St. ALBERT — The Red Deer Sports World Braves got an early break and went on to capture the midget AA championship at the St. Albert Early Bird baseball tournament during the weekend.
The Braves opened the tournament with a 4-1 loss to the Edmonton East Park Orioles, but the result of the game was changed when it was discovered the Orioles had a number of over-age players.
The Braves went on to beat the South Jasper Place Jays 10-5 and the Vegreville Bears 10-1 to reach the final where they downed the Beaumont BoSox 10-2.
The final didn’t start well for the Braves as starting pitcher Chaz Piche faced just three batters before leaving with a sore arm.
Joe Ireland came on to close out the first inning, stranding a pair of runners.
Ireland was touched up for a pair of runs in the second inning, but was solid the rest of the way, scattering five hits, fanning three and not walking a batter, despite a blister on his middle finger.
The Braves broke open a 2-2 tie with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third on Jayden Hutlet’s double.
Logan Marshall was two-for-two with a double and two RBIs while Jeff Ireland was two-for-two and scored twice. Piche remained in the game to hit and had a pair of hits and drove in three runs. Reid Stoyberg doubled.
Jesse Muirhead had the defensive play of the game in centre field, running down a deep drive at the fence with the score tied in the third.
In the first game, that was eventually changed in favour of the Braves, Teagan Colonna had two hits.
The Braves trailed the Jays 3-2 in the third before loading the bases on walks to Blake Thomson and Hutlet and a single by Piche. Marshall drove in a pair of runs with a single.
Thomson scored twice after three walks and a single while Muirhead doubled and Alec Mitchell had a two-run single and scored twice. Joe Ireland added an RBI single.
Thomson picked up the win in relief of Hutlet and Tyler Galloway. Marshall worked the seventh inning.
Marshall started against the Bears and allowed a pair of hits over five innings. Muirhead tossed no-hit relief over the final two innings.
Hutlet also gave the Braves a 2-1 lead in the third with a two-run double. The Braves held the 2-1 lead into the sixth when Alex Heinzlmeir stroked a two-out, two-run double in the five-run inning. Piche was two-for-three with an RBI while Muirhead walked twice, singled and scored twice. Mitchell had a two-run single and scored once.
The Braves return to league play this weekend with a three-game set in Innisfail.