Two southeast Saskatchewan senior men's baseball teams used home field to their advantage to win provincial championships.
The Carnduff Astros defeated the Wilkie Brewers 6-5 in the final to win the Senior A2 provincial tournament that was held in Carnduff from August 8 to 10. Six teams entered the tournament.
The host team’s first game of the tournament resulted in a 5-0 victory against the Brewers on August 8. The following day, the Astros were matched up against the Porcupine Plain Wheelers, and defeated them 10-3.
After going 2-0 in the round robin, Carnduff advanced directly to the semi-final round, and beat the Gull Lake Greyhounds 8-0.
The final game against Wilkie went back and forth, according to player/coach Blair Beck.
He said that they were down 5-0 early, and by the fifth inning, it was 5-3 for the Brewers.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Astros tied the game with help from a double by Matthew Audette that scored two runs and a single by Garrett Fitzpatrick that plated Audette.
In the top of the sixth Wilkie had a chance to break a tie, with two on and nobody out, but didn’t score any runs, according to Beck.
The Astros took the lead in the bottom of the sixth with productive base running from Devon Carriere. After Carriere got on base, he stole second, and eventually advanced to third. He would go on to steal home plate for the eventual game-winning run.
Throughout the tournament, Beck said that the team did all of the little things right.
“Our pitching was great, we hit the ball real well, we played well defensively, and we just had a really good weekend,” he said.
Having a full bench helped them have a successful tournament, as everybody contributed.
Beck said that it was a “good feeling” to win at home in front of a big crowd, with everyone supporting them.
”Our goal at the start of the year is to win our last ball game, and to have that come through is a really good feeling,” he said.
The Carlyle Cardinals won the Senior A provincial championship that took place in Carlyle from August 8 to 10. Eight teams were entered.
They defeated the Yorkton Yankees 8-3 in the final.
Carlyle opened their tournament with a 10-0 victory over the Bruno Bisons on August 8. The following day, the Cardinals played the Meadow Lake White Sox and defeated them 3-0. Player/coach David Lemieux said the game was a pitching duel, as both teams pitched really well.
“Pitching was really good and our defence also played really well,” he said.
Carlyle was supposed to play the Arm River Indians later in the day, but it was cancelled as one of the diamonds was rained out, and Lemieux said Carlyle had already clinched top spot.
The Cardinals were matched up against the Findlater Braves on August 10, in the semi-final and the beat them 6-1.
Lemeiux said that Arm River jumped out to an early 1-0 lead, but in the middle innings the Cardinals “strung” some hits together and scored six unanswered runs.
The Cardinals played well defensively, too, turning a couple of double plays, according to Lemieux.
That win advanced them to the final.
Yorkton had a 1-0 lead early in the game, and Lemieux said that Cardinals responded shortly after to go up 2-1. Carlyle eventually built up an 8-2 lead and it was too much for the Yankees to overcome.
Throughout the tournament, Lemieux said that the pitching was solid.
He also mentioned the team was proud of wining provincials and their league tournament as well.
“It doesn’t happen very often that you win both the league and provincials, so I think the guys were just really, really happy,” he said. “They put in a lot of hard work this year so it’s nice when you get rewarded for that, especially with two championships.