The Mount Baker Secondary School Wild baseball team hosted a six-team tournament over the weekend, picking up a pair of wins and finishing in third place.
According to Wild head coach Shawn Jensen, despite a disappointing final game for his squad, the annual event was a tremendous success overall.
“Every team I talked to seemed to have a good time and really enjoyed coming to this area to play,” Jensen said. “We had great weather to go along with good baseball.”
As the host team of the annual competition, the Wild kicked off the tournament with a Thursday night game against the Cardston High School Cougars at Confederation Park. The closest outing of the entire competition, Mount Baker had an early one run lead before an out-of-the-park home run gave Cardston a 2-1 advantage in the fifth inning.
Starting the sixth at a 3-3 tie, the Wild had everything fall into place and scored three runs. Although the Cougars made the game interesting in the seventh, the final score ended at 6-5 for the home side.
The following morning, Mount Baker took care of their Kimberley rivals with a 14-5 victory over the Selkirk Secondary Storm. Despite the 2-0 record in the round robin, the Wild finished in second place heading into the placement games.
Trail’s J.L. Crowe Secondary Hawks also won both their games, with a 25-3 routing of Selkirk and an 8-1 victory over the Calgary Redbirds, and immediately punched their ticket to the championship game. The Wild meanwhile had to play the third place Redbirds on Saturday morning to determine the Hawks’ final opponent.
The Redbirds ended up getting the better of the Wild in a 7-0 game, setting up a tournament closer without the home side. After losing the day before, Calgary successfully bounced back with a 10-4 win for the championship trophy.
“Our team played really well [all weekend and] our defense and pitching were good but our bats just fell flat in the semifinals,” Jensen said. “The guys seemed to have a hard time making good contact when we faced some tough pitching from a very good Calgary team who hit the ball well and found gaps.”
The Wild baseball team will finish their season at a tournament in Medicine Hat this coming weekend. Many players from both Mount Baker and Selkirk, however, will continue their season with the American Legion Cranbrook Bandits from May through to July. The Bandits will hold their tryouts for their 2018 ‘A’ and ‘B’ squads on Monday, April 30 and Wednesday, May 2.