Local baseball team garners championship

For the first time since 2007, Red Deer’s Gary Moe Volkswagen Snowbirds are Canadian Baseball champions.

The Snowbirds opened the 50+ national championship in Burlington, Ontario last week with a come from behind 5-4 win over the defending champion BC Capitals.

Don Bonham, Terry Tweedy and Randy Greenwald shared duties on the mound, with Greenwald leading the attack offensively, going two for three at the plate with three runs batted in.

Lyle Lorenz, meantime, went two for three with one RBI and two stolen bases.

The second round robin game of the tournament saw the Snowbirds find their wings in a 14-2 win over Ottawa, with Bonham, Tweedy, and Doug Zimmer each taking a turn on the mound for Red Deer.

Bonham also lead the charge at the plate, going three for three with five RBI’s, while Lorenz, Russ Unilowsky, and Blair Hanna each picking up two hits in two appearances.

Saturday saw the Snowbirds play their final round robin game and it was another come from behind win, 6-5 over the Nova Scotia Lakers.

Zimmer drove in a pair of runs with a two RBI single in the seventh inning as the Snowbirds scored three times in the final frame to advance to the championship semi-finals.

Sunday’s semi-final saw the Snowbirds get off to a pretty slow start, as the Red Deer squad trailed the Burlington Silver 49’ers 5-1 by the time the game was five innings old.

But cue the comeback as the Snowbirds put six runs on the board in the bottom of the fifth inning and punched their ticket to Monday’s final with a 7-5 the host team.

Tweedy tossed shutout ball over the final three innings to pick up the win, with Zimmer, Lorenz, Garry Kreye and Pat Kawaliak each chipping in with key hits in the rally.

In a rematch of their opening game of the tournament, the Snowbirds cranked out 13 hits against BC in Monday’s final, taking the championship with an 11-1 win over the Capitals, and finishing the event with a perfect 5-0 record.