The Sylvan Lake Lightning bantam baseball team batted its way to Bantam AA provincials over the weekend by winning 15-5 against the Fort MacLeod Royals on Saturday and 16-1 against the Acme Red Sox on Sunday.
The team is now positioned at Tier 4, and its players are looking forward to playing in provincials July 24 to 26 in Sylvan Lake, said head coach Travis Smith.
“We will have some really close competition and very competitive teams in the next level,” he said.
Smith said a particular weekend highlight occurred on Saturday evening when the team was down a few runs early in the game, but began hitting the ball very well, bringing them back up with a good inning that saw them score close to eight runs.
“It was kind of a big comeback or a turning point when we had that good offensive inning in the game,” he said.
Regardless of what happens next for his players, he added, they are happy to be playing at the provincial level — a first for many of them.
“These are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to play at that level,” he said.
Given their solid work ethic, he added, he’s not surprised to see them get this far.
“The guys are a group of very hard working young men,” he said. “They have their goals in mind, and that’s to play at the provincial level, and I don’t think they will be satisfied unless we perform well at that level.”
Much of their success, he feels, is down to their desire to play the game for all the right reasons — and their desire to succeed provincially.
“They come out to practice and they work hard because they all want to do well and they want a chance to play at the provincial level,” he said.