In sports, consistency wins championships. If you can consistently play your game, you need to bring your offence while holding the other teams with your defense. Over the weekend the U-16 Red Deer Braves played in an eight team round robin tournament.
The Braves were victorious in the first game in their pool over Lethbridge with a score of 5-2. With confidence on their side the Braves were hoping to bring their big bats to their next opponent from Sherwood Park. Unfortunately, the Braves’ bats were not what there were in game one. Simply put, Sherwood Park worked efficiently. They consistently took advantage out of opportunities. Red Deer pitcher CJ Lewington didn’t have his best game going four innings and giving up nine runs on four hits and 3 K’s. Coming in relief for Lewington was Joel Mazurkewich who was tagged for three runs on three hits.
Game three was a different story. Reign Letkeman started for the Braves and put on a pitching clinic. Letkeman pitched six innings allowing just two hits. This impressive performance was coupled with 10 runs from the Braves’ offence. They were led by Dylan Borman who went two for three at the plate with a single, a double and an RBI. Jason Garrett added a triple and scored two times. The Braves defeated Grande Prairie 10-zip. The game was called due to a 10 run mercy rule.
That concluded round robin play. With their two wins and one loss, the Braves placed second in their pool and would face Calgary PBF on Sunday afternoon for the bronze medal. As impressive as Letkeman’s performance was in their final game of the round robin. He wasn’t able to pitch in the bronze medal game.
Not to dismiss the efforts of Denis Leblanc. However, he just didn’t have his good stuff going. Calgary PBF had seven runs on nine hits in two innings. Is that the end of the world for this team? No, if they had run production. The Braves’ bats were back at their final game of the round robin. They were only able to manage five hits and one run for the entire game. The final score in this game was 11-1 for Calgary PBF.
The Braves inconsistency cost them a gold in this tournament, but they finished a respectable fourth. And their fire-tossing pitcher Letkeman was named the tournament’s best pitcher.