The Innisfail Merchants won gold at the Baseball Alberta Provincials in Edmonton on the weekend. (Photo by Cindra Bouteiller)

Innisfail Merchants repeat as champs at Junior AAA provincials

The Innisfail Merchants needed strong defence and tough pitching in a successful defence of their Junior AAA Baseball Alberta Provincial title.

After clubbing their way to provincial win with 77 runs over the weekend in 2018, the defending champion Merchants relied on solid arms and solid defence this year. It was their third provincial win in nine years and will be the eighth time they represent Alberta at the Western Canada Baseball Association Junior AAA Championship.

In the final Monday at provincials, they edged the St. Albert Cardinals 5-3 in extra innings to earn the title.

Tied 2-2 heading into extra innings, the game was decided using the international tie-breaker rule. Innisfail hit first in the top of the eighth, and runners were placed on first and second with no outs. After a bunt moved the two runners over, Clayton Kary singled home a run and Ty Moline was thrown out at the plate. Later in eighth, both Ty Ratzlaff and Garet Hagel singled home runs to add to the Merchants lead.

In the bottom half of the eighth, the Cardinals scored on a sacrifice fly and a single. Shortstop Alan Klinck captured the final out. Jack Henley had a dominant outing, striking out 11 Cardinals in the victory.

To open the tournament, the Merchants knocked off the host Edmonton Padres thanks to strong night by Jace Bruce on the mound. Rylan Zens helped out with some strong defensive play and followed that up with the game-winning RBI single.

Zens then came up with a strong pitching performance, helping Innisfail to a 5-1 win over the Community Park Reds on Sunday Morning.

Sunday night, Brett Porter went the distance but a tough bottom of the sixth inning allowed the Cardinals to earn a 6-5 victory. With the two wins earlier in the tournament, the Merchants still earned a spot in the finals.

At Westerns starting on Aug. 9, the Merchants will take on the host Saskatoon Hoopers. Saturday they’ll play the Elmwood Giants of Manitoba and the Cardinals. Sunday, they’ll finish off the round robin against the Interlake Blue Jays of Manitoba.

Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

The best caesar in Canada can be found in Sylvan Lake

Kjeryn Dakin’s Tragically Hips caesar won the national Best Caesar in Town competition

Family says five found dead after Alberta fire were couple and their grandkids

ROCHFORT BRIDGE, Alta. — The family of five people whose bodies were… Continue reading

Rescue dogs come to Canada in search of forever families

There were dozens of dogs in the back of the van travelling… Continue reading

WATCH: Parkland Garden Centre hosts weekly Craft and Market Sale

A weekly event hosted by the Parkland Nurseries Garden Centre gives Red… Continue reading

WATCH: CP Holiday Train supports Lacombe Food Bank

Madeline Merlo and JUNO Award nominee Scott Helman both performed

Your community calendar

Friday The Annual Old-Fashioned Country Christmas is being held Dec. 13 at… Continue reading

Quebec Premier Francois Legault heads to Hollywood to talk carbon and business

LOS ANGELES — After a tumultous legislature session, Quebec Premier Francois Legault… Continue reading

Conservatives urge Morneau to deliver ‘urgent’ fall economic update

OTTAWA — The Conservatives are calling on Finance Minister Bill Morneau to… Continue reading

Flames edge Kings 4-3 to remain unbeaten under interim head coach Geoff Ward

CALGARY — From his contributions on the scoresheet to his role in… Continue reading

Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world in the coming week

TORONTO — Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world… Continue reading

Google taps into Montreal’s rich gaming industry for first-party Stadia content

Sebastien Puel has seen Montreal evolve into a game development powerhouse over… Continue reading

Man dead after lengthy standoff with RCMP at home northeast of Calgary

COCHRANE, Alta. — A man in Alberta has died after an officer… Continue reading

Turkey trouble: Quebec village looks to dump wild bird running afoul in town

MONTREAL — In the small Quebec town of St-Prosper-de-Champlain — population 552… Continue reading

Most Read