Dechaine's no-no leads midget Storm to back-to-back titles
The St. Paul Storm midget boys baseball team successfully defended its Lakeland championship title in last Monday evening’s final with a 16-0 dismantling of the Cold Lake Cardinals, led by a no-hit performance from pitcher Victor Dechaine.
“It was awesome,” said Dechaine, who was only one walk shy of a perfect game in what would be his last appearance on the mound with the St. Paul Storm. “I plan on going to Lethbridge and playing with their college team. I hear they’re the best team in Canada, so hopefully I’ll make that team.”
Dechaine’s performance on the mound ended the game early, as a mercy rule was enforced after five innings with St. Paul leading 16-0. Storm Head Coach Danny Weinmeier said it was a nice touch to see Dechaine close out his time with the St. Paul Storm on such a successful note.
“It was nice, he wanted to leave on his no-no, and he only threw one walk,” said Weinmeier. “The boys were strong all year, and we had lots of good pitching.”
While Dechaine’s performance on the mound ultimately led the Storm to success in the finals, he was quick to pass the credit around the diamond.
“The whole thing, all the way around, pitching, hitting, fielding, we did everything well,” he said, adding the team was able to shake off a prolonged period of inaction due to rain. “I think there was two weeks where we went without a practice. It was hard to get back into the routine but we managed to do it.”
Weinmeier agreed that the Storm were gifted with a talented crop of ball players from across the county, and added the camaraderie amongst teammates was second to none.
“Everybody was strong; nobody was weak. They were all good hitters,” said Weinmeier. “Strong pitching and strong hitting. We had a good mix from St. Paul, St. Lina and Goodfish, and the boys all got along like they’ve known each other forever.”
While the Storm dominated in last Monday’s championship game, the road to back-to-back titles saw a difficult game against the Riverhurst Lobsters in the semifinal. Thanks to some strong pitching and determined fielding, the Storm were able to eke out a 4-3 victory and earn a place in the final.
“Our bats were cold. We didn’t hit much in the semis. Our pitching was strong but they did hit well on us,” said Weinmeier, adding he was proud to see the Storm battle through a tough game as a team. “After something like that they definitely deserved it. They never got upset and all year long they were strong. It really didn’t matter who was pitching, they were a team the whole season. They were a great group of boys to work with.”