Mosquitos take provincial silver
The St. Paul Storm U11 Mosquito boys’ baseball team showed spirit and growth this season after a strong performance at the Tier 2 Provincials in Okotoks over the weekend.
Though the boys lost the final match, they took home a silver medal and played well the whole time, never giving up when the odds were against them, according to the team’s coach.
“Coming into provincials, we grew as a group for sure. Baseball is a team sport. Unless everyone is playing, you won’t be successful. We really learned to play better as a team, and to never quit,” said coach Armand Boucher.
The boys played a round robin-styled tournament, winning three of four possible games, earning them the home team designation in the finals. The boys moved on to a final game with the Okotoks Outlaws that ended in a 16-6 loss for St. Paul.
“We just lost the last game. The other team had a fantastic pitcher. It was hard to keep up with him. He shut out the first nine batters,” said Boucher. “He wasn’t the fastest, but was hard to keep up with. He was very good, and they couldn’t get him on the sticks. The team just had a hard time getting an offensive going.”
Boucher said the team made a brief comeback in the bottom of the fifth inning, scoring the first two runs then. Since there is a maximum five-run rule for the mosquito level of play, and St. Paul was down 11-0 at the bottom of the fifth, the game was mathematically over.
“We got a few more runs in the bottom of the sixth, but by then the game was over. They switched pitchers, and we were playing it out more for fun at that point,” said Boucher. “We were just doing it for experience. We were that far away from home, we figured there was no point in backing up and just going home.”
Boucher acknowledged the hard work, sportsmanship, and skill of all on the team as a factor in their successful season.
“Through the whole weekend, the team played really well in general. The first game (Sunday) morning, we were down 4-1 to Spruce Grove. We came back and ended up winning 10-5. It was a great time,” he said.
Boucher said that such an impressive performance was the result of development of the team throughout the entire season. He added that the support of the parents and their “passion for the game,” also helped bring the team success.