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Thursday, 21 July 2011 08:42

Mosquito Indians win provincial baseball title

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By Brad Brown — This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

On possibly the hardest weekend of his life, Ken Wall’s players gave him a big reason to smile.

Barely 24 hours after his father’s funeral, Wall was coaching from his familiar spot along the third base line as his Swift Current Indians beat Weyburn 17-3 on home turf to win the Saskatchewan Baseball mosquito AA provincial championship.

“We’re really proud of the kids,” said Wall. “They knew they had to come out and hit the ball, and that’s exactly what they did. We played defence, our pitching was great, and we couldn’t be more proud of the kids.”

Indians ace Logan Fritzke got the start for Swift Current and pitched three strong innings as Swift Current took a commanding lead. It was 11-0 by the time Jackson Tonnies took the mound but the Beavers wouldn’t go down quietly, plating three runs in the bottom of the fourth while their fans heckled the umpires and Indians players relentlessly.

The fifth inning was a different story as the Indians scored six more runs and Tonnies struck out the final batter to give the Indians the mercy-rule win.

“I think the big thing for us is we were hitting right from the No. 1 hole down to the No. 11 hole,” said Wall. “We hit really well right up and down the lineup. Every time someone came up to the plate I was expecting something to happen. And when that happens on a ball team, you’re pretty tough to beat.”

Wall and son Brock — the Indians’ No. 2 hitter — were with the team for Friday’s 12-8 win over Weyburn in the tournament opener. They missed Swift Current’s 15-3 win Saturday over North Battleford to attend the funeral, but returned for that evening’s 10-5 win over Prince Albert.

Sunday, the Indians needed nine innings to dispatch of Yorkton in a 4-3 decision (mosquito games are only scheduled for six) to set up the rematch with Weyburn.

“I had a bit of a tough weekend but everybody’s been really supportive,” said Wall. “The kids have been great, the parents have been great … and it’s just very relaxing being out at the ballpark.”

Peewee Indians

The peewee AA Indians also hosted their provincial championship last weekend, falling 6-3 in the final to the Lloydminster Twins.

Swift Current opened the tournament with a 17-8 win over Estevan on Friday. Saturday they beat North Battleford 5-1 to reach the semifinals where they beat Estevan for the second time, this time a 10-4 final.

They fell behind early against Lloydminster and rallied late with three runs in the sixth, but could not complete the comeback and avenge last year’s provincial final loss to the Twins.

“The goal of the whole year was to try to win the final and go on to Westerns,” said Ted Mortensen, assistant coach. “So we felt that it was a successful year and a successful tournament but ultimately it wasn’t exactly what we set out to accomplish.”

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