At some point in their lives, every baseball player has dreamt of hitting a walk-off home run in a championship game. A Battlefords Bantam Crackmaster Beaver had the opportunity to do that and made the most of it.
The Beavers were in Saskatoon for the Saskatoon Bantam AA Baseball League Championship Tournament June 26 and 27.
The Beavers earned a birth in the championship game after beating the Saskatoon Blue Jays 2, Saskatoon Cardinals 1 and Saskatoon A's 1 all in lopsided victories. In the semi final, Joey Carriere was one the mound and recorded 15 strikeouts against the defending champions Watrous Lakers, as the Beavers won 3-0.
In the final the Saskatoon Cardinals were up against the Beavers. The Battlefords were trailing 10-4 and down to their last chance to tied the game Sunday.
Grady Nash began a rally with a single. That was followed by a double from Trenton Eckel and a single by Nathan Eckel. Next to the plate was Carriere and he belted a homer putting the Beavers within two runs of the Cardinals. The Beavers completed the comeback a few batters later, after Jordan Sass walked, Tristan Derenoski singled and Jack Einsiedler plated the runners with a double.
The Cardinals scored one run in the extra inning putting the pressure back on the Beavers and they responded once again.
Mason Carriere was on second base with one out and Nash got his pitch and ended the game. A walk-off home run capped off an amazing weekend and season for the Bantam Beavers as they won the championship 12-11.
Despite the five-run rally and extra inning heroics, one of the Beavers top batters from the game was Dion Tederoff who was a home run away from the cycle after picking up a single, double and triple.
Nathan Eckel, T. Volk and Derenoski shared the pitching duties for the Beavers in the championship game.
Next the Beavers focus on the provincial championship, which takes place in Yorkton.
The other North Battleford Minor Baseball teams have all wrapped up their league play and will either hang up the cleats until next summer or head to provincials.
The Rookie House League teams had a barbecue to finish their season of ball June 23.
The Mosquito House League teams (Pharmasave, Battlefords Clearance Centre, Sound City, Alumi Glass, Remax, Staples and Rainbow Toyota) had their championship tournament June 26. Staples beat Re Max in the final and now the teams will be combined into a provincial team, which will host mosquito provincials July 16 to 18.
The same day the Mosquito League wrapped up so to did the Peewee House League. The peewee league included one team from Cut Knife and four local teams: Co-op District, Ultra Print, Hein Financial and Scott Campbell/Anderson Pumphouse.
The Battlefords will send a peewee team to provincials in Lloydminster.
The Battlefords Midget Beavers finished their season with a mini tournament in Meadow Lake with the host team and Unity. The Beavers finished the season with a near .500 record in the North West Midget Baseball League.
A tip of the cap goes to all the players, coaches, parents, umpires and Ron Balfour of North Battleford Minor Baseball Association for making the minor baseball season a huge success despite the wet conditions. The feeder system for the North Battleford Beavers looks to be strong with a bright future for the young baseball players of the Battlefords.