Twins second baseman Liam Houcher, left, and third baseman Ethan Wildeman, catch Angels baserunner Hunter Smith in a rundown. JAMIE HARKINS LLS PHOTO
The Lloydminster peewee A Twins and Rosetown Angels left everything they had on the field.
“We battled hard, which is pretty good,” said Twins shortstop and pitcher Cody Graf about their 8-7 walkoff loss to the Angels, in the Border City club’s home tournament championship game at Legion Ball Park on Sunday. “I like the way we played.”
The Twins brushed off a deflating 15-14 loss to the Angels in the final round-robin game of the tournament, to take a 4-2 lead through three innings against the tournament’s top seed in the championship.
Rosetown used a charge in the bottom of the fourth inning to erase the deficit and jump ahead 7-4, until a single, two-bag steal, and run home on a wild pitch by Lloydminster’s Landen Gallon brought the score to 7-5.
Twins’ Austin Orbeck hit a long drive to left field to score Liam Houcher in the top of the sixth and final inning before stealing second, third and home, to tie the game at seven.
The Angels’ Derek Smith then reached base in the bottom of the sixth on a walk with Stratton Mair hitting him home with a bomb to the centre field fence.
“I wanted to hit it over the fence,” said Mair. But “that was good enough for me.”
Smith said the Angels have enjoyed a pretty good season so far, having won a couple of tournaments and placing well in a few more.
He said they went undefeated in the five games they played in Lloydminster, but the championship game was their best effort, after almost dropping the final round-robin match to the Twins.
“The first game our pitching was definitely not as strong,” added Mair. “In the second game, I’d say we pulled it together, the hitting and the pitching.”
Graf said the Twins have yet to win a tournament championship this season, but they’ve come close a number of times.
He said they have another chance to capture a gold medal when the Twins host the Saskatchewan Baseball peewee AA Tier 3 finals at Legion Ball Park, from July 21 to 23.
“We’ll be playing a lot of ball to prepare for provincials,” added Twins pitcher and third baseman Konnor Hennigan.
“During practice we’re going to be put in scenarios to see how we react under that kind of pressure, and in games we’ll battle harder, support each other and just play good ball.”