The Yorkton R. Miller’s Midget ‘AA’ Cardinals welcomed five other teams, the Regina Angels, Melville Millionaires, Saskatoon Athletics, Binscarth Orioles and Ste. Rose Tropics to Jubilee Park for their home tournament.
The Cardinals played a total of five games, winning three and losing two, including the final, to finish second overall in the six team tournament.
The Yorkton Cardinals proved to be horrible hosts on Day One of the tournament, hammering the Saskatoon Athletics 9-1 under the lights.
Caleb Bymak got the start against the A’s and looked good, going 4.2 innings and allowing just two base runners via a walk and a hit by pitch before a pitch count of 55 brought a premature end to his day in favour of Luke Walters. Walters needed just two pitches to get out of the fifth inning and ultimately end the game for Yorkton as they took their opening game of the tournament 9-1.
Adam Neibrandt was the lone Cardinal player to put together a multi-hit game, going 2-for-2 against Saskatoon with a single and a double while picking up an RBI, while both Jordan Bieber (1-for-3) and Tyson Black (1-for-3) had a pair of RBIs in the win.
Following the win, R. Miller’s Midget Cardinals assistant coach Stefan Bymak said that it was nice to see the team put together a strong effort against a team they didn’t really know much about. “Their guy came out and was throwing strikes and mixing it up pretty decently but we just got on him early and started running the bases well,” offered Bymak, continuing, “I think they are one of the top ‘AA’ teams in Saskatoon from what I understand so it was a good win for us.”
Saturday’s bat siesta
Every once in a while it’s nice to take some time off. Kick back, relax and sleep. Maybe have a bit of a siesta.
At least that must be what the Yorkton Midget Cardinals bats were thinking, as the managed just two hits in Yorkton’s second game of the tournament Saturday against the Binscarth Orioles; a game that Yorkton lost 6-4.
Jordan Bieber took the loss on the mound for the Cardinals, despite putting together a solid start. The second year midget player struck out six and walked just two while surrendering five hits over six innings of work. Unfortunately his defence faltered at times as he gave up six runs, only three of which were earned.
Luke Walters led the Yorkton offence against Binscarth. The Cardinal first baseman went 1-for-2 with a walk while Caleb Bymak collected the other Yorkton hit in a 1-for-3, one walk effort.
The loss, combined with a Binscarth 14-4 win over Saskatoon later in the day meant that the Cardinals had to play a quarter-final game against the Ste. Rose Tropics in order to advance to the semifinals, whereas a win would have given the a bye straight through to the final four.
Luckily for the Cardinals their bats seemed to shake off the zzz’s and, combined with decent pitching from starter Shawn Pasiechnik (2.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 3 K) and relievers Mason Kelley (3.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K) and Tyson Black (1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K), gave the Cardinals a quarterfinal victory, 8-4 over Ste. Rose.
Mason Kelley had an outstanding game at the dish to lead the Cardinals offensively. The speedy third year star went 3-for-4 with two singles and an inside-the-park homerun, while both Luke Walters (2-for-4) and Tyson Black (2-for-4) also had multi-hit games.
Jake Holinaty led all Cards with two RBI in the game. Three other Cardinals, Jordan Bieber, Mitchell Kuzma and Kelley also picked up an RBI in the win.
The win put Yorkton into Sunday’s 8:30am semi-final game against the undefeated Regina Angels.
The final day of the tournament saw the Yorkton R. Miller’s Midget Cardinals get up nice and early to work on the field in preparation for their semi-final showdown with the Regina Angels; a team that they had struggled against all season long, both in league and tournament play having lost to the Angels 14-2 recently in SPBL action and 3-2 in a tournament semi-final earlier this season.
But revenge is a dish best served cold, and cold is what the Angels’ bats were for most of the game as the combination of Tyson Black and Caleb Bymak were too much for the Angels on the day.
Black allowed just six hits and three walks over 5.2 innings while striking out eight for the no decision while Bymak picked up the win in relief, going 1.1 innings, surrendering one hit and one walk while hitting one batter and striking out three.
Although Black and Bymak were strong on the mound, the defence nearly blew the game for them when, with Yorkton up 4-2 in the sixth inning, three consecutive Cardinals errors allowed Regina to not only tie the game, but take a 6-4 lead into the seventh inning.
But turnabout is fair play as the Cardinals, instead of getting down on themselves, bounced back, scoring a trio of runs to retake the lead at 7-6.
Bymak made quick work of the Angels in the bottom half of the seventh to hold off the Angels for a 7-6 Yorkton win.
Once again leading the way offensively for the Cardinals was Mason Kelley, who was 3-for-4 with a triple and an RBI. However first baseman Luke Walters wasn’t far behind with another strong performance at the plate, this time going 2-for-3 while Jordan Bieber also had a strong game at the dish going 3-for-4 with three singles.
The win sent the hometown Yorkton R. Miller’s Cardinals to the finals where they lost to the Binscarth Orioles in heartbreaking fashion.
With the score 6-5 for Yorkton, Binscarth had the bases loaded. There were two out and Binscarth’s star Joben Smith had a full count before he belted the Jake Holinaty offering just inside the left field line for a game winning two RBI single.
Caleb Bymak (4.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K) started for the Cardinals in the loss but walked away with a no decision. Holinaty suffered the loss giving up five runs, three earned, on four hits and four walks and a hit by pitch over two innings of work.
Shawn Pasiechnik led the Cardinals offence in the loss. The left fielder went 2-for-4 at the dish with a pair of RBIs while Caleb Bymak (2-for-5), Matt Wilgosh (2-for-4) and Adam Neibrandt (2-for-4, double) also had multi-hit games.
Following the game assistant coach Stefan Bymak felt that, even though they lost the final game of the tournament, there were still some big positives to take away from the weekend, such as a big win over the Regina Angels and the outstanding play by some of the depth guys like Luke Walters and Shawn Pasiechnik. “Shawn had a couple of hits, made a couple of nice plays out in left field. He came to play,” said Bymak of his left fielder. “He really had a game. He stood out. A couple of catches he made out there were really nice catches, some of the nice catches of the year and it’s good to see from him.”
The Yorkton R. Miller’s Midget ‘AA’ Cardinals wrapped up their regular season this past week with three games. They fell 14-2 to the Regina Angels on Tuesday, July 8, before beating the Regina Pacers 5-4 and tying the Regina White Sox 6-6.
The Cardinals will now host the SPBL ‘AA’ Playoffs this upcoming weekend with their first game taking place on Friday at 3:00pm. Admission is free so be sure to come out to the ball diamond for some quality baseball action.