White Sox go down swinging

by Phil Ambroziak

Another season is in the history books for the Meadow Lake Senior Sox.

The men’s baseball team, which finished third overall in this year’s North Saskatchewan River Baseball League (NSRBL) rankings, hosted the Saskatchewan Baseball Association (SBA) Senior A Provincials Aug. 9-11 at Assman Field in Lions Park. Although unsuccessful in their attempt to secure a provincial championship, Sox player and team manager Regan Beck said the experience was one that won’t be forgotten so easily.

“It was enjoyable to have the tournament held here,” Beck said. “It’s more enjoyable if you win at home, but it was great to see a team from our league (the NSRBL’s first-place Border City Blue Jays from Lloydminster) win the title.”

The double-elimination tournament, which featured teams representing three different leagues throughout the province, saw the Blue Jays defeat the Carlyle Cardinals of the Saskota Baseball League 9-6 in Sunday’s final to become back-to-back Senior A provincial champions. The event kicked off Friday afternoon with the same two teams. That confrontation resulted in Border City downing Carlyle 3-1. Meadow Lake won its opening game Friday evening, besting the Cabri River Rats of the Sask-Alta Baseball League 9-8.

“That game saw Kevin Gerwing hit a grand slam in the fourth inning,” Beck noted. “Any time you have a four-run home run, it’s big. It was a huge hit and Kevin has been a very important batter for us all season. When he’s on his game, he really gets it done for us.”

The Sox would not be as fortunate when they faced the Jays Saturday afternoon, however, losing 7-2. This meant they would have to face Carlyle later in the day for a chance to play in the final. But, the Sox came out on the losing end once again, this time by a score of 3-1.

“We had good pitching all weekend, but defensively we were a little mistake-prone,” Beck said. “A couple of missed plays can often make a big difference, and an important aspect of advancing in this tournament depended on momentum.”

The provincial event marked the final time the Sox would take to the field in 2013. At this point Beck said it’s a little early to concern himself with next season, but said he is grateful for the effort put forth by his teammates this year.

“Next season hasn’t crossed my mind at all – at the end of each season, I usually take some time to decompress a bit,” he said. “Playing for our team involves a big commitment from all the guys. It’s unfortunate we came up a little short in both league and provincial play, but it was a good season. The provincial tournament brought a lot of Meadow Lake baseball fans out and it was a great way to cap off the season. Next year we’ll definitely be looking forward to even bigger and better things.”

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