The Red Deer 16U Braves can call themselves champions forever after a unique victory last weekend.
The Braves brought home the title in the first-ever Rawlings Cup in Sherwood Park, knocking off the Leduc Black Gold 47s 13-3 in the final.
Braves head coach Randy Russell said the experience of winning it all was a great experience for the team.
“To have our name on that trophy first that’s going to be there forever and I’m really happy for this team, and these young men they’re going to be able to see that forever. It just feels great and I know they’re all really excited about it as well,” Russell said.
The Braves lost the first game of the tournament to the Black Gold 47s 5-2 before capturing a must-win game against the Calgary Bucks 5-0 to send the team to the quarter-finals.
Red Deer played Sherwood Park next and beat them 8-1 in dominant fashion before advancing to the semi-finals to take on Webber Academy out of Calgary. They played another great game beating the academy 7-1 to advance to the finals.
“The very first game I felt that they were a bit nervous, maybe a little bit of rust on them because it was such a long time since we last played. And then we played the next game and we just took off from there. We started to play ball like I knew we could,” he said.
“The overall performance was absolutely amazing. They couldn’t have done better than what they did, it was just great.”
The Rawlings Cup, which was organized by Baseball Alberta, was a showcase of 12 teams in the province for college scouts to take a look at some of Alberta’s best players. To get into the tournament teams did not have to qualify but rather they had to register on a first come first serve basis for the squads hoping to be one of the 12 clubs.
Next up, players from all 12 teams will be selected by Baseball Alberta to compete at the Western Canada Prospects Series to represent Alberta from Sept. 2-4 in St. Albert. Nathan Flewelling, Brett Belich, Addison Giesbrecht, Noah Nakonechny, and Evan Russell were all selected to join Alberta from the Braves. In the series, Alberta will be competing against British Columbia and Manitoba for the title.