As reported earlier, the Barrhead team in the Alberta ‘AAA’ Junior Baseball League has half a dozen members of last year’s provincial champion Slave Lake Heat on its roster. One is head coach Cody Stasow, who provided The Leader with a detailed report on the Orioles’ fortunes at this year’s provincials, which happened in Innisfail on the August long weekend. Unfortunately, it is too long for this space, so we present a summary version.
“After a run of three straight provincial finals since we joined the league four years ago, a bid for a fourth straight for the Slave Lake boys has come to an end in 2018.”
Things got off to a bad start against Edmonton – a team the Orioles fully expected to beat, because they had owned them in the regular season. But they lost this one 5 – 3. Stasow suspects over-confidence.
Game #2 was against St. Albert. This time the Orioles bore down, with Daniel Masur and Cole Stasow leading the offensive charge early. Dalton Masur’s two-run single was a difference maker. Barrhead won 8 – 6.
Then they faced Innisfail and the host team was on fire. Stasow says he tried everything, but nothing worked. The Merchants’ bats were just on fire.
“Double after double, a couple grand slam homeruns. I felt so bad for my outfielders; they probably logged on five kilometres each running back and forth.”
Score – 27 – 7 for Innisfail.
Game #4 was a 14 – 3 win over Fort Saskatchewan, with Ian Pollard going three-for-three at the plate. Innisfail went on to crush every team and become the provincial champion.
“All in all, I’m proud of how the boys played,” Stasow says. There (were) a lot of positives from this weekend. Daniel Masur and Cole Stasow started to find their swings again, batting about .375 each at provincials.”
“Dalton Masur was a monster this weekend offensively and defensively, as he batted .778. Ian Pollard finished provincials batting a very impressive .700. And Brayden Stasow, being my other overage, went through a slump at the worst possible time after being the top batter all season. But he played a key part in leadership, keeping all the boys in good spirits throughout the ups and downs of the tournament.”