Pirates capture championship title

The North Winnipeg Pirates baseball team celebrates their Winnipeg Amateur Baseball Association Championship victory at Whittier Park in Winnipeg on July 22. The midget AAA baseball team is made up of players from Selkirk, St. Andrews, West St. Paul, Stonewall, Gimli and Winnipeg. (Brook Jones/Selkirk Journal/Postmedia Network) Brook Jones / Selkirk Journal

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The North Winnipeg Pirates captured the Winnipeg Amateur Baseball Association’s Championship after the Pirates defeated the Bonvital Black Sox 3-2 at Whittier Park on July 22.

After finishing league play in first place, Pirates head coach Gary Dear and his ball players had their sights set on capturing the recent championship.

“It feels good to win without a doubt,” Dear said.

North Winnipeg won the amateur championship on a run scored by Cole Olferd after he made it home when Kalli Einarson drew a basses loaded walk, which made the score 3-2 and secured the team’s championship title.

Ty smith scored the team’s second run on a pass ball with Christian Ingram at the plate, which tied the game at the top of the seventh. The Pirates breezed through playoffs enroute to their championship victory by defeating St. James 5-4 and Elmwood 5-3. Their only loss of the playoff came at the bats of Bonivital the day prior to the championship, when they were defeated 12-0.
The midget AAA team is a collection of ball players from Selkirk, St. Andrews, Stonewall and Gimli.

“Our sticks weren’t as effective as I was hoping they would be today, but they came through when I needed, which is huge,” Dear said.

Liam Allen, who is from St. Andrews, has been playing with North Winnipeg for the past seven years. He noted that this year’s team clicked when it comes to playing and hitting.

“It was pretty nerve-wracking,” Allen said about the close championship game. “I was hoping to get a hit, but they walked me at the final at bat.”

Team catcher Einarson was responsible for tieing the game at the top of the seventh.

The Gimli resident said he needs to be prepared mentally and physically for each game.

“You got to be ready mentally. Little things like throw backs to the pitcher they have to be easy so that when something challenging comes, I have time for,” he said.

Up next for North Winnipeg is the Baseball Manitoba Provincial Championship at Charleswood Park July 27 to 29.

“I am glad it ended like this,” he added. “Obviously we want to take that provincial banner.”