The Bonnyville U18 AA Braves sure must like sleeping in their own beds. This past weekend they cleaned up at the provincial round robin that they hosted winning all three game, and two of them in the bottom of the 7th in walk off fashion. The U18 Braves were in Bonnyville playing in the 4th and final weekend of tiering. They were up against some tough teams but the boys came to play for the home crowd.
The first game was against Leduc which the Braves had lost 2 close games to previously. The head coach sending Tyler Hardy to the hill to start the game. Tyler started pitched well until running into some control issues in the 3rd inning and walked a few batters. The Braves were up 6-1 after 2 innings but the lead was cut to 6-5 after the 3rd. inning. Zach Lapointe and Andon ‘Ace’ Ballas both had two base clearing hits including a couple doubles. Out of the bullpen Evan ‘Bobsy’ Gamache came in to the game to throw strikes and help bail out the team, striking out 2 and stranding 3 on base to end a Leduc threat.
With the score 13-12 Leduc leading; the Braves send closer Kobe ‘Cobra’ Warawa to the mound to shut down the Black Gold. The ‘Cobra’ zapping a couple of batters with his poison, striking out two. Down 1 run going into the bottom of the 7th. Tyler Hardy got on base with a fielders choice. Then stealing second and third, he was able so score on the over throw to third. Tied ball game 13 all. Tension is building. Chris Kulikov at the dish crushes a double to score Zach Lapointe and a walk off win for the Braves. One down two to go.
The second game was against St Albert and the Braves starter Keagan Locke pitched a fantastic game going 5 innings striking out 11 batters and only allowing 1 run. Dawson Plamondon stayed hot at the plate and went 1-1 with a couple walks and a RBI. The Braves finished this one in 6 innings winning 11-1.
The last game of the weekend was against a very strong Central Alberta Hounds team. A team that had put the run on the Braves only a week ago. Braves starter Brad Atwal chucked one of his best games, going 6 innings, striking out 7 and only allowing 2 runs. The game was tied 2-2 until the Braves were able to score a run in the 5th inning to take the 3-2 lead. Colton Lacoursiere went 2-3 at the plate with 1 RBI and Graham ‘Uncle Cracker’ Broda made some highlight diving catches in centerfield to help hold the lead. Top of the 7th the Hounds digging out a run to tie the game and were off the leash sniffing for more until catcher Dallas Sparklingeyes fired a rocket to second to catch a loose Hound and end the inning. Seth Cobourne pitched a solid 7th inning only allowing the 1 run on a couple hits. Going into the bottom of the 7th tied 3-3. Seth hitting a single to get on base, then after stealing second and advancing to third on a fielders choice it all set up for another dramatic finish. Runner on 3rd tie game. Fingers crossed. Tyler Hardy steps to the plate and crushes a single for another walk off win.
A 3-0 weekend at home is pretty exciting for the Braves fans and players. The Braves are really coming together and playing some great ball as a team. However, no time to relax. The team will have to be at its best playing Tier 1 ball for the month of August. Not a problem from what I watched!