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Carlyle Cardinals take 'A' Provincial Championship

The Carlyle Cardinals, who just a few short weeks ago swept through the annual Harbourne Memorial Ball Tournament at Kenosee Lake, took the championship for 'A' ball at the provincial finals in Regina.
The Carlyle Cardinals 'A' ball team managed to clinch the provincial championship in Regina recently, following what has been described as one of the most exciting games in memory. Top Left to Right: Todd Brady, Braiden MacDonald, Parker Cameron, Shane Valentine, Cam Jarvis, Daniel Rasmussen, Mason Crossman, Carson Renaud, Jesse Matthewson, Brent McLean. Bottom Left to Right: Matt Ludlow, Colin Wilson, Scott Nicholson, Riley and Dax Brown, David Lemieux, Kelly Currie.

The Carlyle Cardinals, who just a few short weeks ago swept through the annual Harbourne Memorial Ball Tournament at Kenosee Lake, took the championship for 'A' ball at the provincial finals in Regina.

Provincial 'A' baseball playoffs were held in Saskatoon over the days of Aug. 7 and 8.

The Cardinals started things off with a bang, winning their first three games.

The Cardinals faced off against the Saskatoon Diggers for their first game, taking it 4-3, with Parker Cameron the winning pitcher for the match.

This win was followed handily with a 7-4 win over the Saskatoon Tigers again with Parker Cameron the winning pitcher, and a 7-5 win over the North Battleford Beavers, this time with Danny Rasmussen the winning pitcher.

Sweeping through the Round Robin portion of the tournament, the Cardinals were top seeded for a double knockout game against the Diggers.

Things started rough for the doughty Cardinals, with the team finding themselves down 0-5 within the first innings of the game.

Coming back at full steam, the Cardinals managed to regain some lost ground and moved ahead of the Diggers to a 6-5 by the fifth inning.

The Diggers then dug in themselves, and the score moved to 9-6 for the Digs by the top of the sixth.

A nail-biter of a game, the Cardinals had two on base and two outs late in the sixth when, due to a severe thunderstorm, the game was suspended.

With the Saskatchewan Baseball Association rules stating that suspended games had to be completed from the point of suspension, it was two weeks later in the city of Regina that the two teams faced off again, standing where they were when the rains hit.

While anticipation for the game was high, and the Cardinals down by three, what was arguably the most exciting two innings in recent memory were played out before the crowd.

With the Cardinal's Parker Cameron on second and Brent McLean on first, Mason Crossman took the plate.

With two outs already on the scoreboard, Crossman hit a single, loading the bases for batter Riley Brown.

Brown took the pitch and batted himself a single, running in both Cameron and McLean, bringing the score to a close 8-9.

Outing the Cardinals after this the Diggers ran through batters at the top of the seventh, failing to cross the plate, allowing the Cardinals to hit the deck at the bottom of the inning with the scores still standing at 8-9 for the Diggers.

Two rapid outs put the Cardinals right back to where they started the game, standing down on the scoreboard with two outs up.

The Cardinals gamesmanship returned, with batter David Lemieux hitting a single, followed by a walk for Cardinal Cameron Jarvis.

Parker Cameron then came to the plate hitting a strong single for himself, running in Lemieux, tying the score at 9 all around.

The Diggers started the eighth strong, and despite good field play and pitching from the Cardinals, managed to cross two over the plate thanks to a bases-load hit by the Diggers.

The Cardinals bent, but refused to break, taking their time at the plate to challenge the 11-9 lead the Diggers held.

In a pattern all too familiar for the intrepid Cardinals, the Diggers again brought the Cardinals to two outs, leaving the Cards with two outs up and two runs down.

Fortune came in the form of a walk for Cardinal Shane Valentine, while Scotty Nicholson continued his hot hitting with a double, moving Valentine to third.

Taking the plate, Matt Ludlow took a mighty swing, earning himself a single while running in both Valentine and Nicholson, tying the game again at 11 all around.

The cake was served to the Cardinals when, taking the plate after Nicholson, batter David Lemieux took the plate.

With two outs on the board, and Ludlow at first, Lemieux took at mighty swing at the first pitch, driving the ball deep into centre-field, allowing Ludlow to run in home.

This Cardinals victory of 12-11 over the Saskatoon Diggers proved to be one of the most exciting games many had had the opportunity to witness, and brought the provincial championship home to Carlyle for the fourth time in the last five years.

Way to go guys!