Little Leaguers see improvement heading to prov. playoffs

Matthew Gourlie
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The Little League Minor AAA and Major AAA provincials are in full swing in Moose Jaw, but the action will really heat up on Sunday.


Rhett May from the Moose Jaw All-Stars hits a two-run double in Little League Major AAA provincial playdowns Friday night. 

While both local Moose Jaw All-Stars teams played twice Friday, everything leading up to Sunday's semifinal and final is little more than preparation.

"Sunday morning is the big one. This is more of a warm-up and practice," said Tony Dreger, one of the coaches with the All-Stars Major AAA team.

The Major AAAs (aged 11 and 12) opened the three-team tournament with a 12-2 loss to Regina Kiwanis Thursday. Friday afternoon they lost 12-2 to North Regina and then lost a close 16-13 game to Kiwanis Friday night. They will conclude pool play Saturday (1 p.m., Gamble Diamond) against North Regina. 

"It's a long run. We have double round-robin and this was our third game of the tournament and this was our best game so far. It was a really good battle tonight," said Dreger.

"We played gritty. We played hard. We hit the ball well today and our pitchers really battled hard today, so that's important."

The Major AAA All-Stars scored 10 runs in the first inning to take a 10-4 lead. Kiwanis cut the lead to 10-9 before Moose Jaw added three more runs. Kiwanis tied the game in the top of the third and the All-Stars weren't able to get any more runs across before Kiwanis took the lead and the game was called after four innings when the time limit was reached.

Rhett May was 4-for-4 for Moose Jaw and scored three runs. Josh Auger scored twice after walking and also singled. Evan Callaghan scored twice after being walked, while Ryan Zerff, Jackson Weibe, Riley Skarbon, Tyler Lorenz and Jeremy Kohl all singled and scored in the first inning.

Because of the strict pitch count limits in Little League both sides used a number of pitchers to keep all of their arms fresh and available for the rest of the weekend.

Those pitching restrictions were a factor in the Minor AAAs 23-8 loss Friday night to Regina Kiwanis. The Minor AAA All-Stars (which features nine and 10 year olds) had opened the tournament Thursday with a 9-6 win over Kiwanis and tied North Regina 8-8 Friday afternoon.

The Minor AAA All-Stars were three outs away from a 2-0 start, but North Regina battled back with three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to tie the game as the two teams settled for a draw.

The All-Stars scored five runs in the second inning to take a 6-0 lead before North Regina began to battled back.

Matt Godlien reached base four times and scored twice for Moose Jaw, while Cole Breitkruz reached base three teams and scored twice. Braydon Heistad and Dylan Anderson reached base three times and scored once each. Evan McCubbing and Kaydyn Banilevic also scored for Moose Jaw in the 8-8 tie.

The Minor AAAs will conclude pool play against North Regina (1 p.m., Baba Diamond) Saturday.

The top team in each division will earn a bye to Sunday's final at 1 p.m., while the second- and third-place teams will meet in a semifinal Sunday at 10 a.m.

Organizations: Moose Jaw All-Stars, Minor AAA All-Stars, Little League

Geographic location: North Regina, Kiwanis, Moose Jaw

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