Midget Sox start season with back-to-back losses

Meadow Lake Midget Sox batter Garett Cheze prepares to swing.

Meadow Lake Midget Sox batter Garett Cheze prepares to swing.

by Derek Cornet

It wasn’t the start to the regular season the Meadow Lake Midget Sox wanted, as they came up short in Turtle River Baseball League action last week.

The team’s first game was held in Paradise Hill May 8 where the squad was defeated 4-3. Then, on May 13, the Sox came up short against Turtleford at Lions Park where they lost 17-4.

“We have a lot of game strategy we need to work on,” midget coach Len Esau said. “Turtleford was able to hit our pitches. We were trying out some pitchers we haven’t seen yet.”

Esau said the midget team this year is quite young with only a few players returning from previous years. He said the goal this season will be to further develop the first-year players and have them playing more competitively. He noted many players were on the mound at last week’s home game because he wanted them to know how well the older boys are able to hit.

“Once they see how hard these older guys can hit, it shows them what they need to work on and how they need to improve,” Esau said. “Hopefully, through the season, we can improve the players’ personal skills as well as their strategy.”

While the games are competitive in nature, Esau noted development of athletes also has a large role as it’s mandated with Meadow Lake Minor Baseball (MLMB). There are also no league playoffs, but after the 16-game season, Esau said the team would likely enter into a nearby tournament and possibly host one of its own.

Last year, Esau said the midget team was respectable in they played well through the season. While the team wasn’t the top club in the league, he said the athletes showed great development in their performance from the start of the season to the end.

“I wouldn’t say we ripped up the league but, once again, were trying to develop players and we played some pretty good games near the end of the season,” Esau said.
MLMB co-president Regan Beck said the season has started off well in spite of several cancellations due to rain. Last week, two Peewee and one Bantam game were rescheduled due to the weather. While he acknowledged the cancellations are an inconvenience, he noted it’s the price to pay when playing sports during May in Saskatchewan.

“It’s an unfortunate start, which makes for a short season, but the teams do their best to reschedule with what works best for both,” Beck said.

Beck went on to say enrolment numbers this year are excellent and could exceed last year’s numbers. By the end of the season, he expects 250 players to have registered in minor baseball.

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