Bantam Sox win provincial championship
by Derek Cornet
The Meadow Lake Bantam ‘A’ Sox revelled in their second major win of the season July 20 after capturing the 2014 Saskatchewan Baseball Association’s Bantam provincial championship.
The four-team round- robin tournament began July 19 at Lions Park in Meadow Lake. The Sox began with a close game against Melville who took the lead early. Coming up to the bottom of the seventh inning, Meadow Lake was down by two runs, but ended up tying the game 5-5 and scoring an additional run to end the match with a 6-5 victory.
The team followed up their win with another against Unity, which set them up for a game with Macklin. Macklin, however, snapped their winning streak, setting the two teams up for a showdown for the provincial title.
Bent on revenge, the Sox – paired with the home field advantage – took Macklin by surprise and finished the championship game with a decisive 13-3 win in front of the home crowd.
Earlier this year, the Sox emerged as the top team in the Turtle River Baseball League. Assistant coach Len Esau said it was a great achievement for the team and noted the title hadn’t been won by a Meadow Lake Bantam team for several years. Esau went on to say winning the league gave the players confidence in their abilities leading up to provincials.
“The team is doing well,” Esau said after their win against Melville. “You never know how you’ll do against teams from across the province and they’re doing good.”
Esau said the players worked hard prior to provincials and had practices twice a week. Even though rain had affected parts of the baseball season and made a mess of the diamonds days before the provincial showdown, Esau said everyone made due and fun was had by all.
Coach Marlon Dancy said the win was a terrific way to end the baseball season. During the two months of practices and games, he said the players had learned a lot and had keened in on their skills and abilities. Dancy also praised the spirit the team maintained all the way through.
Player Drydon Beaubien said the team did so well because all the players are confidence builders. By helping each other out and saying positive remarks to one another, Beaubien believes it’s one of many factors the team excelled this season.
“We have a lot of heart and we’re there for each other,” he said. “That’s what gives us the winning edge.”