Shiretowners sweep to U15 Atlantic AA banner

by | Sep 20, 2022

Western Valley wins five straight at Atlantic in Charlottetown, to complete season with 17 wins in 20 games

The Western Valley U15 AA Shiretowners are Atlantic Canada baseball champions.
The Shiretowners brought home the Atlantic banner from last weekend’s tournament in Charlottetown, PEI, featuring the Atlantic Provinces’ four provincial champions.
The Shiretowners featured 11 rostered players born in 2007 or 2008. They competed in the U15 AA league over the summer and played exhibition games versus AAA teams.

The team boasted a 2022 regular season record of 15-1 versus AA teams while going 2-2 against AAA competition, for a cumulative season record of 17-3
Coach Aaron Lenehan indicated this was a strong team in both the hitting and pitching departments.
The Shiretowners featured impressive pitching, delivering an ERA of 2.453 and averaging 1.4 strikeouts per inning.

The team delivered a solid .304 average at the plate while demonstrating a keen eye, walking more than striking out.

To earn the bid to represent New Brunswick at the Atlantics, they finished 5-0 during Provincial play in Fredericton, Aug. 26-28. During the opening Round Robin play, they defeated Fredericton Blue Royals, 6-1, then the Miramichi Twins, 5-1 and the Moncton Cubs, 13-8.

In the Semis, Western Valley shut down Fredericton Grey Royals, 11-1.

“The finals against Port City Pirates was an exciting game,” said Lenehan. “It was a seesaw battle with five different lead changes. Our bats got hot as we were able to string together multiple hits, scoring seven runs in the top half of the final inning. Then our pitching and stellar defence were able to shut them down in the bottom half.”

The final score in the championship game was 12-5 but had been tied 5-5 going into the last inning.
This win took them to the Atlantics on September 16-18.

“The level of competition and quality of play was very high,” said Lenehan.
The Shiretowners didn’t miss a beat and went unbeaten in round-robin play.

The Shires opened against Nova Scotia with a 5-3 win. Next, they downed PEI 11-8 and followed that up with a 13-3 win over the host team. They closed the round-robin by edging Newfoundland and Labrador 9-7.
The championship saw Western Valley face Kings County, PEI Cubs.

“They were a very strong hitting and athletic group,” said Lenehan. “Given the quality of pitching both teams had left, we knew it was going to be a low-scoring affair with runs coming at a premium.”
Kings County struck first, scoring a run in the top of the third. The opponent’s starting pitcher neutralized Shiretowners’ hitting until they scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth to take the lead.

Western Valley held on to the lead in the final inning. The Cubs threatened in the top half of the seventh, with the bases loaded and two out. The Shiretowners induced a weak ground ball to secure the championship.

“It was a hard-fought, well-earned victory with contributions from every player, including nine different pitchers,” said Lenehan. “Every player had at least one hit, and every player contributed defensively. It was very much a team win.”
The overall summer record after the final Atlantic Championship was 27-3, with a .900 winning percentage.

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