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Red Lions prepare for semifinal battle versus the Twins

Keller Field will play host to the NCABL’s semifinal series Aug. 12-13
Westlock Red Lions’ Craig Klettke dives back into first base during the club’s 4-3 loss to the Barrhead Orioles Aug. 2 in Barrhead. The defeat dropped the club to 10-8 in the North Central Alberta Baseball League standings.

WESTLOCK – With two games to go in their 2023 North Central Alberta Baseball League regular-season schedule, the Westlock Red Lions now know who they’ll face in this coming weekend’s league semifinal championship series.

The club went 1-1 last week with a 7-5 come-from-behind victory over the St. Albert Cardinals Aug. 1 in St. Albert followed by a tough 4-3 loss to the Barrhead Orioles in Barrhead the following night, Aug. 2, that leaves them with a 10-8 record and in third place in the NCABL. A 13-5 win by the Cardinals over the Parkland Twins Aug. 3, means the Cardinals have clinched the pennant with a 14-5 record, while the Twins sit in second at 11-7.

For Red Lions player/manager Chris Brand and his charges, this final week of regular-season action, Aug. 8-9 at 7 p.m. at Keller Field versus the Cardinals and Twins, will serve only as a warm-up to the semifinals that run Aug. 12-13 back at Keller Field.

At the semifinals, the Red Lions will take the field against the Twins at 1 p.m., Aug. 12 in Game 1 of the two-versus-three series, with Game 2 slated for 10 a.m., Aug. 13, while Game 3, if needed, goes later Sunday at 4 p.m. Game 1 in the one-versus-four matchup between the Cardinals and Orioles goes at 10 a.m. Aug. 12, while Game 2 is slated for 4 p.m. that day and Game 3, if necessary, goes at 1 p.m., Aug. 13.

“We’re going to be throwing out some pitchers who haven’t thrown very much and get some of our other guys in just to keep their arms warm,” said Brand the day after their loss to the Orioles. “We’re going to have some fun, shake some rust off and get some guys in who haven’t been around for the last couple of weeks to get ready for the playoffs and then hopefully go on a big run.”

The NCABL championship series dates are locked in for Aug. 25-27, with the locations to be determined by the teams who make it.

George Blais,

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