Twins take home lessons from peewee provincials

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July 26, 2016 12:00 AM

Lloydminster Twins base runner Eric McNay beats out the throw at home plate during the Twins final round robin game of the Saskatchewan Baseball Peewee AA Tier 1 Provincial Championships against the Battleford Beaves. Lloydminster would go on to win the game 10-7.

The Lloydminster Twins peewee AA baseball team finished their provincial tournament round robin on Saturday with a 10-7 victory over the Battlefords Beaves.
Unfortunately, that was also the end of their season, as the Twins lost their first three round robin games and didn’t make Sunday’s playoff rounds at the Saskatchewan Baseball Peewee Tier 1 Provincial Championships.
Errors and inexperience played a large factor in the round robin for Lloydminster, who only had four second-year players on the time, compared to others who had 10.
Lloydminster battled back against the Estevan Tornadoes in the round robin opener on Friday, coming back from six runs down to take the lead, only to fall 12-11.
They then fell behind against the Prince Albert Royals, losing 6-2, and nearly completed a comeback against the Macklin Lakers on Saturday morning in a 13-9 loss.
“I wish we would have got that Estevan win, but it’s nice to finish off with a win here,” said twins head coach Dave Pero.
“We spotted them runs early due to some errors, but that is the experience coming in, being nervous at provincials.”
Lloydminster still had a chance at the semi-finals had they defeated Macklin on Saturday, as the Twins and Lakers would have had the same record at 2-2 after the Lakers lost to Prince Albert in the final round robin game in the pool, which would have sent Lloydminster to the playoffs on Sunday.
Peewee baseball in Lloydminster was a young group all around, as 58 players signed up to play baseball and only 14 of them were second year players. It meant there was plenty to learn throughout the season for those who made the jump from mosquito heading into the provincial tournament, as base running and fielding decisions were under the microscope in the tournament style provincial championships.
“I feel we are right there, it’s just in those big moments and big situations, we made some key errors on hard hit balls, but the nerves come in,” said Pero. “If he has been there before and done it before, he can relax. If you’re not used to that, you panic and freeze and tense up.”
The final game of the season against Battlefords was the Twins 37th game of the season, capping off a long year or baseball that included plenty of practice throughout the weeks leading up to games and tournaments.
Despite the 1-3 record, Pero said the players learned a valuable lesson in never giving up, as in each of their three games the Twins were down and needed the bats to come alive in order to get back into the game.
That’s a lesson that takes some losses to gain experience, but will make the Twins peewee program, who will have an abundance of second year players next year, a contender at the provincial level.
“Just never give up because it is peewee baseball and all of a sudden we get our inning where they make a bunch of errors,” said Pero. “(Against Estevan) we made some key base running errors where we could have extended that lead, but that is all a learning experience and the next time that kid is in that situation, he’ll have had that experience in a big situation. There is only so much you can do during practice. They have to have that game situation.”
It may have been a slightly disappointing weekend for the Twins, whose goal was to make Sunday’s playoff rounds, but Pero said he knew the team was in the middle of the pool and needed to play error free in order to give themselves the best opportunity to play for a medal.
With the experience of playing at home in front of their own fans, the idea is that Lloydminster should be a peewee team to beat next year.
“Hopefully we are that powerhouse team next year,” said Pero. “Next year we have a lot of experienced kids, so we’ll have 10 to 15 second-years which is a huge difference.”

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