The Carillon Sultans won the 15U AAA Baseball Provincials and are getting ready to head off to Edmonton for Westerns. They will be competing against teams from Saskatchewan, B.C. and Alberta.
Due to COVID, this group of kids didn't get to have an AAA experience in 13u. Last year they played in a Winnipeg League, but there weren't any provincial championships. Coach Clinton Brandt explains this is the first time in a couple of years they've been able to have the full experience.
“I think that's been a lot of fun for this group. We're just looking forward to seeing what we can do. Just go out there and try our best and see how things end up.”
Throughout the season, the coaches have stressed the importance of competing hard and being good teammates, and the kids have embraced that attitude. Coach Brandt talks proudly about the team.
“They put their best foot forward every single time and they support each other when we face some difficult times and it's just been really good to see.”
He also said that with restrictions lifted, it has been easier for everyone on the team to build a sense of comradery. Especially with tournaments where the team goes away and gets to spend the night in a hotel, it’s a really good opportunity for the kids to get to know each other better.
Brandt says that provincials were thrilling, and some of the games they played were real nail-biters. On the second day of provincials, they won 2-1 against Oil Dome, and then they had a crazy match against North Winnipeg.
“It was 8-8 heading into the 6th inning. And then we actually scored a bunch of runs to win 18-8, but that game was a lot closer than the final score suggests.”
The final match was also a super exciting game. The score was 1-1 and heading into extra innings until they got a home run. Brandt says both teams were performing really well.
“I've coached for a lot of years, been in a bunch of finals, but it's kind of rare where both teams have all their best pitching available and that was the case on that game. It was a really good experience.”
He’s glad the team was able to win that final match and get the chance to compete in Westerns. They’re looking forward to seeing the results of all their hard work.