The 18U Northwest Prairie Pirates racked up the stats with a season full of hot bats.
Pirates took fourth place in the Saskatchewan Premier Baseball League (SPBL) losing out to the Saskatoon Diamondbacks in the North Division quarter finals.
Dan Keck, Head Coach and Manager, mentioned his players improved enough to lead the league in many ways.
“A lot of our second years, they had some rough seasons last year and came out and were leaders on our team this year.”
The Pirates finished the regular season at 8-10 surpassing last year’s record of 5-30.
“It was interesting because with COVID it was a shortened season,” said Keck.
The number one thing for the players to work on is a difficult-to-teach task for the coaching staff, stated Keck.
“We hadn’t been to playoffs in three seasons so none of these kids had played playoffs. It was good for the young kids to see another level. I think our kids were just a little bit not ready. They weren’t ready to play the top nine.”
After the numbers his team put up this season, Coach Keck noted his thrill for next year’s lineup.
“Just looking forward to seeing all the kids that have improved so much this year. Hopefully they really improve this off season.”
Keck believes his team may have been the second best in the SPBL on the bats after looking at the stats.
“I think naturally we’re a pitching team but i’m not a pitching coach so we focused a lot on hitting.”
At the end of their season 10 out of 17 players had an on-base percentage over (OBP) .400.
Names in the lineup that stood out to Keck include Brendan Hamilton, Kelton Hanley, Cam Pero, Logan Schmaal, and Dray Souchotte.
Rookie Brendan Hamilton surprised Keck by leading the league late in the season with a .476 batting average (BA), .529 OBP, and 1.120 on-base plus slugging (OPS) percentage.
“He kinda struggled at the start and then his last two or three weekends he just went off and nobody could get him out,” said Keck.
Kelton Hanley batting in the lead off spot majority of the year had a .510 OBP.
Keck stated Hanley was “…hands down the best defensive short stop in the league.”
Cam Pero lead all rookies across the SPBL in plate appearances finishing with a .500 OBP.
Pirates catcher Logan Schmaal had an impressive .435 batting average (BA) for the second year in a row.
Dray Souchotte’s hot hands posted an on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS) over .1000.
Souchotte was also the Pirate’s ace pitcher all season with a estimated run average (ERA) just over 4.00.
The Pirates also led the league in steals with 44 bases in 18 games.
Center fielder, Carter Johnson, led the Pirates in steals by going 8 for 8 on the season.
Although this years team was a strong front, nine players will be dropping off the roster.
“We kinda gotta rebuild and start again next year,” stated Keck.
The team will be looking to get players from Lloydminster and the surrounding area while continuing to work on their current sluggers.