Elk Point’s Austin Stafford breezing through Fall Ball
You’ll never know until you try it. A few years ago Baseball Alberta had an idea brought to the board about starting a fall baseball league. They decided to give it a try, and started a short season from September to November called fall ball.
At the time no one knew how well this would catch on. Fall ball is now getting more and more popular every year. This year, a local midget player, Austin ‘the Wizard’ Stafford was asked to play with the Edmonton Padres for their fall ball season. Since he had played at the end of the season with them in their AA tier 2 provincial final, he accepted the invitation and has been living in the city of Edmonton practicing and playing with the team.
As you may recall he played this past season in Marwayne, and did really well pitching in their provincial final. He was scouted and picked up by the Padres to play on their AA provincial team after the Marwayne team had finished their season.
This past weekend the team traveled to Calgary to play four games in two days. The Padres team lost the first game 8 to 7. The ‘Wizard’ as they like to call him played third base in that game, fielding the ball and making two double plays and hitting two doubles at the plate. Game two they won 16 to 8, the ‘Wizard’ played in the outfield and hit another double. In the third game he pitched 4 innings allowing no runs, the score 0 to 0 when he decided to pull himself due to a sore elbow. It was nothing serious but they have a lot of games coming up and he didn’t want to push it to the point where it might become a problem. Not on the line up in the forth game, the coach put him in part way through the game to pinch hit , coming off the bench he cranked another double, his forth one of the weekend.
The ‘ Wizard of Auz’ was getting very well known for his pitching abilities, but not so much for hitting, but it looks like, with a weekend like this last one, that is about to change.