Airdrie baseball team ends season in Medicine Hat
They may not have come home with a medal, but the weekend was full of highlights for the Airdrie AA Majors All-Star baseball team at the 2012 Prairie Championships in Medicine Hat, Aug. 3 to 6.
“It was a good tournament,” said Stephen Kennedy, one of the team’s coaches.
The team won its first two games with Tyler Franzman and Craig McDonald combining to pitch a perfect game in game one.
“It was pretty amazing,” Kennedy said.
Franzman, along with Cameron Kennedy and Owen Eikenberry, each scored an out-of-the-park home run in the team’s second game.
However, a 5-2 loss to Medicine Hat eliminated the team from medal contention and it finished fifth overall.
The Prairie tournament is the latest in a string of competitions where the AA Majors have finished in the top five. Earlier in the summer, the team also finished fifth at a tournament in Lethbridge and third at a tournament in Great Falls, Mon.
Kennedy said the tournament was the first in the U.S. that an Airdrie team has travelled to.
The AA Majors played against teams from Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and Montana, and came home with the bronze medal and as the top-ranked Canadian team despite playing in 40°C weather.
“The boys were really enthusiastic about it,” Kennedy said. “The level of competition was very high and they represented their community really well.”
He said that despite not playing over the border before, the players handled the competition and the experience well.
“We didn’t really know what the lay of the land was going to be,” said Kennedy.
“We went there with expectations based on our own skill set.
“We expected to finish high and we expected it to be very competitive. We had a couple of out-of-the-park home runs, excellent pitching by a couple of the boys and a lot of perseverance.”
The team’s recent success at tournaments were an ideal way to cap off the season, which ended with the Prairie Championships.
While every game wasn’t perfect, Kennedy said the team handled adversity as well as it did winning.
“They gelled together instantly and they played hard for each other,” he said.
“They had their shortcomings, but they would rebound by the next game. They all played fantastic and contributed in their own way.
“I was really pleased with the outcome of the season. They exceeded our expectations.”