League Championship Final Series Moves to Telus Field
The League has announced a last minute change of venue and game times for the most important series of the 2016 season. The League Championship Final Series between the Edmonton Blackhawks and the Stony Plain Mets will be played at the Edmonton Professional Ball Park formerly known as Telus Field. The times for all games have also changed as a result. The ﬁrst game of the best of three series will be played on Saturday, August 27th, at 11:30 AM. This will be the only game played on Saturday. The Series will resume on Sunday, August 28th, with a second game scheduled to start at 2:30 PM. A third and ﬁnal game, if necessary, would follow immediately after the conclusion of the second game. Fans are advised to pass the word around that their last chance to see some of Alberta’s best amateur baseball will be this coming Saturday and Sunday. Admission on both days will be $5. Children ten years and younger will be admitted free of charge if accompanied by an adult. The Ken Schultz Memorial Award, the most coveted award in the NCABL, will be presented on-ﬁeld just prior to game time along with the NCABL’s Education Grant for superior studies to a worthy recipient from the League’s eligible youth. The latter is being sponsored by Servus Credit Union, Morinville branch.
Contributed by Earl Thompson & Paul Riopel
|Final score:||Edmonton Blackhawks||2||Westlock Red Lions||1|
Contributed by Earl Thompson
Unfortunately for the second seed Sherwood Park Athletics, this game was over early as the Mets sent 11 batters to the plate in the first inning on the way to scoring 5 runs on 4 hits. With the deficit already significant, the Mets heaped 4 more runs in the third inning to make it a 9 -0 game. In this game, the Athletics could not seem to get anything going against Mets pitcher Josh Turner who went the distance while giving up only 2 hits and 1 walk. Turner struck out 6 batters on his way to recording the win. Catcher Brandon Strocki led the way for the Mets with a double, single, stolen base, walk, and 4 RBI’s.
Stony Plain Mets
Sherwood Park Athletics
Blackhawks and Red Lions Keep Fans in Their Seats
Contributed by Earl Thompson & Paul Riopel
Game two in the best of three Series between these two clubs continued where it had left off by providing high drama. The Red Lions took an early lead scoring 2 runs in the bottom of the first and adding a third in the second inning. They looked to be on their way to tying the series until the Blackhawks came roaring back in their half of the fourth by scoring 4 runs to take the lead 4-3. The Red Lions quickly answered with two runs of their own in the bottom of the fourth to regain the lead 5-4.
The Blackhawks would again strike back in the seventh inning with the tying run and in dramatic fashion attempted to score the go ahead run only to be thwarted by Chris Brand’s strong throw from the outfield which cut down the second runner for the third out.
Into extra innings for the second time in the Series did both teams battle with each club seeing opportunities vanish as a result of good defence and outstanding pitching. In the tenth, opportunity knocked for the Blackhawks as they scored two runs to give themselves the lead they would not relinquish. Although the Red Lions responded with a two out double in the bottom of the inning, the Blackhawks took no chances by bringing in Hoet in relief who extinguished any hope the Red Lions may have had of repeating as League Champions. The Series was over after 20 innings of incredibly entertaining baseball which will not be soon forgotten by those fans in attendance.
Westlock Red Lions
Mets Advance to LCFS
Contributed by Earl Thompson & Chuck keller
After getting trounced 9-0 in game one of their Series against the Mets, the
Sherwood Park Athletics were looking for a bounce back effort to force a 3rd and deciding game.
Game 2, however, started out much the same as game 1 as the Mets’ Chad Spellman led off the bottom of the 1st with a base hit, stole 2nd ,took 3rd on a wild pitch and scored on a bases loaded walk. The Mets went on to score another run in the 2nd inning and took a commanding lead in the 3rd with 4 more runs as starter Brennan Nelson struggled with his control, hitting 3 batters, walking 2 more and giving up a bases loaded double to Chad Spellman. With a 6-0 lead the Mets looked to be in total control.
To their credit, the Athletics did not throw in the towel. RBIs by Cole Viger and Kent Morrison in the 4th inning off starter Kevin Geinger gave the Athletics their first runs of the series narrowing the score to 6-2 after four innings of play.
With reliever Mike Cote now on the mound for the Mets, the Athletics’ Mike Falkins cracked a 2 RBI base hit in the 5th inning to close the gap to 6-4. One inning later, the young Sherwood Park crew tied it up when Henry Duke hit a shot to right field that went for a 2 run triple.
In the top of the seventh, the Athletics threatened to take their first lead of the game only to leave runners stranded on second and third. In the bottom of the seventh with runners on first and second, the Athletics elected to make a pitching change and brought in Henry Duke. Chad Spellman greeted him with a base hit to load the bases. In dramatic walk off fashion, Brad Walde lined a pitch into right field to claim the victory and series for the Mets.
Mike Cote was credited with the win for the Mets while Brennan Nelson, who pitched well for the most part, took the loss. Despite falling in two straight games, the Athletics showed signs of maturing as a team and will undoubtedly be seen again in the League Championship Series. Cole Viger, Evan Hole, and Henry Duke were 2 for 4 on the day for the Athletics, while the Mets were led by Spellman who finished 3 for 5.
Stony Plain Mets
Sherwood Park Athletics
University or College Bound NCABL Players Take Note
For the sixth year running, the North Central Alberta Baseball League, in partnership with Servus Credit Union, will be offering an educational grant to a deserving NCABL player who qualifies. The deadline for applications is fast approaching. The application process is relatively simple and all of the details can be found in the Commissioner’s Corner under Contacts on our main page. If you are planning to be in full time attendance at a post secondary institution anywhere in North America in the 2016-17 academic year, you can apply to receive a $500 grant. Simply follow the links and submit your application on or before the regular season deadline date of August 12, 2016. Your League believes in supporting its young players in their academic pursuits as well as providing them with good quality amateur baseball opportunities.
Calling On Our Alumni Everywhere
You’ve heard the buzz by now, but have you signed up yet as an NCABL alumni? The League is currently building a registry of players, managers, coaches, umpires, and sponsors who have at one time or another been involved with us. We have given ourselves six months to reach as many of our former members as possible. It’s easy as pie to register. Simply go to contacts on our main page and scroll down to “register as an NCABL alumni”, or click here. Follow the easy directions and you will be included on our invitation list come January. This will be an invitation to attend two celebrations. The 50th Anniversary All-Star Game, to be hosted in Barrhead in July of 2017 will be the first of two major events. The second will be the 50th Anniversary Alumni Week-End to be held in August of 2017 in Westlock, Alberta. We need your communication skills to help us along, whether these skills are verbal or technological. Get out there and tell your baseball friends all about our upcoming celebrations or get on social media and spread the word that way. Whatever you do, don’t just stand for doing nothing. We want everyone to join us in celebrating a great Alberta tradition, the North Central Alberta Baseball League.
Circling the Bases To Offer 50th Anniversary Updates
Players and fans will have one more reason to tune in to Circling the Bases at any time during the week. With a new show released every Monday night, Earl Thompson’s informative talk show will not only continue to provide timely baseball related news but will also touch upon what might be in the works regarding the upcoming 50th anniversary celebrations. This is the kind of program that you can listen to at any time from the comfort of your home or office by simply finding League on our main page and scrolling down to Circling the Bases. Are you sitting on a new piece of information related to baseball? Why not call Earl to make him aware of it?