Midget Heat see action in the city; win three straight to go 5 – 1

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

Slave Lake’s ‘AA’ Midget boys’ baseball team rang up three wins in weekend play in Edmonton. It runs their record after two weekends of play to an impressive five wins against just one loss.

Two of the games were close ones; the third not so much.

First up for the Heat on Saturday was the St. Albert Cardinals. Parker Hay started on the mound for Slave Lake and tossed four solid innings, but the Heat were down two going into the seventh against a pretty tough team.

Head coach Dave LaFrance says the top of the batting order for the Heat – Aiden Blocka, Matt LaFrance and William Chemago had consecutive hits and Hay knocked in the winning run.

Later that day the Heat got into what coach LaFrance calls a “classic pitcher’s duel,” with the Edmonton Angels. Both managed the game very well, he says, with Matt LaFrance going 5 2/3 innings, with 12 strikeouts and allowing two runs.

“We didn’t score until the bottom of the seventh,” the coach continues. “Blocka led us off with a single, LaFrance moved him over, Chemago knocked him in and Hay knocked Chemago in to tie it up.”

Going into extras, Chemago walked the first batter but then struck out the side to set up the dramatic finish. Kyle Campbell’s second hit of the game (“On a very tough pitcher,” LaFrance says) loaded up the bases.

“Then the pitcher walked in the winning run!”

Three to two for Slave Lake in eight innings.

Sunday the Heat exacted a bit of revenge for their only loss of the season, against Fort Saskatchewan. They walloped the Red Sox 16 – 6 in five innings.

Uneeb Khan got the start and got the job done for three innings. Campbell pitched the next two, by which time the game was out of reach and the mercy rule invoked.

LaFrance says on the defensive side of things, Chase Nehring “made a great sliding catch in centre,” as well as getting some hard hits.

Offensively, Carson Masur scored four runs. Hay went two-for-four and Harley Andrews had “a very hard double.”

Overall, LaFrance calls the games “a great test for the team. What else can I say? We seemed to rise to the occasion of tougher/closer games.”

The 5 – 1 start will likely put the Heat in one of the higher tiers for the next round of games.

As of Monday morning LaFrance didn’t yet know when the next ones would be.

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