The Stettler Peewee Storm ended their provincial run with a silver finish against the Slave Lake Heat as the community played host over the long weekend to three baseball provincial playoffs.
The 18-9 loss relegated the hosting team to second place, capping off a loss-less round-robin weekend of play.
The Storm first went to bat against the Devon Diamondbacks, whom they defeated 13-8. The Coronation Royals fared no better as the Storm burst past them with a 13-10 win.
“Stettler Storm had the youngest team in this tournament and beating teams like Devon, who dropped down from Tier 2, was a huge indication that we were up for any challenge,” head coach Brent Kranzler said. “The boys really came into this tournament determined and ready to go and it showed. I’m so proud of the kids. From the pitching, fielding, catching and hitting we displayed some great baseball. The kids were positive and up beat throughout and it helped us medal in this tournament.”
In the semi-finals, the Storm faced the Parkland/Spruce Grove Twins and left the field with a 14-7 win, aided by a series of errors and missed balls that gave the home team several stolen bases or all-out home runs.
“Unfortunately the baseball gods were not with us in the gold medal game,” Kranzler said. “We hit the ball hard but it went right at them. We just couldn’t catch a break.”
Stettler Mosquito swatted in semi-finals
Despite a strong showing, the Stettler Sliders were eliminated before reaching the finals, in a close, nail-biting 5-2 game against Edmonton in the Mosquito AA category.
“We came up against some great pitchers,” coach Jamie Muhlbach said. “They just had one good inning.”
The team started out the tournament with a 9-6 loss to the Red Deer Braves, but rallied for back-to-back wins against the Leduc Giants (10-3) and the Oyen Orioles (4-0).
“The boys played really well, and the pitching and hitting was really good,” Muhlbach said.