Red Deer Carstar AAA Midget Brave Sam Schierman watches a hit soar over the infield during first inning action at Great Chief Park during a game against the Okotoks Dawgs.

Red Deer Carstar AAA Midget Brave Sam Schierman watches a hit soar over the infield during first inning action at Great Chief Park during a game against the Okotoks Dawgs.

Carstar Braves suit up for a new season

In early March, Red Deer Carstar Braves head coach Cam Moon was worried he may not have enough players to field a midget AAA baseball team this season.

In early March, Red Deer Carstar Braves head coach Cam Moon was worried he may not have enough players to field a midget AAA baseball team this season.

His worries proved unfounded and Moon will take a 16-man roster into the NorWest Midget Baseball League season.

“It worked out and in the end we should have a competitive team,” said Moon. “We did lose a few guys who decided to play elsewhere, mainly returning to their home clubs, but we do have a solid group of players returning and some good kids moving up from bantam AAA and midget AA.

“I like what I see so far. We have a balanced group with a lot of room to grow, plus they’re good kids who fit well together.”

Moon has nine players returning, including three — Nik Fischer, Levi Moon and Triston Hill — who are with the Badlands Baseball Academy in Oyen.

“They won’t be joining us full time until June,” explained Moon. “That’s fine — until they get back it gives the other kids more playing time and a lot of reps at the plate and in the field.”

Moon realizes the Braves will be a step behind during the early portion of the season.

“Several of the teams have a lot of players who played with the academies and have been playing all winter,” he said. “They’ll definitely be ahead of us. When our three guys get back, it will help but we’ll still have to play catch-up early on.

“It’s important for the kids to have a good outlook and not worry about the early results. I’m sure they will. The guys coming back know what to expect.”

The Braves split a pair of exhibition games in Strathmore two weeks ago and last weekend, they lost a twin bill to the Cardinals in St. Albert.

“The first weekend we used a lot of guys, especially on the mound, and everyone had an opportunity to see live pitching. It gave us an idea of what to expect.

“This past weekend in St. Albert, it was tough as they’re expected to be one of the top teams in the league. But overall it was fine.”

The Braves hope to open at home Sunday, when they host the Edmonton Cardinals II in a doubleheader at noon and 3 p.m. at Great Chief Park.

Teams in the league are allowed two 19-year-olds with Ty Elliott and Dylan Borman the elder two members of the Braves.

Borman and Elliott will be two of the team’s top pitchers, along with veteran Ty Wagar of Lacombe and newcomers Parker Booth, Benett Kary and Michael Ozga.

Booth played bantam last season while Kary is from Trochu and played in Olds. Ozga is up from the midget AA program.

“We still need to work on our pitching, because it is so early,” said Moon. “The big thing is to throw strikes and go from there. That’s the foundation for success.

“As for our hitting, it will be fine. And we still need to tighten up defensively.”

Other veterans on the roster are Jesse Kowalchuk, Jesse Muirhead and Blake Thomson. Griffin Moline, Jordan Muirhead and Brad Pope played bantam AAA last season while Kane LeBlanc played midget AA.

“We have a higher number of bantam players this year, but that’s good,” added Moon. “It helps grow the game — down the road, these kids will be the leaders of the team.”

The league will have a new look this season with the Okotoks fielding only one team, rather than three. Calgary will have three teams — the Redbirds I and II and the Rockies. Sherwood Park and Spruce Grove will have only one team each.

“Okotoks will have only their youngest team this year, but Sherwood Park and Spruce Grove will likely be stronger because they have only one team, but that’s fine,” said Moon. “I expect the league to be competitive and balanced by the end.”

The Braves will play in three major tournaments this season — Edmonton, Kamloops and the new Red Deer AAA tournament, which is set for July 4-6 and will also see games at the mosquito AA and peewee, bantam and midget AAA levels.

“I’m not sure who will be in the (Red Deer) tournament, but I hear there may be some teams from out of province, which will be nice to get a chance to play someone different,” said Moon.

Dave Borman returns as an assistant coach, joining newcomer Drew Boyer, who was an assistant coach with the Edmonton Cardinals and a former coach of the Zone 4 15-year-old team.

drode@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Asymptomatic testing will now be available for "priority groups" who are most likely to spread the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable or at-risk populations. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS
Marcus Golczyk, with Taco Monster, hands food to a customer during Food Truck Drive and Dash in the Westerner Park parking lot in Red Deer Friday afternoon. The drive-thru event will run every Thursday from 4-7 p.m. and Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. through June. Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff
Food Truck Fridays, Food Truck Drive and Dash return in Red Deer

Red Deerians are able to take in a drive-thru food truck experience… Continue reading

Don and Gloria Moore, of Red Deer, are set to celebrate their 70th anniversary later this month. (Contributed photo)
Red Deer couple to celebrate 70th anniversary

Red Deer couple Don and Gloria Moore are set to celebrate their… Continue reading

Chris Scott, owner of The Whistle Stop Cafe, was put in handcuffs after an anti-restriction protest Saturday in the parking lot of the business. (Screenshot via The Whistle Stop Facebook page)
UPDATE: Central Alberta cafe owner arrested after anti-restriction protest

The owner of a central Alberta cafe, which was the site of… Continue reading

Alberta has 1,910 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Red Deer is reporting five active cases, with 108 recovered. (File photo)
Red Deer now has 911 active COVID-19 cases

Central zone has 2,917 active cases

FILE - A firefighter wears a mask as he drives his truck. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward, File
VIDEO: Flames rip through Edmonton-area seniors complex, but no fatalities

ST. ALBERT, Alta. — Fire has destroyed part of a retirement complex… Continue reading

Quebec Premier Francois Legault chairs a premiers virtual news conference as premiers John Horgan, B.C., Jason Kenney, Alberta, and Scott Moe, Saskatchewan, are seen onscreen, Thursday, March 4, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Several provinces bring in new restrictions as high COVID-19 case numbers persist

Several provinces are gearing up to tighten public health measures once again… Continue reading

Members of the RCAF take part in a Royal Canadian Air Force change of command ceremony in Ottawa on Friday, May 4, 2018. The Royal Canadian Air Force is hoping Canada will open its doors to military pilots from other countries as it seeks to address a longstanding shortage of experienced aviators. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
RCAF turns to foreign pilots to help with shortage as commercial aviators stay away

OTTAWA — The Royal Canadian Air Force is hoping Canada will open… Continue reading

An arrivals and departures information screen is seen at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport in Halifax on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. The chief executive of Atlantic Canada's largest airport is hoping for COVID-19 testing for arriving passengers "sooner rather than later," as an added measure to combat the province's third wave of the virus. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Halifax airport CEO hopes for more on-site COVID testing ‘sooner rather than later’

HALIFAX — The chief executive of Atlantic Canada’s largest airport is hoping… Continue reading

Shoppers wear mask as they shop at a nursery & garden shop on Mother's Day weekend during COVID-19 pandemic in Wilmette, Ill., Saturday, May 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Tearful reunions mark second Mother’s Day under pandemic

Last Mother’s Day, they celebrated with bacon and eggs over FaceTime. This… Continue reading

Arizona Coyotes head coach Rick Tocchet, standing, watches the game during the second period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, April 14, 2021, in St. Paul, Minn. The Wild won 5-2. (AP Photo/Craig Lassig)
Tocchet won’t return as coach of Coyotes after 4 seasons

GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Arizona Coyotes and coach Rick Tocchet have mutually… Continue reading

Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella shouts at an official after a fight between Columbus Blue Jackets' s Gavin Bayreuther and Florida Panthers' Sam Bennett during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Monday, April 19, 2021, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Tortorella out after 6 years as Columbus Blue Jackets coach

COLUMBUS, Ohio — John Tortorella is out as coach of the Columbus… Continue reading

A caribou grazes on Baffin Island in a 2008 file photo. A last-ditch attempt to save some of Canada's vanishing caribou herds is a step closer after a scientific review panel's approval of a plan to permanently pen some animals and breed them to repopulate other herds. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kike Calvo via AP Images
Parks Canada captive caribou breeding proposal gets OK from scientific review panel

JASPER, Alta. — A last-ditch attempt to save some of Canada’s vanishing… Continue reading

The smouldering remains of houses in Slave Lake, Alta., are seen in a May 16, 2011, file photo. The wildfire that is devastating large swaths of the northern Alberta city of Fort McMurray comes just five years after another blaze destroyed 400 buildings and left 2,000 people homeless in Slave Lake, Alberta. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ian Jackson
Ten years later: Five things to know about the Slave Lake wildfire

A wildfire burned about one-third of Slave Lake in northern Alberta in… Continue reading

Most Read