Minor baseball report: three teams gunning for provincial berths

Leader staff

This year sees 11U, 13U and 18U Slave Lake teams competing for a chance to go to a provincial tournament later in the summer. There weren’t enough in the U15 age group to make a team. However, there is a spot with the 18Us for three of the younger players, according to the head coach.

“Which is great to see,” adds John McDermott.

The 13U team has entered into a AA, program which will mean stiffer competition and more games than at the A level. They start provincial playdowns in June. Head coach Todd Laing says for now the team is focused on skill development.

At the 11U level, they are competing for A provincials. Most of their games are scheduled for July, but they’ll be playing some other types of games before then.

The 18U Heat’s first action was late last month, in the Millwoods section of Edmonton. Games on the May 11 weekend had been smoked out.

Game 1 in Millwoods saw the Heat get off to a rough start, losing 9 – 0 to the Edmonton Angels. McDermott says he rotated through the bullpen, with Devone Halcrow, Koltin Davis, Nico Diaz, Carson Maitland and Evander Pawliw each throwing 30 pitches. Conner McDermott closed it out with 11 pitches.

In the second game, the Heat broke out in a big way, scoring 17 times and holding the Sherwood Park Athletics scoreless. Halcrow pitched a complete game, and Grayson Conrad knocked one over the wall to help his team dominate.

Game 3 vs. the Parkland Twins ended early due to rain. Davis was the starting pitcher for the Heat, and he had a shutout going in the top of the fourth inning when the rain showed up and put an end to the action. Slave Lake was leading 1 – 0 at the time.

McDermott likes what he sees from the team in the early going. It’s a combination of some returning players and some new faces, plus the younger trio, as noted.

“There’s some great leadership naturally occurring within the team,” he says, “and strong support internally.”

No home games are on the schedule yet, but there likely will be some. The team’s next action wasn’t clear by press time.

The 13U Heat get started with provincial play on the June 15 weekend, but don’t know yet where they’ll be playing.

The Heat’s roster is made up of the following players: Maddax Laing, Ethan Albert, Dominic Baxter, Drake Conrad, Jake Courtorielle, Eric Martin, Abdul Mouallem, Aryan Reddy, Chase Sinclair, Ben Stone and Alex Wilson.

The 11U Heat have so far played a couple of exhibition games against a team from Peace River. Head coach Brent Blachford says they won them both – 19 – 5 and 17 – 13. The team has 15 players. Blachford says the teams are trying to organize a couple more games sometime this month, which he says would be played in Slave Lake.

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