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Grey Lions sweep the Heat in AWCBA semifinal series

Club will take on either the Sherwood Park Pirates or Sturgeon Paladins for the league crown
Grey Lions’ catcher Dean Rau couldn’t corral this throw to home plate during second-inning action of the club’s 16-10 win over the Edmonton Heat Aug. 10 at Keller Field. The victory, combined with a 9-7 win Aug. 1 in Edmonton, capped the best-of-three series for the Grey Lions who now await the winner of the other semifinal between the Sherwood Park Pirates and Sturgeon Paladins.

WESTLOCK – The Westlock Grey Lions will play for an Alberta West Central Baseball Association (AWCBA) title this coming week following a two-game sweep of the Edmonton Heat.

The Grey Lions had their bats going throughout the semifinal series, posting a 9-7 victory in Game 1 played Aug. 2 in Edmonton, then followed up with a huge, come-from-behind 16-10 win Aug. 10 at Keller Field — during the regular season the Grey Lions finished second in the 10-team league, while the Heat wound up in third.

Player/manager Sheldon McConaghy said they didn’t do themselves any favours in the series-clincher, falling behind 8-2 after the first four innings before, pun intended, they turned up the heat. In the fifth inning the Grey Lions scored six runs, then followed up with eight more in the sixth inning to walk away with the game.

“It was a little touch and go for the first half of the game for sure, but we were able to turn it around,” said McConaghy.

The Grey Lions will now face either the Sherwood Park Pirates or Sturgeon Paladins in the league final as McConaghy said that due to rainouts that series hadn’t even started as of Aug. 10.

Once that best-of-three is done, McConaghy expects they’ll be playing for the championship later this coming week, although dates and times will have to be confirmed.

As for any preference on who they’ll face, McConaghy said they wouldn’t mind to exact some revenge on the Paladins who they’ve dropped the last two league championship finals to in 2022 (2-1) and 2021 (2-0) — the league was shuttered in 2020 due to COVID-19 and in 2019 the Paladins swept them two-straight in the semifinal series.

“We wouldn’t mind a little payback for sure,” said McConaghy. “We’ve met them in the final the last few years and in a few of those games we just couldn’t convert, so if we face them again, hopefully we can.”

George Blais,

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