South Central - 2018 Provincial 15U AAA champions
Front row: A.J. Peters, Cole Harder, Jackson Rempel, Trenton Penner, Trent Crane, Owen Goertzen, Brock MacDonald, Myron Peters & Andrew Giesbrecht
Back row: Matt Giesbrecht, Clinton Brandt, Slade Sotheran, Dillan Thiessen, Reid Dyck, Ethan Giesbrecht, Denton Mateychuk, Christopher Peters, Brian Peters & Noah Olfert
It’s going to be a hectic couple of weeks for South Central’s 15U AAA baseball team.
South Central is the host team for the Western Canada Championship in Winkler from August 16-19.
Then South Central will head off to Oshawa, Ontario for the Canadian Championship which will be held from August 23-26.
South Central earned it’s spot at the Nationals thanks to a 6-4 victory over the North Winnipeg Pirates in the provincial final Sunday afternoon at Optimist Park in Winnipeg.
“It feels wonderful and it’s surreal at the same time,” texted South Central head coach Matt Giesbrecht shortly after his ball club won the provincial title. “Knowing the level of competition at the provincial tournament and then being able to finish at the top – pretty amazing.”
South Central gave up three runs in the bottom of the first and trailed the Pirates 4-2 before rallying for four runs in the top of the seventh inning.
Coach Giesbrecht, who watched his team defeat Winnipeg South 4-2 earlier in the day, mentioned that resiliency was the key to their success.
“We discussed a game plan going into the semifinal game earlier in the day and did not deviate from those ideas as the day progressed.”
South Central recorded three wins and one loss in the round robin.
The provincial champions outscored the BoniVital Black Sox 9-8 and blanked Pembina Hills 10-0 on Friday.
On Saturday South Central shutout the Carillon Sultans 1-0 and lost 12-2 to North Winnipeg.
“With respect to our pitching and catching, it was very important that we establish our off-speed pitch which in turn made the fastball very effective,” commented Giesbrecht. “Our defense was solid. The outfield tracked the ball extremely well and our infield made key plays and double plays when needed. The hitting was timely as we were able to receive contributions through the lineup the entire weekend. This was very evident in the semifinal and the championship game.”
So now the countdown begins to the Westerns in Winkler followed by the Nationals in Oshawa in back-to-back weeks.
That’s a lot of high calibre baseball over a short period of time.
“I don’t think our approach changes in any way heading into these events,” noted Giesbrecht. “We will continue having regular practices and do our best to help the players remain focused on our goals we set out to achieve at the beginning of the season.”
“This is a very special group of baseball players and treat each other as family,” added the South Central head coach. “Simply said, they play as a unit and always show the ability to remain focused to perform the task at hand. As a coaching staff, what more could you ask of your players!”