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'That's not the way we wanted to win it': Renegades

The Yorkton Cardinals were part of the 2010 Provincials of Junior AAA baseball over the weekend. When all was said and done, the Raymore Renegades were crowned provincial champions but the numbers on the scorecard still read 9-9.
Yorkton's Logan Calanchie slides underneath the tag during the finals Sunday against Raymore.

The Yorkton Cardinals were part of the 2010 Provincials of Junior AAA baseball over the weekend.

When all was said and done, the Raymore Renegades were crowned provincial champions but the numbers on the scorecard still read 9-9.

"That's not the way we wanted to win it," offered Raymore Renegades general manager Keith Schmalenberg, sounding rather dejected.

"It was a very good game but we did not want it to end that way. The umpires came and talked to us after the play at third base."

"We get one more hit and we win the game."

Nobody on either side is ever going to forget this one. Even the players on the winning side were a little taken back by what transpired in front of 100-or-so spectators watching on at Yorkton's Jubilee ball park diamond one, admits Schmalenberg.

It was the conclusion to what has been otherwise considered an awesome weekend of baseball.

The tournament included the Raymore Renegades, Yorkton Cardinals, Saskatoon Smokin' Guns, Regina Dodgers, Regina Athletics and the Lloydminster Redhawks.

Yorkton began the tournament on Friday afternoon as they opened up against the team that made the longest trip in order to compete that weekend, the Redhawks.

The game didn't end so well for the Cardinals as they were handed a tournament-opening loss, 3-1.They put up some better fights over the course of the weekend, including a couple complete annihilations on Saturday and early Sunday morning.

Yorkton got back on track on Friday evening when they took apart the Regina Athletics, 7-3.

The third game of provincials saw the locals entertain the other Regina entry and that game saw Yorkton come away with a 13-3 on Saturday evening and they followed that up Sunday morning with a 14-1 thumping of the Redhawks.

Yorkton Cardinals starting pitcher Ross Stilborn went almost the distance and Matt Totte' came out in relief to finish it up.

It was the second meeting of the weekend between Yorkton and Lloydminster and Stilborn didn't seem too surprised that Yorkton won the re-match in such convincing fashion.

"It's a good experience. These guys have been coming together," he said of his own teammates.

Yorkton's highlights for the game included a double to centrefield by Logan Calanchie and a two-run home run in the sixth inning.

"Right off the bat, we got on the sticks," suggests Stilborn who didn't seem at all shocked at the team's run output that morning.

"It's all about getting up early and keeping the lead."

When asked to comment on the difference between the scores in the two games in which they had played together that weekend, he insisted it was simply a matter of timely "hitting."

He also pointed out that in the game Yorkton had won, Lloydminster "had their starting ace (pitcher) playing today."

In one of the strangest finishes to a baseball game seen in quite some time, the Yorkton Junior Cardinals and Raymore Renegades teamed up to put on what of the most entertaining displays of Junior-level hardball ever seen in the city.

The lead switched hands about seven times; extra innings were not far off.

The Raymore Renegades general manager told Yorkton This Week a day after the fact that it was a "very good game."

Yorkton's Junior Cardinals had jumped out to a 3-0 lead early, but Raymore fought back to cut the margin of lead to one run. Justin Stupak was handed the ball to start for Yorkton and Totte' came on in relief in the third. It would end up being the first of seven pitching changes made by both clubs throughout the baseball game.

Raymore then went to work on Totte', coming back to tie the game at 3-3, then added a fourth to take their first lead of the game; and first of many lead changes throughout the game.

In the fourth inning, Raymore took it to Yorkton, scoring three runs on four hits in the fourth inning. Yorkton put Colby Parachoniak on the mound in relief of Totte', gave up a pair of runs but also got himself out of a bases-loaded log jam.

When it was Yorkton's turn back at the plate, Mark Jacobs was hit by a pitch and it was their turn to load them up, with Parachoniak and Scott Sharp occupying second and third bases. An infield error by Raymore send both of the latter two home to cross the plate, bringing the score to 7-6 in favour of the Renegades, who would add one more score in their half of the inning, giving themselves a three-run lead at 9-6.

Yorkton got one run back when Stupak scored Stilborn on a triple hit deep to centrefield, forcing the visitors to switch pitchers. On his next crack at the plate, Stilborn brought the Cardinals back to even terms with a two-run shot also to centre, scoring both Tyler McKee and Dalane Lamb, evening the affair at 9-9

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