The Wilkie Brewers senior baseball team and the Unity Jr. Cardinals, playing in senior baseball division, both earned spots in their respective provincial finals.
The Wilkie Brewers started off their provincial weekend in North Battleford with a statement game against Lloydminster, winning 2-0. Pitcher Jacob Mamer threw a strong six innings with Corey Wildeman shutting the door. Jared Herle was credited with the team’s player of the game. A 3-1 victory over Kindersley that included strong pitching by Dave Schell and Derek Keller capturing the player of the game nod. This put the team into semi final Sunday. The Brew crew would face off against the Standard Hill Lakers, starting off strong with a 4-0 lead. The Lakers battled back and were leading 807 until the Brewers broke things open in the bottom of the 6th inning and relief pitcher Dave Schell was able to shut the door in the 7th. The Brewers defeated the Lakers 11-8. This set up the Brewers for their provincial finals facing off against the Parkland Pirates. Rob Cey was given the player of the game nod for his two home runs and seven RBI’s that helped seal the victory. Gavin Wourms took the mound for the Brewers pitching all seven innings with the Brewers scoring often and early against the Pirates. A decided 13-7 victory in the final have earned the Wilkie Brewers the Senior AA Tier 2 Provincial Championship title, for their first time in history.
Rob Cey, Brewers spokesperson, said, “Just as it had been all year ,the strength of the Brewers was their depth in all areas of the game. Strong pitching performances on Friday set the Brewers up very well for Sundays semi and final. Their defence was consistent all weekend with some timely double plays and highlight reel catches. Offensively the Brewers were very strong with dominant hitters throughout the order and even on the bench for each game. The Brewers would like to thank their fans for the support all year long and those who made the trip to North Battleford for the provincial weekend."
The Unity Jr. Cardinals competed in Davidson for their provincial quest. The team had a 1-0 in their opening game crediting Tanner Huber and Zenon Orobko for their pitching power in the win. An 8 a.m. game against the North East team, won 7-5, booked their ticket to playoff Sunday. A win on Sunday put the team at 3-0 and in first place sending them to semi finals. A solid 10-0 win over the Rosetown Angels, crediting Huber with throwing the shutout, put the Cards in the playoff final against the Macklin Lakers. While the Cards proved they deserved to be in this final, they were not able to capitalize on opportunities and went down to defeat in this final.
Coach Dan Feser said, “It was a hell of a run and I was thrilled watching the boys put on a show. It felt so good to be back on the ball diamonds in a provincial tournament. The world seemed right. Every team there just seemed happy. Because they appreciated what we got.
“The boys honestly played their hearts out and were the talk of the tournament. I took so much pride in people stopping me to ask who this kid was, who that kid was, what line of work are they in so we can steal them and things like that.”
Feser added, “Everyone contributed. Huber is graduating and what a way to go out. Ten shut out innings and 20 Ks. Posh hit .750, McLean beat the pre tournament favourites. But the list could go on. Everyone had their own moment, some form of success, something they can feel really good about it. And I doubt any team had more fun than these guys.”
Not knowing what to expect sincethis was their first official men’s tournament, the Jr. Cards' goal was to make it to championship Sunday, which they did as the top seed.
Two players will graduate from the junior ranks including Tanner Huber, who was the team’s MVP, and Adam Duhaime. Jaydon Gartner was added to the provincial team roster for the weekend. He is off to Mount Olive University in North Carolina now.