By Ryan McCracken on August 6, 2017.
The Battle of Alberta quickly became a battle of attrition on Sunday at the Canadian Little League Championship.
Medicine Hat and the Lethbridge Southwest All Stars traded blows all evening long, but Lethbridge got the last laugh in an eventual 11-10 victory at Lovell McDonnell Field.
“Hats off to Medicine Hat for this one, they played well today. But we didn’t give up,” said Lethbridge coach Wade Pearce. “We’re a really resilient group that doesn’t say quit.”
While Lethbridge’s defence started things off on the wrong foot — allowing six runs on three hits in the top of the first — their offence quickly picked up the slack.
Riley Pearce went yard on the ninth pitch he saw for a lead-off home run, starting up an equalizing six-run response.
“It was a tight game all the way through,” said Hat coach Marc Seiller. “You’re at the highest of high when you’re up 6-0, but when they come back and score another six off you it’s a new ball game.”
The All Stars built on the lead in the second with three runs on four hits before Hat reliever Brett Getz settled into his role on the mound.
“I was not expecting that many strikeouts from him,” said Morrison of Getz, who took the loss despite holding Lethbridge to three runs on six hits while fanning four through 3 and 1/3 innings. “It was great.”
With Getz finding his groove, the hosts chipped away for four runs over three innings to draw even. But Southwest reliever Nolan Wytrykusz had an answer of his own.
Wytrykusz finally put up a clean frame for Lethbridge in the fifth inning to set up the go-ahead run on a Lyle Steadman RBI single. Hanging onto a one-run lead entering the sixth and final inning, Wytrykusz induced a ground ball then Brennan McTavish entered and shut the door for the save to push Lethbridge to 2-2 at the tournament.
“He was a game changer for us, and he’s done it throughout the year,” said Pearce of Wytrykusz. “He’ll give you a strike every time.”
Carter Capton led the Southwest offence with 3 RBI in a 2-for-2 outing, while Ben Van Der Sloot went 2-for-4 with 4 RBI for Medicine Hat.
While it ended in less-than-ideal fashion for the hosts, Morrison says that tends the be the case when it comes to the Highway 3 rivalry.
“It’s up and down every time,” said Morrison. “They’ve been all close games. We’ve been up, they’ve been up.”
Medicine Hat is back in action Monday at 2 p.m. against the Port Arthur Nationals. Lethbridge will take Monday off before returning Tuesday to take on White Rock at 2 p.m.
White Rock 23, Port Arthur 4
Kyle Chyzowski’s three-run bomb punctuated an eight-run second inning for the White Rock All Stars and helped sink the Port Arthur Nationals 23-4 Sunday and leave White Rock standing as the only remaining undefeated squad at the Canadian Little League Championship with a 3-0 record.
If the name sounds familiar, it’s because Chyzowski’s cousin, Ryan Chyzowski, laces them up as a member of the Medicine Hat Tigers.
“It’s actually really cool. It’s nice to watch him play,” said Chyzowski, adding he hopes to return that favour to his cousin this week. “He said he might come down to watch a few games.”
Chyzowski’s long ball was one of four White Rock home runs during the game at Lovell McDonnell Field, which sent the Port Arthur Nationals into the loss column at 3-1.
After staking a 3-2 lead on a 2-RBI double from Lachlan Scardina and a run-scoring single by Grayson Frers, the All Stars kick their offence into overdrive — scoring 20 over the next two frames to end the game in four.
Reid Hefflick led White Rock with 4 RBI in a 3-for-4 outing while Scardina was 4-for-5 with 2 RBI.
Jack Pineau drove in two runs for Port Arthur on a first-inning home run then Ethan Dyll scored on a wild pitch in the second and Liam Willmore had an RBI single in the third.
Glace Bay 10, Regina 0
The Glace Bay Colonels earned their first win at the Canadian Little League Championship in a loud way on Sunday at Lovell McDonnell Field.
The Nova Scotia-based squad exploded for a seven-run first inning before tacking on a run in each of the next three frames to seal a 10-0 mercy rule victory over the Regina Kiwanis Nationals. The win puts Glace Bay at 1-2 in the tournament, while Regina fell to 0-3 with the loss.
Colonels centre fielder Robert Gillis got the ball rolling early with a lead-off home run on the fifth pitch of the game. Glace Bay went on to send 10 more hitters to the dish in the frame, collecting four hits while benefiting from a pair of Regina errors for seven runs.
The Colonels split the mound between three arms, all surrendering just one hit en route to the victory. Hudson Clarke collected the win after allowing just three to reach base through the first two innings, then Kolby Campbell put up a zero in the third before Kyle Locke closed out the game in the fourth.
Regina’s Jaxon Weir was handed the loss after surrendering six runs — three earned — on three hits in the first. Weir was replaced by Cam Kaytor before the first out was recorded. Kaytor closed out the frame before leaving in the second.
Nationals reliever Hudson Herom did all he could to give his team a window back into the game — holding the Colonels to two runs on two hits through 2 and 2/3 innings — but a pair was all Glace Bay needed to end it early.
Gillis finished the game 2-for-2 with an RBI, while Campbell added 2 RBI in an 0-for-3 outing.
Regina’s Ivan Krueger went 2-for-2 in the loss, while Noah Silvester added his team’s only other hit with a double in the third.
The Conlonels will take on Quebec’s Mirabel Diamond Academy (2-1) Monday at 5 p.m., while the Nationals will look to get into the win column Monday against the White Rock All Stars at 11 a.m.
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