June 16th, 2024

Coyotes, Cougars set to clash in championship


By Lethbridge Herald on June 4, 2024.

Herald File Photo Chinook Coyotes Braden Gaskell slides back safely into first base ahead of the tag from Braden Nish of the Magrath Zeniths during varsity high school baseball action in this April file photo. The Coyotes will battle the Cougars for a APBL championship tonight.

By Justin Seward

Lethbridge Herald

It’s an all Lethbridge final between Catholic Central and Chinook tonight to see who will take home the Alberta Premier Baseball League championship for varsity hihg school  boys baseball.

Both teams haven’t played each other since the opening game of the season in which Catholic Central won.

“It’s another baseball game and the things that I preach as a coach, they kind of ride true and true through every game that  you play and I tell my guys that every single time,” said Chinook head coach Kale Penner.

“Just because it’s a playoff game, (it) doesn’t mean that our energy  should now all of sudden show up. It should be like that every single game and so nothing (is) really changing for us. We’re going to prepare the same way we have all year and basically hope that our guys come out with a tons of energy and if they do, then I think we have a really, really good shot  at winning (tonight’s) game.”

There will be many aspects the Coyotes will rely for success.

“If we can throw strikes on the mound, that’s square No. 1 of success,” said Penner.

“The second thing, I think, is just put pressure on the defence and put balls in play. (In) the last two games, we’ve done a phenomenal  job of throwing lots of strikes, getting ahead in counts and like I said putting pressure on the defence, putting balls in play and making other teams beat us with their defence ,instead of putting zero pressure with strikeouts and looking.”

Penner anticipates the game to be a pitching duo.

“I think both teams are probably going to be going  with their No. 1 guys on the hill, so it’s lining up to I guess  be a pitching duo,” said Penner.

“But sometimes when you say that it ends up being just a slug fest as well.”

The Coyotes defeat Medicine Hat High School and LCI on route to the championships.

“We have focused on just really maintaining status quo,” said CCH coach Anthony Vercillo, on preparation.

“Like I said, this team is very loose, been very supportive of each other and they truly want what’s best for each other.”

Vercillo wants the Cougars need to stick to what has given them success this season which is having patience and playing within themselves.

“I think these guys are quite good at letting the game come to them and not trying to force too much,” said Vercillo.

“We got a lot of baseball IQ on this team. They  understand the game, they understand the ebbs and flows in the game of baseball and that the key is (to)not get too high or too low during the flow of the game.”

Vercillo was asked about what it means to face Chinook.

“Obviously (it) might create a little more drama for the game (and) maybe a little more competitive spirit,” said Vercillo.

CCH had to beat Magrath and Monsignor McCoy to get to the championship game.

 Game time is 5:30 p.m. tonight at Lloyd Nolan Yard.

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