BARRHEAD — The U15 Barrhead Orioles proved why they were the No. 1 seeded team at the AA Tier IV Provincials in Okotoks July 22-24, winning four out of five games to take home the championship.
“It was a good weekend to be a part of, to see these boys do what they did,” said coach Mike Edwards. “We went in as the No. 1 seed and stayed that way.”
The U15 Orioles, who only had five losses all season prior to the provincial championships, suffered a rare defeat in their first game on July 22 against the Innisfail Hawks, who downed the Orioles 16-5. Reid Stephani was named as the Most Valuable Player (MVP).
Edwards said Baseball Alberta has a pitch count rule that limits the number of pitches a player can make each game without having to take a full day off to 35.
As such, Barrhead limited each of their pitchers to 35 throws, while Innisfail kept in the same hard-throwing leftie pitcher for most of the match.
“He iced our bats pretty well in that first game and we never did catch up,” said Edwards.
In their second match on July 23, the gloves were off, as Carter Roszko pitched a complete game against the Slave Lake Heat and led the Orioles to a 10-5 victory. Roszko was later named MVP.
In their second match versus the Rocky Mountain House Sun Devils, Brett Visser stayed on the mound for nearly the entire match, though William Bain stepped in to pitch against the last batter.
This time, the Orioles earned a 19-3 victory, with Isaac Edwards named as the MVP.
That put Barrhead into the semi-final versus the Okotoks Outlaws, where the Orioles eked out a 6-5 victory. Edwards noted he had three players that could have pitched that game, but Ryder Sabiston stayed on the mound the entire match and was later named MVP.
Now pitted against the Innisfail Hawks in the final, the Orioles were able to avenge their earlier loss by earning a 15-10 victory with Hayden Rau and Reid Stephani taking turns on the mound. Carter Roszko was later named as the tournament MVP.
“Innisfail ran out of pitching … and our bats took over,” said Edwards, noting that the provincials marked the end of their season.