The Red Deer Peewee AAA Braves strapped on their hitting shoes for the biggest game of their season.
After going 3-0 on the opening weekend of the Baseball Alberta 13U Provincials, Red Deer kept rolling with a 10-0 win over the Edmonton Padres in the semifinal.
With the win Saturday at Great Chief Park, Red Deer advanced to the championship and is guaranteed at least a trip to the Western Canadian Championships.
The prize they really want, which will be on the line Sunday – a trip to the 13U Nationals in Quebec later this month.
“I like where we’re at, we’ve still got our top two pitchers… I think we’re in a good spot and I feel pretty good about our guys for tomorrow,” said Braves head coach Paul Claerhout.
Tanner Morrow pitched like an ace in the victory for the Braves, shutting out the Padres with five strong innings. He struck out five and only allowed one hit.
“We got good pitching from our starting pitcher and that’s always key. Getting someone who goes in and throws strikes and don’t give them any extra at-bats. We made plays in the field again,” Claerhout said.
“When you’re solid in the field and you get those outs, it equals wins. We’re happy with where we’re at obviously.”
Morrow also did damage with his bat, driving in the final run of the game to close it out in five.
He wasn’t the only Red Deer player cashing runs in the victory, up and down the lineup they smashed line drives to all fields.
Red Deer jumped on the Padres early with a run in each of the first two innings and then the hitting fever caught throughout the entire lineup. They had 11 hits in the win and each of Spencer Claerhout, Morrow, Noah Nakonechny and Brett Belich had multiple hits.
“(Their pitcher) kept us off balance a little bit, didn’t throw as hard as other guys,” Claerhout noted.
“It took us a bit to get on it. Everybody contributed today and we did the little things, like guys getting a bunt down when you need it. You get base runners and put pressure on the defence and good things happen.”
The Braves will play in the provincial final Sunday at 3 p.m. at Great Chief Park.