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The bantam AAA St. Albert Cardinals won top honours at the Doc Plotsky tournament last weekend in Sherwood Park. In the final, the Red Birds defeated SEEBA 12-10.

The bantam AAA St. Albert Cardinals won top honours at the Doc Plotsky tournament last weekend in Sherwood Park.

In the final, the Red Birds defeated SEEBA 12-10. They scored six runs in the first two innings but SEEBA chipped away at the lead to go ahead 9-7 after five inning. Outstanding middle relief by Tanner Karpinski, who also contributed a key hit during a five-run sixth inning, set the stage for victory. Aaron Larose closed the door in the seventh.

In the semifinal the Cardinals pulled off a hard-fought 7-6 decision against Saskatoon. Ryan Anderson pitched 6-1/3 innings and recorded eight strikeouts while allowing two earned runs. It was 4-2 Cardinals, when Saskatoon tied it up in the top of the fifth, followed by two runs in the seventh to lead 6-4. In the bottom of the seventh with one out, Riley Moskaluk, Sean Poulin and Carson Bokenfohr reached base and Lyndon Galvin ripped a hard single down the first-base line to tie the game. Tyler Mecir followed with another base hit to score the winning run.

The Cardinals opened the tournament with an ugly 14-1 loss to Sherwood Park Green. The next game they doubled the Blue Jays of Saskatoon 14-7 as Matt Brisson fanned five batters over five solid innings while scattering five hits. Layne Viveiros batted 4-for-4 with two RBIs. Moskaluk was 3-for-5 with three RBIs and Bokenfohr also drove home three runs.

In the 12-0 shutout of Calgary, big lefty Marcus Blair spun a one-hitter while striking out nine to go the distance. Poulin led the attack with two hits and two stolen bases.

In league play tonight the Cardinals (8-1) and SEEBA hook up at 7 p.m. at Rundle Park. In Saturday’s doubleheader at Sherwood Heights they play Sherwood Park Green at 10 a.m. and the Red Deer Braves at 3 p.m.

The peewee AAA Cardinals soared to victory at the Doc Plotsky tournament by defeating the Spruce Grove White Sox 8-5 in Sunday’s final in Sherwood Park.

Fundamentally it was their best game of the season as all the Cardinals chipped in for the win. Starting pitcher Cam Mazur battled his way through an 80-pitch, 4-1/3 inning outing and Adam Watamaniuk provided 2-2/3 innings of solid relief. The duo also helped out offensively with three hits and three stolen bases respectively.

In the tournament opener the Cardinals were handed their first loss of the season, 10-4 by SEEBA as the lack of recent play was clearly evident in St. Albert’s effort. SEEBA’s starting pitcher handcuffed the Red Birds with a one-hitter while striking out 12 and giving up two runs over 5-2/3 innings.

A 12-11 bounce-back win over Calgary was highlighted by three-hit efforts by Matty Quartel, Mason Libich and Jackson Wark, who also tossed three innings of relief.

In the semifinal against the Red Deer Braves, the Cardinals fell behind 6-0 early but roared back to post a 19-9 mercy rule decision. The team’s 16-hit attack was ignited by Jordan Scott’s towering two-run homer in the second inning. Mazur banged out three hits and batted in three runs. Tanner McLean-Poll, Mitchell King and Libich also turned in multi-hit performances. Quartel provided five gutsy innings as the starter while throwing 80 pitches. Tyler Yaremchuk shut the door with two strikeouts in one inning of relief.

The Cardinals carry a 10-1 record into Sunday’s doubleheader against Spruce Grove. Game times are noon and 3 p.m. at Legion Memorial Park.

St. Albert’s third division men’s team dropped a 27-10 decision to the Clansmen in the Edmonton Rugby Union (ERU) fixtures Saturday.

At halftime the bigger, older Clan (3-1) led 10-5. They emptied a deep bench in the second half and with a newer and heavier pack, sealed the deal at the St. Albert Rugby Football Club.

“In the first half we were pushing them around. We had them tired out,” said Dan Zimmerman, a lanky second row who dominated lineout balls for St. Albert. “In the second half they got some subs in and our defence sort of fell apart. We couldn’t spread out fast enough and we weren’t sticking our hits. They started to get some more tries and it got a little out of hand.

“We recovered nicely in the end to leave with a little bit of dignity.”

An opportunistic try by scrum-half Mike Eisinga opened the scoring on a penalty play in the 11th minute.

It was 27-5 when Eisinga scored his second try off a long, explosive run by second-half sub Nathan Reis, the master of ceremonies at the Paul Kane High School grad that night.

“At points in this game we were looking really good. It was just a breakdown in the third quarter of the game that did us in,” Zimmerman said. “We just have to give a bit more defensively.”

The thirds (1-4) were coming off a 27-18 loss in Grande Prairie against the Centaurs (2-1).

“We’re getting better. If we pick up the intensity just a little more every week we’re going to start winning more games,” said Zimmerman, 21, who played for the thirds in 2008 but not last year as St. Albert made its second straight trip to the ERU final.

The thirds host the Pirates (1-2) Friday at 7 p.m.

The women’s program at the St. Albert Rugby Football Club took it on the chin Saturday.

The Rockers (4-0) stoned the second division side 56-0 and the Druids humbled the first division team 65-0 at Ellerslie Rugby Park. Jasmine Van Staveren was a warrior in the front row by playing 140 minutes of rugby. St. Albert was also missing a couple of regulars.

The seconds are 0-3 (7 PF/172 PA) in the Edmonton Rugby Union and the firsts are 0-4 (13 PF/305 PA) in the Alberta premier division.

The seconds scrum down tonight against the Clanswomen (2-0) at 7 p.m. at the St. Albert Rugby Football Club.

On Saturday the firsts travel to Calgary to play the Irish at 3:30 p.m. Last month the 2009 provincial champions embarrassed the firsts 116-0 in St. Albert.