July 24th, 2024

Lethbridge victorious over Medicine Hat in Battle of Alberta at Little League nationals

By Ryan McCracken on August 6, 2017.

NEWS PHOTO RYAN MCCRACKEN Lethbridge Southwest All Stars outfielder Corbin Roberts safely steals second base while Medicine Hat shortstop Stone Davis works to apply the tag during Sunday's Canadian Little League Championship game at Lovell McDonnell Field.

rmccracken@medicinehatnews.com@MHNMcCracken

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.

 

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