If you asked Red Deer Braves head coach Chuck Blackburn at the beginning of the season if he’d gladly accept a silver medal at the provincial mosquito tier II baseball championship he would have taken it.
So when the Braves dropped a 12-1 decision to the Strathmore Reds in the provincial final at Great Chief Park Sunday it was disappointing, but not the end of the world.
“The boys had a great year, especially considering where they started the season,” said Blackburn. “We had only one returnee from last year, so this was a huge step forward.”
The Braves finished second in last year’s mosquito tier I championship and the majority of their players moved up to peewee.
“It was the first time at this level for most of the kids and it’s a big adjustment,” added Blackburn. “But we had a good season as we played a number of division I and II teams, played in Kelowna and here. This weekend was good, but we just ran out of gas. It’s a long weekend for 10 and 11 year-olds, but an enjoyable one.”
The Braves had to play back-to-back on Sunday, finishing their round-robin pool with a 17-16 loss to South Jasper Place. It left them with a 2-2 record and in a three-way tie for second. However, they advanced because of a better runs-for-and-against.
The Braves defeated the Edmonton Angels 11-6 and Spruce Grove 9-7 before losing 15-10 to Strathmore and South Jasper.
Strathmore also beat Spruce Grove 7-1 and South Jasper Place 10-2 while losing 8-4 to the Angels.