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Strong pitching not enough for Jr. Cardinals

Locals play in longest recorded nationals game
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The Alexander Men's Wear Yorkton Junior Cardinals represented Saskatchewan at Baseball Canada's 2010 Junior AAA Championships held last month at Trois-Rivieres, QB. Team members pictured above include: Front row, from left: Dalane Lamb, Steven Latos, Logan Calanchie, Travis Nesbitt, Brendon Poleris, Tanner Denesowych; middle row: Gary Lamb, coach, Craig Hucel, Jason Fecthner, Brayden Fersch, Cole Kutaski, Tyler McKee; back row: Jace Muggli, Tayler Kjaargard, Mark Jacobs, Ross Stilborn, Bryce Jacobs, coach, Brian Trollope, coach.

The Alexander Men's Wear Yorkton Junior Cardinals returned home last Wednesday night following their second appearance at Baseball Canada's 2010 Junior Championships in Trois-Rivieres, QB.

Even with a rock solid performance on the mound from Logan Calanchie against Nova Scotia in the team's third game, nothing could make up for errors Yorkton, dubbed Team Saskatchewan, committed throughout, says coach Gary Lamb.

Despite the shortcomings at nationals, at least the Cardinals can lay claim to having played in the longest ever recorded game in the history of the Junior AAA nationals," said Lamb.

The final standings went a little different from the last time Yorkton won the right to play in this tournament.

Quebec used to have the strongest team in the tournament, however, this year they finished in third place.

Manitoba seemed to impress the most, Lamb said, and they went all the way, beating the host in the finals.

After Quebec came Ontario, New Brunswick, Yorkton, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland-Labrador."Manitoba was the best team there," insists Lamb.

Yorkton got a good taste of them early on, too, he said. Although Manitoba shut out Yorkton 7-0, Lamb said four crucial errors definitely would have kept his team in the game, may have cut the scored down by a few more runs too, he suggested.

Yorkton took a full bench with them to Trois-Rivieres, they stacked up on pitching, and weren't even forced to go to the bullpen much, he told the paper.

But luck was never on their side.

"We lost some games we shouldn't have lost."

On top of their own starters, Calanchie, Ross Stilborn and Travis Nesbitt, Yorkton acquired some pitching help from players who weren't normally part of the Cardinal's roster, including Craig Hucel, Jason Fetchner, Steven Latos, Tyler McKee, Taylor Kjaargard and Jace Muggli.

"The pitching was unbelievable" but mistakes came back to hurt them says Lamb.

"When we made a mistake, teams made us pay."

In the third game against Nova Scotia, Lamb said he was very impressed with Calanchie.

"That's as good a pitching performance as I've seen in a long time," says Lamb of Calanchie, who started a 15-inning marathon against Nova Scotia before getting some help from Stilborn in the 13th inning.

In terms of team experience, only Dalane Lamb and Mark Jacobs had nationals experience with them in Trois-Rivieres.

The match that saw Calanchie play almost as much in that one game as he might normally see in two league games.

The game was lost by way of a bases-loaded walk, coach Lamb recalled.Not a great way to lose.

"We played so well," Lamb says. "It's unbelievable how well Logan played."

"I'm proud of those guys."

Other notable moments from nationals saw Kaarsgard allow only one hit in the team's lone win of the tournament, a 4-0 shut out of Newfoundland-Labrador.

Lamb added that one member of that team had been drafted by the New York Mets, and that Manitoba's depth of talent was "phenomenal."

A final recap of Yorkton's showing: Manitoba 7, Yorkton 0, Quebec 13, Yorkton 1, Nova Scotia 5, Yorkton 4 (15 innings), Yorkton 4, Newfoundland-Labrador 0, New Brunswick 9, Yorkton 7.

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