U13 Western Regionals to relocate to Prince Albert

Daily Herald File Photo Aidan Strachan of the Prince Albert U13 Royals takes a pitch during U13 AA Tier 1 provincials in Prince Albert last month.

For the third time this year, Prince Albert will play host to a major baseball tournament.

The U13 Prince Albert Royals were scheduled to play in the Western Canadian Championships in Kelowna, BC from Aug. 18-20, but the tournament was cancelled due to the MacDougall Creek wildfire.

Photo courtesy of Paige Bednorz The MacDougall Creek wildfire near Kelowna

A modified version of the tournament featuring four teams will be played during the September long weekend at the Kinsmen Baseball Complex in Prince Albert. None of the B.C. teams will make making the trip, but the Brandon Marlins (Manitoba), Consort Cubs (Alberta), and Northeast Expos (Saskatchewan) will join the Prince Albert Royals in the four-team field.

Royals assistant coach Nathan Noble says the tournament provides teams an opportunity to end their season on a high note.

“When you start that season six months ago, you’re playing baseball with that goal of getting to the end and you win provincials and you have one more hump and you don’t get to do it, it kind of gets taken away. It’ll be closure to the season; it’ll be a way to finish off the season. Win or lose, it doesn’t matter exactly the finish. You can be satisfied knowing that all that hard work, you got to the pinnacle. You got to where you wanted to get to. You have the opportunity to compete for a Western Canadian title.”

Prince Albert Minor Baseball (PAMBA) is no stranger to hosting events at the last minute. The U18 AA Tier II provincials were held in Prince Albert earlier this year with limited notice.

PAMBA president Duane Kripp says the organization is excited to host a Western event.

“The fortunate thing for us is that we did host provincials here this year. So, we had basically all the organizational structure already in place and that was only a few weeks ago from when we hosted Provincials that the overall template is there.”

“We’ve done this already. This’ll be the third time that in short order that that we’ve had an opportunity to host a major tournament and have been able to put together. It really speaks to the resources that we have with our volunteer base and the cooperation that we get from the city of Prince Albert to make sure that our infrastructure and diamonds and everything are up and ready to go for these tournaments on a tight turnaround.”

The tournament will run from Friday, Sept. 1 through Sunday, Sept. 3