The Estevan TS&M Tornados played well and were close when the games mattered when they played last weekend at peewee AAA baseball provincials in Regina.
The Tornados lost their first two games by one run each, won their third game by a single run and then were disheartened by the results of the game prior to their final game that they ended up getting blown out 12-2.
“I thought we had a good shot to win the whole thing, especially with this group of boys and they went out and played very good ball,” said Tornados coach Ryan Siever.
The Tornados lost the opener 9-8 to the Saskatoon Braves Friday, after taking a four run lead into the bottom of the seventh inning. Then, the Tornados lost 8-7 to the Regina Buffalos, leaving them no room for error Saturday and needing help to play in the playoff round Sunday. The Tornados responded with a 9-8 victory of the Saskatoon Blue Jay Dirtbags and awaited their final match with the Saskatoon As
“As we waited for Game 4 to start, we were delayed by weather and the game that was happening right before us on the diamond mattered to us. If the Blue Jays would have beaten the Braves, we still would have had a chance to get into the Sunday,” he said. “Once that was over and the Braves had actually won, we know (our) game was going to be our last game of the year.”
The As won 12-2, but it didn’t take away from the fact that Siever felt the Tornados played their best ball of the year, especially defensively, on the weekend.
“We pitched very well and baserunning was good,” he said. “They put all aspects of the game together and they played very well.”
There were a few kids Siever hadn’t coached before but he was pleased with the way they played from the start of the season until the weekend.
“This was probably the best talent level out of players that I’ve had, overall so far in my coaching career in my last six years of coaching travel ball,” Siever said. “It’s good to see development all the way through in Estevan minor ball and see it translate to these kids playing very good ball against some of the top players in the province.”
The future of the Tornados will be Sieverless, as Ryan and his son will move on to the bantam division next year. But there will be a good future for the team with about half the players from this year staying and another four good players coming up from the mosquito division.
The Southeast As also played in provincials last weekend, in the bantam AAA division in Regina. They started their provincial experience with a 25-3 loss to the Swift Current 57s and a 17-6 loss to the Regina Pacers. They picked up a win after that with at 16-2 win over the Saskatoon As and then lost 11-4 to the Saskatoon Blue Jays. Their final game of the weekend was an 8-3 win over the Regina Pacers.