hustle award winner Graham ‘ Uncle Cracker’ Broda has the fastest set of wheels on the team beating the throw on a sac bunt he made it all the way around the horn and then scored on a overthrow, he played terrific in center field too, coming up with huge game saving catches, Grady ‘ Gravy Train’ Frazer and ‘Ty Cobb’ Smereka coming up with timely hits and RBIs, Hank the Tank’ Rogal with some specular infield plays at second base and unorthodox base running but somehow managing to make it with a barrel roll into home in the final game to the roar of the crowd . William ‘ Willy ‘ Johnson and Colton ‘ Big Mac’ McLean both getting on base and moving the runners. The parents can be proud of them all! You I know I am!!
Thanks boys, see you next year at spring training. And now for the K.A. Campbell quote of the week. ‘ Gold medals aren’t really made of gold. They’re made of sweat, determination, and a hard- to -find alloy called guts.’ – Dan Gable