Two members of the Yorkton R. Millers Midget ‘AA’ Cardinals, Caleb Bymak and Jordan Bieber, were recently picked up by the Regina Angels for the Canadian Senior Little League Championship in Victoriaville, Quebec; a tournament that wrapped up last Thursday after the Regina Angels knocked off a Whalley, B.C., team 6-5 in the final game.
Angels coach and manager Todd Davis had selected the two Yorkton players with the hopes that their arms would aid the Regina pitching staff that had fallen just short at last year’s tournament and help propel the Angels to the Senior Little League World Series in Bangor, Maine.
And the decision to add the two Yorktonites paid off in spades as Bymak led the tournament wins (two, tied with several others), innings pitched with 14.0 and strikeouts with 15, while his ERA (Earned Run Average) was a sparkling 0.50; second only to teammate Zach Lehner’s 0.00 ERA over 9.2 innings of work.
However Bymak feels that, while he pitched great all tournament long, it was really the guys behind him that truly deserved the praise. “They made the plays when they had to and bailed me out a few times,” offered the first year midget player, continuing, “and our offence was great. We got the run support we needed.”
But pitching was not the only area that Bymak aided the Angels in. The talented ball player played third base when not on the mound and helped Regina with both his glove and especially his bat, as evidenced by a .333 batting average and an 8-for-24 performance at the dish that included a triple.
However Bymak initially wasn’t sure whether his strong hitting would carry over from his ‘AA’ season to this tournament, mainly because Little League does not use wooden bats. “I had confidence in my hitting… but using metal bats was different than what I was used to,” said Bymak, adding that while most people think it would be easier to hit with a metal bat it’s actually not and that after playing an entire season with wooden bats it actually throws off your timing.
And while Bymak adapted well to the metal bats, one player who seemed to struggle at times with the metal bats was Bymak’s fellow Cardinal-turned-Angel Bieber, who managed to get just two hits in the tournament; however one of those hits really proved to be the difference for the Angels, solidifying Bieber’s place in the Senior Little League record books.
With the score tied, the bases loaded, two out and two strikes on him in the final inning of the final game, Bieber slapped the ball down the line to give the Angels a walk off victory and send the Regina team into the Senior Little League World Series in Maine. “It’s every kids dream to get a walk off hit and send their team to Worlds and then get mauled by all your teammates,” mentioned the heroic Bieber, adding that he was ‘just looking for a good pitch that I could handle’ at that moment in the game.
Bieber indeed got the good pitch he was looking for to win the game for the Angels and send them to the Senior Little League World Series in Maine. But did he honestly expect the Regina Angels, HIS Regina Angels, to win the National tournament and move on to the World Series in Bangor, Maine? “I honestly didn’t know what to expect,” suggested Bieber, continuing, “but after the first game I kind of had a feeling that our team could take it all.”
And that’s exactly what they did. Thanks, in large part, to the two Yorkton boys, Caleb Bymak and Jordan Bieber.
World Series results
The Regina Angels kicked off the 2014 Senior Little League World Series with a 7-2 loss to the host Bangor East/West Side LL team. Bymak was 1-for-4 with a single and two strikeouts in the game while Bieber gave up three earned runs on two hits and two walks over one inning of work.
In Game Two the Regina Angels lost 11-0 to the Western representatives from Central East Maui LL in Wailuku, Hawaii. Bymak went 1-for-2 at the dish with a single and strikeout while Bieber once again pitched, giving up six earned runs on three walks and three hits in one inning of work. Game Three saw Regina lose 10-0 to the Southeast representative Dumfries District LL (Dumfries, Virginia). Bymak (3.0 IP, 6 H, 9 R, 5 ER, 5 BB) got the loss.
Next up for the Regina Angels is a game today against the Asia-Pacific representatives from Saipan LL out of Saipan, CNMI (Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands).