The Carlyle Cardinals are the Saskota Baseball League Champions as they won the annual Harbourne Memorial Tournament at Kenosee Lake from July 25 to 27.
The Cardinals were the top seeds in the tournament, thanks to a 14-1-1 regular season record, and they opened the tournament on July 25 with a 10-0 victory over the Wawota Pats.
Even though it was a blowout, the pitching was also effective, as Danny Rasmussen pitched the shutout, according to player-coach David Lemieux.
“We hit the ball a little bit, but the biggest thing was we got really good pitching that night,” said Lemieux.
The following day, Carlyle’s offence continued to roll, as they defeated the Oxbow Chiefs 13-3.
Lemieux said that they received solid pitching from Scott Nicholson, and the team was hitting the ball well too.
“We had both things going that day,” he said.
The game was played in the rain, and a contest against the Kenosee Cubs later in the afternoon had to be rescheduled for the next day.
Carlyle defeated the Cubs 6-4 on July 27 to earn their third victory of round robin. They won their pool, and advanced in the playoff round to play the number two team in the other pool – the Estevan Tower Wolves.
Carlyle beat them 4-1.
“It was close the whole game, I think it could have pretty much gone either way,” said Lemieux.
He also mentioned that both teams pitched “really, really, well.”
Also the Cardinals played well defensively, he said, as they got out of a few jams with double plays. Timely hits also helped them earn the victory.
That win advanced them to championship final, and it was a rematch against the Chiefs. Carlyle defeated them 3-2.
They knew it was not going to be like the round-robin game, and the Cardinals didn’t take them lightly, Lemieux said.
“They just played a lot better is basically what it came down too,” he said. “They were really on the ball and gave us everything we can handle.”
The Chiefs jumped out to a 2-0 lead early in the game, but the Cardinals battled back win.
“In the last inning they had a runner on third base, and we managed to get the last out,” said Lemieux.”
Lemieux said the team’s pitching and defence were strong throughout the tournament, and that they were able to cut down on the mental errors.
“We just stayed focus all weekend knowing what the final goal was,” he said.