The last few weekends in June have always been stressful for the AA U 18 baseball managers. Usually about a third of the team will be in grade 12 and have a graduation to attend. And the grade 11 boys are often escorts or just there for the party. Especially this year when everything opened up, there was no way the boys would miss out on the fun. The short staffed AA U18 Braves were scheduled to play in Leduc against the host first thing on Saturday morning. , Starter Chris Kolikov pitched an outstanding game, with 10 strikeouts right up to the 5th inning when he would max out on his pitch count. The Braves up 4-0 looking like they had this one in the bag. Then the train started to derail. The bullpen couldn’t find the strike zone and issued too many walks. The Braves lead started slipping away and they found themselves trailing. Getting desperate, they battled back in the home half of the 7th to make it a close 8-7 ball game but couldn’t find a way to manufacture another run to tie it up.
The second game of the day the results were much better. Starter pitcher Keagan Locke tossed another great game as well going 6 innings with 5 strike outs and only allowing 3 runs. Closer Colton Lacoursiere coming in out of the bull pen shut them down, The Braves winning this one 11 to 3.
On Sunday with 36 degree temps the Braves played St Albert. Right from the start, the whole day seemed to be against the Braves There was a 1 hour delay in the game time and no where to escape the heat. With an injury and missing players due to Grad the team was down to 10 players. It was a game that should have been a win. But nothing is ever guaranteed in baseball and the boys lost this one 13-11 . Dallas Sparklingeyes pitched 3 innings and gave the Braves a chance to win, but it wasn’t meant to be. After giving up the lead in the 5th Seth Cobourne came in and pitched well helping the braves try and battle back But the bats couldn’t get going when they needed them. A disappointing 1-2 weekend, however with a 3-3 record in the month of June it should be enough to keep them in the top half of the league when they re-tier for the next round.