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Barrhead Orioles shutout Fort Saskatchewan 5-0

A fourth-inning offensive outburst combined with strong pitching and defence earn the team their first win of the NCABL season
Mitch Carstairs base running copy
Barrhead Orioles Mitch Carstairs breaks up a double play sliding into second during the bottom of the fourth inning of a May 18th game against the Fort Saskatchewan Reds.

BARRHEAD - The Barrhead Orioles broke into the win column for the first time in their second North Central Alberta Baseball League (NCABL), blanking out the Fort Saskatchewan Reds 5-0 on May 18 at home.

After three scoreless innings, the Orioles' offence exploded in the fourth inning scoring five runs.

Barrhead catcher Lee Worobec lead off the inning with a single. Centerfielder and Orioles manager Chase Visser drove Worobec in at the next at-bat, hitting a triple into leftfield. Shortly after, Visser would cross home plate on a Fort Saskatchewan passed ball.

Before the inning was over, Barrhead would score three more runs through a combination of walks, good base running, and two Fort Saskatchewan fielding errors, stranding three runners.

Starting pitcher Mitch Carstairs went the distance, pitching the entire seven innings and only giving up three hits for the win.

"It was a big win for us," Visser said, adding they did not start the season how they wanted, calling their last game a test-run. "But we figured it out, and had some good practices despite the weather."

After a seven-year hiatus on May 10 at the Barrhead Sportsgrounds, the Orioles lost their season-opener 11-1 in a five-inning game called short due to darkness.

"Mitch had a good outing for us," Visser said. "And we played pretty good defence, we might have made a couple of small mistakes, but we were solid all the way through, the entire seven innings."

The Orioles' strong defence was something that was also noticed by the NCABL infield umpire who commented to first baseman Declan Kummer on what a marked improvement the team has made since they last took the field in 2016.

Kummer agreed, but noted this year's Orioles contingent being, on average, about 10 years younger.

Catcher and coach Lee Worobec is the remaining player from the 2016 team who saw limited duty playing on the Orioles as a Midget (U18) player.

"We do have a few players, Landon (Sonnenberg) and Mitch Carstairs, who have played on other (NCABL or Junior) teams, but other than that, we are just a bunch of young guys wanting to play some baseball," Visser said.

In a previous interview, Visser noted the reason they decided to resurrect the NCABL team is that several players had aged out of the U18 program and still wanted to play.

On Friday, May 20, Barrhead took on the Parkland Twins in Stony Plain losing 14-3.

The Orioles next game is on the road May 24 against the Westlock Red Lions before returning home on Wednesday, June 1 to take on the St. Albert Cardinals. The first pitch is at 7 p.m.

Barry Kerton, TownandCountryToday.com



Barry Kerton

About the Author: Barry Kerton

Barry Kerton is the managing editor of the Barrhead Leader, joining the paper in 2014. He covers news, municipal politics and sports.
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