The South Central 13U AAA team won the St. James Annual A's Tournament at Optimist Park in Winnipeg. It happened this past weekend, June 7th through 9th.

Coach Brent Unrau connected with PembinaValleyOnline to share how the team came out champions.

In Game 1against the North Winnipeg Pirates, South Central used six pitchers to get the win in the bottom of the 7th inning. The pitchers were Jett Edwards, Nathan Ens, Dublin Fehr, Graydon Funk, Raiden Rutter and Mattix Unrau. Unrau got the win throwing only 9 pitches in the 7th inning. 

In Game 2 versus Pembina Hills, South Central held the defending Provincial Champions to only four runs with pitching performances from aces Rhett Dyck, Tristan Gross, and Austin Reimer. First year player Grayden Funk came into the tied game, and made a key pickoff to get the second out after coming in for relief. Funk then sat down the last batter in the top of the 7th inning using only 4 pitches. Pinch runner Rocky Thiessen got a big jump on a passed ball to tie up the game 4-4, and that’s how it ended. 

Game 3 was against the Interlake Orioles, and the Cubs found their bats in game three to beat the Orioles 13-3. Jett Nickel threw 64 pitches in his 1st start, and went six solid innings. Nickel also helped himself out at the plate by hitting his first home run of the year. Tommy Friesen needed only seven pitches to shut down the O’s in the 7th inning. 

Game 4 the Cubs took on the Bonivital Black Sox. Left handed ace pitcher Tristan Gross led the way by only allowing three runs, while Nathan Enns closed out the game. Larry Hendersen did a great job behind the plate blocking balls, which helped keep Boni to only three runs. 

The bats were still hot going into the Championship Game against the Brandon Marlins. Right handed ace Rhett Dyck had his hands full with a very good hitting, and undefeated, Brandon team. With some defensive mistakes behind him, Rhett battled hard in his five innings of work before being relieved by another South Central ace Austin Reimer. Reimer needed 47 pitches, in two innings, to secure the victory by a score of 8-6. 

"It was a total team effort to end up in the finals," said Coach Brent Unrau. "It has been great to see all 18 guys support each other. This weekend we were missing our three players from Winkler, because they were playing with their AA team in Fargo. Coach Scott Edwards made sure to include those boys on the lineup card, things like that help form a tight knit group. Our bats were slow to start the tournament, but got better as the games went on, and our pitchers did a great job limiting walks and using thee defense to get outs. I’m very happy for and proud of the boys, nice to see all that hard work in practices paying off."

The South Central Cubs are having a good season so far, with a record of nine wins, zero losses, and one tie.