DQ Braves thrown a curve

The Red Deer Dairy Queen Braves could be a step behind before they even open the Western Canadian peewee AAA baseball championships Friday at Great Chief Park.

The Red Deer Dairy Queen Braves could be a step behind before they even open the Western Canadian peewee AAA baseball championships Friday at Great Chief Park.

The Braves, and the Alberta champion Sherwood Park Athletics, have played all season in a league that doesn’t allow a pitcher to throw curve balls. The Western championships do however.

“It’s a bit of a disadvantage, but luckily we played in a tournament in Kelowna and they used curve balls, so it’s not completely strange to us,” said Braves head coach Cam Moon. “I know the B.C. teams use curves, but I’m not sure about Saskatchewan and Manitoba. But we can’t worry about that.”

While the Braves pitchers haven’t thrown a breaking ball during the season, that doesn’t mean they can’t.

“Some of them can, and have a good one,” said Moon. “The biggest thing could be control, but they’ll be fine.”

The Braves go into the championship as the host team, but they also finished second in the provincials.

“Obviously we wanted to win the province, but I believe it was important to go into the championship through the front door. We earned our way here and just didn’t get in because we were the host team,” said Moon. “The kids played hard at the provincials, in fact Sherwood Park had to beat us twice in the final to win.

“The best thing was the kids didn’t let up and are coming into the Westerns playing well.”

The championships are something the Braves have looked forward to all season, especially being at home.

“It’s a real thrill playing at home and at Great Chief Park,” said Moon.

The Braves open the championship Friday at 9 a.m. on diamond 2 against the Saskatchewan champion Saskatoon Cardinals and meet the Brandon Knights in the feature game of the day at 6:15 p.m. on diamond 1. They finish pool play Saturday at 12:15 p.m. on diamond 1 against the Cloverdale, B.C., Spurs.

“The only team we know anything about is Saskatoon, who played a couple of teams in our league,” said Moon. “They’re big and play solid baseball, but that’s to be expected at this level. We have the top eight teams in the west here, so there won’t be any easy game. The thing is we can’t worry about what the other teams do, we have to make sure we’re playing our best. That’s all we can ask.”

The Braves have added only one player — pitcher Aaron Larose of St. Albert — to their roster.

“He’s a big kid, who can throw hard and can play anywhere we ask,” said Moon, who had a roster of 12.

The Braves have depth in all areas, including pitching with Larose joining Blake Thompson, Niklas Fischer, Brett Barrett, Allan Pruss and Levi Moon as the team’s leading pitchers.

“You need depth in this type of tournament, especially with a pitch count,” said Moon. “We feel we have the arms to go deep in the tournament. Our goal is to get to the semifinals Sunday and then you’ll need that depth for sure.”

Offensively Joel Mazurkewich, Moon and Brendan Baker have been the team leaders while Fischer leads in home runs.

Other members of the team are Zane Steeves, Michael Pruss, Justin Van Tetering and Mitchell James.

The other pool has the Athletics, Regina White Sox, North Winnipeg Pirates and the Vancouver Yankees.

The top two teams, following pool play, advance to the semifinals Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. The final is set for 4 p.m.

If a tiebreaker is necessary following pool play it goes Saturday at 3:15 p.m. The placement games are also set for Saturday. If their’s a tiebreaker the third-place teams in each pool meet at 6 p.m. on diamond 2 and the fourth-place teams clash at 6:15 p.m. on diamond 1. If there’s no tiebreaker needed both placement games go at 4 p.m.

• Robert Thomson and Blair Steeves are assistant coaches with the Braves and Ed Mazurkewich the Chef de Mission.


Just Posted

Sasktachewan pup, who has extensive burns, makes her way to Red Deer

Donations accepted for Phoenix who has third degree burns on her body

Man dead in ATV collision in central Alberta

The Rocky Mountain House RCMP are investigating a quad rollover collision that… Continue reading

One airlifted to hospital after avalanche on glacier in Yoho National Park

LAKE LOUISE, Alta. — Parks Canada says it has responded to an… Continue reading

Hundreds of Canadian troops deployed to flood zones in Quebec and N.B.

MONTREAL — Quebec Premier Francois Legault will visit flood-damaged regions north of… Continue reading

WATCH: An ‘Eggstemely Fun Easter’ at Bower Place in Red Deer

Bower Place mall made sure Red Deer families were able to have… Continue reading

‘The Curse of La Llorona’ reigns over weekend box office

LOS ANGELES — “The Curse of La Llorona” (yuh-ROH’-nuh) had only good… Continue reading

New Brunswick premier urges caution as floodwaters continue to rise

FREDERICTON — Rising floodwaters have forced the closure of at least 25… Continue reading

Witnesses still struggling one year after deadly Yonge Street van attack

TORONTO — The survivor guilt settled in moments after he saw all… Continue reading

‘Shocking violation’: Parish prepares to re-bury remains after grave plundered

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Largely untended for decades, the toppled and faded… Continue reading

President attends Easter service following slew of tweets

PALM BEACH, Fla. — President Donald Trump is using Easter morning to… Continue reading

Easter Sunday blasts kill at least 207 in Sri Lanka

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — At least 207 people were killed and hundreds… Continue reading

Soldiers deploying to flood-prone areas as water levels rise in New Brunswick

FREDERICTON — About 120 Canadian soldiers will soon be deployed in western… Continue reading

Soldiers deploy across Quebec after flood-caused sinkhole claims woman’s life

MONTREAL — Canadian Armed Forces are deploying in three regions across Quebec,… Continue reading

Most Read