The St. Albert Cardinals are busing it to Brandon for the U13 westerns starting Thursday.
The Cardinals qualified for the road trip as the Baseball Alberta peewee AAA Tier I silver medallists at provincials last weekend in Spruce Grove.
The Cardinals finished 4-1 in the eight-team tournament after the 12-1 loss to the Parkland Twins as untimely errors against a strong hitting lineup sealed St. Albert’s fate.
The Cardinals advanced to the final with victories of 13-1 against the NEZ Padres, 17-5 against the Calgary Dinos, 4-1 against the Okotoks Dawgs, the defending champions, in pool B action and the come-from-behind 9-8 semifinal decision against the Red Deer Braves.
Red Deer rallied in the top of the seventh to knot the score after trailing 8-4. In the bottom half of the inning, Cam Bergstrom walked, then Michael Yusypchuk laid down a sacrifice bunt as an alert Bergstrom went from first to third. The next batter was Keenan Parker and Red Deer brought an outfielder into the infield to prevent the winning run. Parker drove the ball hard to the shortstop, who tried to get the out at home but the umpire called Bergstrom safe on a close play.
Last year’s Cardinals also walked-off Red Deer with the third and last berth at westerns on the line at provincials in St. Albert.
Red Deer will also join the Cardinals, who have three returning players on the roster, as the Alberta reps at the eight-team westerns.
Parkland, Okotoks and the Cardinals were ranked one-two-three at provincials after the playdowns.
Overall in league play, Parkland was 24-3 and Okotoks and the Cardinals were both 19-5.
Bantam AAA Tier I
The St. Albert Cardinals split four games at the Baseball Alberta bantam AAA Tier I championship last weekend in Okotoks.
Scores were 15-14 against the Calgary Blue Cubs, 12-2 loss to Parkland Twins and 13-0 over the South Jasper Place Jays, the Tier II champions, in pool A, and in the playoffs the Cardinals fell 12-2 to the Cubs.
Parkland beat the Cubs for the provincial title.
A few lapses by the Cardinals proved costly in one of the most competitive bantam AAA provincials in years.
The Cardinals, with three returnees from last year’s loss to Okotoks in the provincial final, were 22-14 in league play and the record includes a playdown mark of 15-11.
Peewee AA Tier III
The peewee AA St. Albert Blue Cardinals ended the season with a winning record after hosting the Baseball Alberta Tier III championship last weekend at Legion Memorial Park.
The Cardinals are 15-6-1 after going 1-3 in the five-team round robin.
The Cardinals lost 10-9 to the NEZ Padres, 8-5 to the Red Deer Braves and 7-6 to the Camrose Cougars and defeated the Clive Red Sox 13-1.
The Baseball Alberta honour roll for the St. Albert Minor Baseball Association includes the mosquito AA Tier I, bantam A Tier II, bantam AA Tier IV and midget AAA Tier I teams.