July 22nd, 2024

Junior AAA squad falls in Little League national semifinal

By Ryan McCracken on August 10, 2017.

Medicine Hat News

Medicine Hat’s junior AAA baseball team came four runs shy of a national final in Wednesday’s 7-3 loss to Ontario at the Canadian Little League Championship in Lethbridge.

“Today they scored seven runs and didn’t earn one, so that’s tough to take, between walks and errors,” said Hat coach Bob Rath. “Our bats have been silent. We’ve left 30 base runners in scoring position in three games, it’s pretty tough to win.”

While Silas Blair gave Medicine Hat an early 1-0 lead on a single in the first, it quickly evaporated when Ontario started getting to Hat starter Jaden Schwindt in the third.

After a pair of clean frames, Schwindt put runners on the corners to open the third with a walk and an error by third baseman Kayden Hleucka. Jake Carroll singled in a run, then Schwindt walked the next two batters to bring in another before an error by shortstop Tory Nelson resulted in two more runs and the end of Schwindt’s outing.

Blair entered the game in relief and held Ontario to three more runs on four hits through 3 and 2/3 innings, but ultimately settled for the loss. Heyden Harrison closed out the final 1 and 1/3 frames.

Medicine Hat answered back to Ontario’s five-spot with two in the home half of the third — on an RBIsingle from Harrison and a wild pitch that plated Blair —but Ontario’s pitching staff shut down hope for a comeback.

Marshall Williams collected the victory after entering in relief of starting pitcher Michael Bowman and holding Medicine Hat to just one walk over 1 and 1/3 innings of shutout baseball. Carroll entered in the fourth and earned the save after limiting Medicine Hat to three hits over the final 3 and 1/3.

Hleucka went 2-for-4 in the loss, while Trey Baillie reached base on walks in all three plate appearances.

Carrol, Sam Armstrong, Riley Johnson and Aiden Carbray registered Ontario’s only four hits on the day. Medicine Hat managed to out-hit Ontario 6-4, but stranded 12 on base and allowed three runs through fielding errors.

Ontario will take on the Lethbridge Bulls for the national championship today at Spitz Stadium.

— With files from Dale Woodard, Lethbridge Herald

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