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Squeeze Play – The Braves take it to the semis at Provincials

Image: Tyler Hardy on the mound

Tales from the Doug-Out: August 6th, 2019

It’s always easier to write the scoop when the home team makes it to the finals, that isn’t the case today, unfortunately. The Bonnyville Braves hosted the Tier II Midget U-18 Provincial finals this past weekend and lost out to the eventually gold medal winners the Parkland Twins. So I guess at least they lost to the best team if that makes it any easier to swallow.

Game 1

Their first game against Lacombe Saturday morning the Braves, with Dalton ‘007’ Reed getting the call to the hill, were down by three runs in the first inning. The Braves’ bats were still a little sleepy, until the second inning when lead off batter Maeson Stabbler hit to the gap in center field driving in two runs. But that was it as far as offence goes. Tyler Hardy with a single in the first inning was the only other hit in the game for the Braves.
The game remained close right up until the 6th inning when the boys would start bobbling the ball and throwing it away. The final score was 8-2 for the Lacombe Dodgers. After the game, head coach Jim Church and his assistants Tad Reed and Nav Atwal all agreed they needed to make more contact with the ball. After a quick lunch the boys headed over the batting cage for some B.P.

Game 2

The second game of the tourney was against the South Jasper Place Jays was a must win game. The winner would go on the semi on Sunday. Cody “the Babe’ Fairbain up on the mound pitched an absolute gem of a game going  six innings allowing only two runs in the first inning. Nick Tucker single in the first driving in two runs for the Braves. The game was tied at two until the forth inning.
The Braves had runners on third and second, head coach Jim Church calling the squeeze play. Dalton ‘007’ Reed laying down a beauty bunt making it safely to first and Joe ‘Jose’ Laurie would score from third. Next batter Evan ‘Bobsie’ Gamache getting the same call from the third  base coach Jim Church. He lays down another beauty bunt and Landon ‘Promised Land’ Vasseur would score.  First year midget Brad Atwal coming in as a reliever shutting the door on the Jays in the seventh inning. After that the Braves never looked back winning by 8-2.

Semi-finals

Off to the semis on Sunday morning against Parkland Twins. Another youngster, first year midget, Tyler Hardy getting the nod to pitch this key game. He did a terrific job of keeping the boys in the game, but the Twins found some holes and took a three run lead.
The Braves replied with two monster hits to the outfield in the first inning, one by Tyler Hardy and one by Graham ‘Uncle Cracker’ Broda and at first it looked like they would be safe hits but the boys were robbed by the Twins outfielders.
Finally in the third inning the Braves with some speed on the bases from Austin Topylki and a sac bunt by the ‘Promised Land’ Landon Vassuer two runs would score. Closer now, 3-2 for the Twins for the next few innings until the wheels began to fall off the cart for the Braves, and they threw the ball away too many times, plus the bats now not able to come through.  The Braves would be over.

Saying goodbye

It’s always tough losing and saying goodbye to the veterans who have played their last game of minor ball. On microphone Braves manager, Chris Church had some tears as she said goodbye to Nick Tucker and Jose Laurie. She added a big thanks to all the parents and volunteers who made the tournament a success.

On the road

In the Mosquitoes division Reggie Rivard did really well  down in Red Deer with his Tier # 1 team winning both games in the round robing against the  #1 seed and # 4 seed teams, although they lost in the semi as well to Parkland who went on to win the gold medal over Red Deer .
K.A. Campbell quote of the week ‘ Nothing makes a pitcher feel more secure than the sight of his teammates circling the bases during a ballgame. ‘ – Reliever Jim Brosnan.