The Bantam Macklin Lakers baseball team hosted their annual tournament this past weekend and invited teams from all over Saskatchewan to participate.
There were 6 total teams competing in the tournament that included teams like the Estevan Twins and White Butte Broncos who made long road trips to face some of the top competition at the Bantam level. Provincial Championships are fast approaching at the end of July and teams want to be as sharp as possible for the important weekend.
Macklin faced the Estevan Twins and Lloydminster Twins in the round robin portion of the draw and managed to win both games to finish 1st in their pool. Macklin advanced to the semi-final game where they took on the White Butte Broncos and came out with a 9-3 victory to advance to the Championship Game.
Meanwhile, the Kindersley Royals put on a clinic in their round-robin pool with a pair of wins over the White Butte and Gull Lake. The Royals faced the Lloydminster Twins in the semi-final games and came out with a 9-2 victory to set up an all-out West Central Championship Final.
The Lakers would take on the Kindersley Royals in a West Central rival match-up that saw the Royals come out on top with an 8-4 victory. Both teams entered the final without having lost a previous game in the tournament and proved to be a tough opponent to play against.
Macklin's Head Coach Wade Dean talked about the excitement of making it to the Championship Game this past weekend and the thrill of hosting a Provincial Championship in the coming weeks.
"The tournament went really good this past weekend. It was nice to see some teams that we normally don't see like Estevan, White View, and Gull Lake so it was tough competition. We're excited to host Provincials in a couple weekends, we are really looking forward to it." Dean said with excitement.
The Macklin Lakers will host 'Bantam Tier 2' Provincials from July 20th-22nd while the Kindersley Royals will travel to Unity to compete in 'Bantam Tier 1' Provincials on the same weekend.
The Royals feel they are ready for their own Provincial draw as Head Coach Blain Hilbig talked about what went right for his club this past weekend in Macklin.
"We had some timely hits with 2 outs that scored us some key runs throughout the tournament. Our defence stepped up when we needed a big out and helped limit runs against us."
Both the Royals and Lakers will continue to play and practice leading up to their Provincial tournaments.