Tigers win home tournament
Saturday, Jul 19, 2014 06:00 am
The 31st Annual Tigers’ Tournament declared a winner last weekend for only the second time in seven years. The hosting St. Albert Tigers picked up the trophy after eliminating the Confederation Park Cubs Sunday afternoon at Legion Park.
Friday, Saturday and Sunday were gorgeous days for baseball with temperatures in the high 20s. It was a welcome surprise for a tournament that had been rained out five of the last six years.
“We actually were the defending champs,” said Brad Wolansky, long time player for the Tigers. “It’s hard to remember because the tournament had been rained out for the past four years.”
The tournament kicked off in Legion Park Friday night with a St. Albert showdown between the Midget AAA Cardinals and the hosting Tigers. The game was dedicated to recently passed away Tigers’ alumni Kent Levebvre.
“We had a great showing from people in the community and Tigers’ alumni,” said Wolansky, who estimated the attendance at over 100. “It was a great atmosphere. The beer gardens were on our side the whole tournament.”
It was a close one but the younger Cardinals walked away with a 3-2 win over the Tigers.
“They’re a really good club,” said Wolansky. “We were up by two until the bottom of the seventh but they stayed in it, tied it up and got the walk off hit late. It was a great ball game. They deserve all the credit in the world.”
Saturday morning the Tigers met the Confederation Park Cubs and lost a tough game 8-6. The Cubs played great in the early tournament and went undefeated for Friday and Saturday.
The Tigers picked up their first win of the tournament against the Fort Saskatchewan Athletics Saturday night with a score of 10-7. The last time the Fort faced the Tigers was in the regular season when the A’s won by nine.
“I’m proud of our guys,” said Wolansky. “We started the tournament down 0-2 but this team never stops battling.”
On Sunday morning the Blue Willow Angels stomped the Cubs 14-0 before losing to the Tigers in the afternoon 5-3.
The Angels are tournament newcomers. They’re made up of Edmonton and St. Albert players from the North Central Alberta Baseball League and have no relation to the Blue Willows Invitational baseball tournament.
The Tigers’ win was enough to earn St. Albert a spot in the finals Sunday night in front of the home crowd. The team shut down the Cubs with solid pitching, winning the tournament and the game with a score of 3-0.
“It felt pretty good to finish the tournament again,” said Wolansky. “The weather has not been our friend the past few years.”