The Lacombe Bantam A Dodgers undefeated streak came to an end this weekend – but there was a silver lining.
The team took a silver medal at the annual Lacombe Minor Baseball Association Community Tournament after falling 21-8 to the Westlock Wild in the final on Sunday at the Michener Park ball diamonds.
While it may not have been their ideal way to finish the tournament, Coach Darcy Grahn had no complaints about where they ended up.
“It was a great result. The guys had an incredible comeback just to be here in the final – that’s where we wanted to be,” he said. “Their hearts were well into it and we made a comeback in the end.
“We didn’t win, but we did win. We had a great weekend.”
The Dodgers were down 11-3 at the bottom of the second inning, and by the end of the fourth, they were down 21-3. The changed pitchers three times, but were unable to match that of Westlock’s Rysten Tomlinson, who threw strikes all game and ultimately was named their player of the game.
The team, however, didn’t give up, and despite being down, rallied back with four runs in the last inning for a 21-8 final score.
“These guys are all a good bunch of kids,” said Grahn. “The boys have a lot of heart.”
The team, however, still has a 6-0 record in Central Alberta Baseball League (CABL) play, as the tournament doesn’t count towards league scores.
Both their winning streak and their silver win at the tournament are made even more significant by the fact there almost wasn’t U15 Bantam team this year.
“This team almost didn’t happen,” he said. “We were a day away and then we put in a few players. They didn’t have a coach so I came in to coach and Tia (Vandermeer) came to be the manager and she made some calls and in two days we had 15 players which was two too many, but we’ve managed to make a winning season of it so far.”
The Dodgers play next on Thursday, June 6 against the Innisfail Hawks, before going on a three-game road stint against Rocky Mountain House, Red Deer and Stettler. They’ll return home Monday, June 17 to take on the Red Deer Braves 2, and wrap up their league schedule in Rimbey June 19.
Then, provincials will be held the first three weekends of July. For now, they’ll take their silver tournament victory.
“Any time you can come into a tournament and play in the final, you’ve had a good weekend,” said Grahn. “They did awesome.”