Submitted by Kate Martens
A big Congratulations to some local boys who over the weekend defeated the 2x Men’s Senior champions from Unity…making the North East Red Sox the new Provincial Champions!!
Really great ball seen this past weekend where our boys went up against some of the best and came out on top.
The great dedication these kids have shown over this season as half the team works locally and drives to games and weekdays and weekends to practice play in the Saskatoon league where they are in the playoffs currently.
A huge High 5 goes out to Nick Enns, Brendan LeBlanc, Paul Frecon, Tyler Jones, Lane Gerwing, Tyrell Pompu, Luc Casavant, Devin Gerwing, Jordan Wouters, Kalen Senecal, Logan Casavant, Nik Amundrud and Nick Peterson.
For some of these guys, this is their 3rd Prov title in Baseball…well-done men!!
North East Red Sox Story Behind the Provincial Championship 2017
Told my way by Kate 🙂
by Kate Martens
Facing the hosting team on Friday the boys got rid of their nerves, made the mistakes, didn’t hit like they have been and ended the game losing 0-6 against Unity. Defeated. Unity pitcher, Feser, was one of the fastest the kids have ever stood in the batting box for with pitches between 85-90 MPH. And as parents we watched our kids struggle thru that game and knew that they have what it takes and they were gonna have to shake that loss off and regroup real quick.
But sports games rise and fall on how a team handles games like that and we’ve seen them rise up many times in do or die situations over the years. Inside our boys, there is a will…every one of them loves to win but they HATE to lose even more…for them settling for a silver wasn’t an option and they came to Unity with a mission mindset. Winning that title was all they wanted. To upset the 2x champions and make a mark, showing up and showing ‘them’ all those who overlooked who these kids were and are. No one expected them to win after that opening game and sitting in the bleachers listening to the smack talk is often one of the hardest things us moms have to do–not retaliate to the hurtful comments directed to our kids. But we sit quietly, encouraging and believing in our boys, give credit where it’s due and bite our toques till they bleed. I feel like we hardly breathe some innings as they came up on the toughest teams and overcame innings that could have changed the board and the game.
This team coaches themselves, with Devin and Lane Gerwing and Jordan Wouters very active in decision making and creating the plays for the field…some players listen and some steal second and or third whether they are told to “GO” or NOOOO haha Logan (Bear) has shale rash from some of the dives and slides he entertained us with!! Every one of them out there makes their dream work…with team work. And it’s really cool to sit in my chair eating sunflowers and drinking cool water listening to them in the dugout figuring it out. And I think all us parents that come watch have a huge admiration for what the guys have taken away from the best coaches over the years. This team is made up of a force of North East players ranging in age from 20-27 some of them have 3 Provincial titles in Baseball along with other sports they play in. True athletes, and although their high school years have passed they decided to keep it going…to do what they love and with that…legends are made right
On Saturday morning we faced Macklin and pitching for them was Barry Lyons’ son…kinda cool as Barry coached a few of our team in years gone by with Colleen Kozun. But even his great skill set on the mound was no match for the mission our kids were on. They were just a game they needed a W for…and win they did. And the next game against Rosetown…another W…and earned them play time for Sunday.
Facing Lloydminster at 10 AM it was playoff round…#2 in Pool B against #1 in Pool A. Lloyd was #1 and not sure if we took a breath thru that game or not as it was close. After 4 innings we were up 1-0 and both teams pretty much 3 up 3 down over and over. I got a video as Nick slammed a nice liner hitting an RBI (sorry guys I can’t remember who came in on that hit) and 2-0…they returned making it 2-1 and then our last bat we made it 3-1 ending that go on or go home game. Lloyd expected to win and now the kids play back to back and head to the Gold Final against Unity…but no one really says anything–even tho it was a great game the big job still needs to be done and no one wants Silver.
As hometown crowd, they had the field and beer gardens full of fans and they were loud, confident their men would clinch a 3x title. It was a perfect weekend for ball as the sun was shining and the promise of a gold hung thick in the air. Unity thought at the beginning of that game that they’d easily walk away winners as did the crowd but it didn’t take them long to realize both teams were there for a reason and the NE was not settling for a silver, the kids made double plays, insane catches, tight D and big hits each inning. Nick Enns started us pitching that game and thru the 5 innings he rallied, thru curves, got good calls and not so good but he worked it out and when he left the mound we all cheered for his huge help in that game and were proud of him. the boys believe in him so much, all year I heard my Nick brag up Nick Enns as his pitching is so hot this season. And the game was close all the way thru…till the end…when our boys turned up the heat and had an inning that left Unity in the dust.
Of course, Unity had last bat and we came into that inning winning 12-6 but had 2 guys on base and as I sprouted more grey hairs we watched…tense…1 out, 2 out…couple runs come in…it’s now 12-9 and they are a strong team of hitters…no one has weak spots and no one dares make a mistake…Logan is pitching now, firing them across…SMACK SMACKK as the ball meets leather making a little dust poof every time. Then he threw the perfect ball and we all heard that Smuck as bat hits ball hit…you know the one…that sails with the wind way out into the field over everyone’s heads and we watch B-dog (Brendan LeBlanc) set it in his sights…the crowd is FREAKING out and all I can think is OH MY GOD please don’t over run it or have it catch that gust of wind…it’s like slow motion…now no one’s making a sound…everyone’s praying for a catch or a miss…and he caught it!! Ending the game 12-9 for the kids!!
Words can’t express what all went on during the weekend…each of those players on NE made unreal plays and sometimes I wish I kept a little journal going as the games play out so I can write up an article without forgetting anyone. But this I know EVERY kid out there did THINGS awesome to move the team to the big goal.
Our fielders are almost unstoppable, like UNREAL UNBELIEVABLE catches, runs, reading the wind and catching balls that NO one thought possible–they were really cool to watch.
Kalen Senecal back catching caught some foul balls that made the major leaguers look sick LOL seriously tho…his arm to second, the way he reads plays and communicates his throws to his teammates are just a few of the strong points that kid has and I’m pretty sure he smiles all the way thru it.
Our Pitchers, all so different styles and strengths, had guys struggling to hit. Jordan Wouters a very slow, deliberate delivery leaving the batter guessing to what junk he’s gonna throw and how fast or slow it’s coming…he was amazing to watch and my first time meeting him to Bear who calculated heat smokes the back catcher gloves over and over, I love watching him pitch. Devin Gerwing Devin Gerwingd pitches and MAN he had to make some wild catches and hits this weekend…especially excelling at double plays this weekend which had the other teams realizing that we weren’t ‘lucky’ we are skilled.
Our infield is TIGHT, not much gets past them, catching line drives, reading the gravel and picking up speed grounders with grace, whipping it over to 2nd and 1st for double plays made to look naturally and they always quietly encouraging, and even if someone made a mistake or felt like they made a bad play the energy lasts about 10 seconds and the guys rally thru that, with a moving on attitude, yes, shaking their heads to refocus on the short term goal, that inning…then the next to get to the ultimate goal…the GOLD medal game…and when they were in that game all they focused on was clean innings, big hits to the holes, stealing bases leaving the dust behind them, swallowing the questionable calls (we even got an ‘out’ call for rounding 3rd and no touching the bag–the boys could have made a stink at that but they rise above it, let it go and all we hear is ‘let’s get it back boys’ and getting it done…their way. Good, honest clean ball…the kind of games we all can look back on being 100% proud of. Of who they are, what they’ve done and overcome and accomplished.
Some of the best days of my life have been spent in the bleachers or lawn chairs with some of my favorite people, the parents, that’s my social life lol…watching our boys live out dreams, whether we come home with a championship or not…we are the lucky ones…as all these kids are really good people—heading out into their lives now as really good people, role models, some of them coaching younger kids already…some of them will when they have children…but I’m proud to say I’m a mom…to one of these kids…but I love many of them SO much.
My Kyle has also been so fortunate to have lots of these guys as role models, he’s grown up following many of the teams that Nick’s played for around…and every single one of the guys has always a spot at the supper table for Kyle, they include him in everything, take him to the batting cages or dunk him in the pools at the hotels and I wish they knew how much they have brought to his life just with their kindness and friendship–you all mean more to that little guy that I could ever tell you–he idolizes many of you …it’s because of you all you show us that we all become better people in this world…
THANK YOU North East Red Sox…and once again…Congratulations on another goal achieved!! You all were born Champions! Tons of love, Kate MartensKate Martens this along to Kalen, his mom, Jonesy, Nik A, Trevor, and Jordan