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Cardinals at 18U nationals highlights Sports Extra
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TRAINING SESSION – Head coach Anthony Sponchia, right, and Colin Torok-Both provide assistance with a drill during a recent practice at Larry Olexiuk Field as the atom St. Albert Jaguars prepare for the Capital District Minor Football Association season. The CDMFA peewee and bantam schedules kick off next weekend. CHRIS COLBOURNE/St. Albert Gazette

18U nationals

The St. Albert Cardinals split Thursday’s pool B games as Team Alberta at the 18U Baseball Canada championship in London, Ont.

The Cardinals dropped a 2-1 extra-inning decision to British Columbia and mercied Nova Scotia 11-1 in five innings.

Friday’s score against Manitoba was unavailable at press time.

The last game for the Cardinals before the crossover playoffs is against Prince Edward Island this afternoon.

The Pool A teams are New Brunswick, Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan and the host London Badgers, the defending champions.

Visit baseball.ca for the tournament website.

The tournament opener for the Cardinals was scoreless through seven innings and in the eighth Tyson Kowaluk scored for the Cardinals before B.C. pushed two across and the winning run was scored off a single. 

Evan Wilde, a pick-up from the Calgary Bandits, allowed three hits and walked two while striking out 10 with 92 pitches thrown over 7-1/3 innings.

Three pitchers combined to strikeout 13 Cardinals while giving up four hits and one walk.

Jackson Moffat batted 2-for-3 with a double while Kowaluk and Jacob Cebryk also stroked singles.

Both teams left six men on base

Errors were two for the Cardinals and one for B.C.

The blowout against Nova Scotia featured a six-run bottom of the fifth with Kade Knight, Evan Bourassa, Cebryk and Wilde driving home runs.

In the first, Wilde’s RBI double tied the score at one and in the fourth Ryan Telenko’s run-scoring single and Knight’s two-run double highlighted a four-run inning.

The Cardinals finished with seven hits, led by a pair by Knight and Wilde. Knight also had three RBIs while Wilde and Cebryk had two apiece.

Riley Norton threw 57 pitches while striking-out six with no runs over five innings.

The Cardinals were charged with two errors and Nova Scotia was tagged with three.

At last year’s nationals in Fort McMurray, the Cardinals finished fourth after losing the bronze-medal game 11-1 to Quebec.

The last 18U medal for the Cardinals was silver in 2014 at Magog, Que.

The Cardinals entered nationals with an overall record of 33-8 in the Norwest 18U AAA league and Tier I AAA provincials.

Three of the 10 returnees from last year – pitcher Liam Froment, shortstop Mike Brisson and first baseman Ryan Marples – are unavailable for nationals because of college commitments in the United States.

Junior lacrosse

The gold-medal winning Team Canada roster at the World Junior Lacrosse Championship included a pair of junior A St. Albert Miners.

Bryce Schmermund of St. Albert and Callin Harris of Stony Plain contributed to Canada’s 4-0 record at the six-team tournament in Mississauga, Ont.

Sunday’s final was 13-10 over Iroquois and in the semifinals it was 18-4 Canada against Israel and 23-6 Iroquois against the United States.

The third-place game was 13-12 for the United States over Israel.

In Group A, Canada posted wins of 24-4 against Australia and 16-2 against Israel.

Iroquois, United States and Poland competed in pool B.

Canada’s stats against Iroquois in the final were not listed on the tournament website but in the team's previous three games Harris recorded four goals and 13 points, and Schmermund, a defender, picked up one assist.

Schmermund is a St. Albert Rams Lacrosse product and Harris hails from the Parkland Posse organization.

With the Miners during the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League regular season, Harris collected seven goals and five assists in nine games and Schmermund had one assist in 10 games.

Karate champion

A Sir George Simpson School teacher aced her final exam at the International Uechi-Ryu Kenyukai Karate Tournament last month in Okinawa, Japan

Natika Pigeon of St. Albert was awarded a gold medal after receiving silver at the rebranded Okinawa International Karate Tournament last year.

The tournaments are Uechi-Ryu style karate specifically and Pigeon competed in kata, which is forms (pattern) of offensive and defensive techniques.

There are no weight classes so Pigeon was in the black-belt category for women ages 18 to 49.

The Desa School of Karate member had three kata to perform after doing five rounds last year.

Pigeon beat out Renee Martin of Florida in a reversal of last year’s medal results for gold and silver. The two have trained together in the past.

Pigeon qualified for worlds by training at her home dojo and travelling to different competitions through invites.

The Grade 8/9 science, math and outdoor education teacher was also selected to be a Karate Alberta provincial coach for the upcoming two seasons.


Jeff Hansen

About the Author: Jeff Hansen

Jeff Hansen joined the St. Albert Gazette in 1991. He writes about sports, athletes and teams from St. Albert and area.
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