For the second straight year, the Moose Jaw Canucks are coming home as champions from the Quinn Stevenson Memorial Midget AA Baseball Tournament in Saskatoon.
The Canucks posted a 4-0 record over the weekend, finishing the tournament off with an 11-10 win over the Saskatoon Blue Jay Broncos in the final on Sunday.
After getting rained out on Friday, Canucks head coach Kevin Zerff said that allowed them to line up their rotation how they wanted and the players executed the game plan to perfection.
"We had our pitchers planned out, we managed their pitch counts and with a little bit of run support, we came through Saturday with two clear wins and that set things up for Sunday where again the same thing happened there, our pitchers were lined up and we got big run support when we needed it," said Zerff.
The Canucks started the weekend with a 5-0 win over the Saskatoon Outlaw Braves on Saturday morning with Riley Skarbon and Tysen Jordison pitching two innings each for the shutout win.
Moose Jaw scored all five of their runs in the fourth inning, including a two-run single from Jordison.
Following the strong opening effort, the Canucks put together another clean slate with a 4-0 win over the Lloydminster Twins on Saturday afternoon. Ryan Zerff threw 2 1/3 shutout innings followed by 2 2/3 shutout innings from Chayce Vanthuyne for the win.
The Canucks started strong in the win, scoring once in the first and adding three in the second. Tyler Lorenz was 2-for-2 with a run scored out of the lead off spot.
"We didn't know what to expect, both teams we'd never played before and didn't know a lot about," said Zerff. "It comes down playing with a little confidence and our defence came through in both those games, everything came together, it was nice."
Riding the momentum from the two shutout wins on Saturday, the Canucks edged the Lumsden Cubs, 5-4, on Sunday morning to secure their spot in the final.
Jordison earned the win on the mound, striking out five over six innings of work. He allowed four runs -- three earned -- on ten hits and three walks. Zerff came on to finish off the win in the seventh inning.
Vanthuyne was 1-for-2 with two RBI in the win.
The final was a back-and-forth game with each team having their moments of control.
The two sides traded two runs each in the first inning, but the Canucks took control with four in the bottom of the third to move in front 6-2.
Saskatoon struck back with one in the fourth and two more in the top of the fifth to cut the lead down to one, but the Canucks regained control with two in the bottom of the fifth for an 8-5 advantage.
The score stayed that way until the seventh inning and the Broncos managed to fight their way back in front with a five-run top half of the inning to take a 10-8 lead.
Moose Jaw didn't panic and went to work. Zerff led off the inning by getting hit by a pitch and then coming around to score on a single from Riley Gross.
Skarbon was the hero for the Canucks as he smacked a walk-off two-run single with one out in the seventh for the win.
"The key in the end was just patience at the plates, a couple of keys hits and that did, the kids stayed with it throughout," said Zerff.
Skarbon was 3-for-3 with three RBI in the final, while Lorenz, Jeremy Kohl and Quincy Johnson also drove in a pair of runs each in the win. Moose Jaw finished with 13 hits in total in the final.
The Canucks will now look to carry over the success from the weekend when they return to the field for play in the Saskatchewan Premier Baseball League this week.
"We're at the point in the season that we're very comfortable with where we've got our guys with the young players and they're complimenting the older players very well, so it’s looking good," said Zerff.
Moose Jaw hosts the Regina Blue Jays on Wednesday at Ross Wells Park. First pitch is at 7 p.m.