The Red Deer Braves fell short of qualifying for then Baseball Alberta Midget AAA Tier I Provincial Championships on Sunday at Great Chief Park.
They fell 8-3 to the Fort McMurray Oil Giants in the qualifying tournament hosted by the Braves, after splitting their round robin games on Saturday.
“You could have picked just about any two teams out of the six (to advance) and I wouldn’t have been shocked,” said Braves head coach Cam Moon. “It was unbelievably close.”
Ty Wagar started for the Braves and lasted five innings before giving way to Parker Booth. Kane LeBlanc and Jesse Muirhead each had RBI singles in the loss.
The Braves opened the tournament with a 10-1 win over the Edmonton Cardinals as Dylan Boreman pitch 6 2/3 innings for the win while also cashing in an RBI single. Levi Moon hit a home run in the seventh inning to break the game open while Jesse Muirhead also had three RBI.
The Braves dropped their second game on Saturday 7-4 to the Calgary Red Birds, despite leading 4-2 after two innings. Boreman had two RBI while Ty Elliott and Triston Hill both had RBI singles.
Fort McMurray and the Calgary Rockies advanced to the tier I provincials in St. Albert.
The Braves now move on to the tier II provincials next weekend, likely in Edmonton. Despite not being the provincial tournament the Braves wanted to be going to this weekend, Moon said they will be ready to go.
“It’s an opportunity to play baseball, and when you get to the park and the weather’s good, hopefully, everybody will be fired up to play,” he said. “If we’re playing a provincial tournament or a weekend double header of exhibition games, it doesn’t matter with our group, they will come to play, we’ll have fun.”