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Diamond Dust

The red-hot bantam AAA St. Albert Cardinals are the team to fear at the Early Bird tournament at Legion Memorial Park.

The red-hot bantam AAA St. Albert Cardinals are the team to fear at the Early Bird tournament at Legion Memorial Park.

Winners of seven games in the performance league division and two exhibition contests, the undefeated Red Birds opened their pool A draw Friday against SEEBA but the score was unavailable at press time.

The Cardinals also play tonight against Calgary at 6 p.m., and Monday against Okotoks 1 at noon.

Sherwood Park, Red Deer, Okotoks 2 and Spruce Grove make up pool B.

The pool A and B winners meet in Monday’s final at 3 p.m. Visit for schedule updates.

In league play the Cardinals are coming off Wednesday’s 13-3 victory over Spruce Grove in five innings at Legion park. They pounded out 14 hits, including three doubles and three triples. Tyler Mecir singled and tripled home four runs to pace the attack. Tanner Karpinski added three RBIs. Jay Florkevich fanned five batters in 3-2/3 innings of work to record the win.

In Sunday’s doubleheader in Okotoks the Cardinals beat Sherwood Park Green 9-4 and blanked Okotoks Red 2-0.

Matt Brisson struck out two Sherwood Park batters and didn’t surrender a run or hit during four stellar innings to notch the win. Sean Poulin drove home three runs and Layne Viveiros added two hits and swiped three bases.

In the tightly contested pitching staff duel with Okotoks, the Cardinals allowed only three hits while striking out eight. Okotoks was equally stingy in giving up five hits while fanning three.

Starting pitcher Aaron Larose surrendered one hit over three innings. Karpinski followed with two innings of shutout baseball by striking out three and was credited with the win. Riley Moskaluk fanned four to post the save.

The difference in the game was the Cardinals managed to group several of their hits together in one inning. Florkevich was hit by a pitch to lead off the fourth. Consecutive hits by Poulin, Viveiros and Moskaluk accounted for the only runs of the game.

The undefeated peewee AAA St. Albert Cardinals carried a six-game winning streak into Friday’s opening game at the Early Bird tournament at Legion Memorial Park. The score against SEEBA was unavailable at press time.

Tonight at 6 p.m. the Cardinals play Fort McMurray.

Sherwood Park, Lloydminster and Red Deer are also entered in the six-team draw.

The first-place teams in pools A and B receive byes into the semifinals at 6 p.m. Sunday and 10 a.m. Monday. The final is 1 p.m. Monday.

The tournament schedule is online at

The sixth win in a row for the Cardinals was Sunday’s long, drawn out 20-10 affair in Sherwood Park. The score wasn’t indicative of how close the game actually was. It was 9-9 heading into the fifth inning before the Cardinals exploded for 11 runs in their final two at-bats.

As the score suggests, pitchers on both teams struggled with control and combined for six hit batters and 14 walks.

Matty Quartel, Austin Watamaniuk, Jordan Scott, Cam Mazur and Alex Marthiensen scored three runs apiece.

Tyler Yaremchuk pitched the last two innings for the win.