2013 Season

Championship Final Goes the Distance

The Westlock Red Lions dominated the Blackhawks in game 1 of the Championship Series held at Wally Footz Field in Edmonton on Saturday, handing them a 10-3 defeat. The Red Lion bats were alive as Matt Kukovica allowed 10 hits while the Blackhawks committed four errors further dampening the Blackhawk starter’s effort at containing the hungry Lions. Kris Johnson of the Red Lions allowed only 3 runs to score on 3 Blackhawk hits while the Red Lions committed but one error. In game 2 of the Series, the table was turned as the Blackhawks pummeled Sean Beaudoin for 11 hits on their way to a commanding 7 – 0 victory over the Red Lions. Starter Regan Hoet was pulled after only three innings of work with the Blackhawks leading, denying him the victory. Mike Holroyd who replaced him and threw well for the Blackhawks was credited with the win. With the Championship Final Series deadlocked at one game apiece, these two quality ball clubs filled the summer air with the crack of the bats once more on Sunday to decide who would be taking home the treasured hardware along with the accompanying bragging rights. Regan Hoet, who had a loss to his record in the post-season semi-final series despite having given up only one earned run over nine innings pitched, was given the task of facing veteran starter Adam Sawatzky of the Red Lions. Hoet did not disappoint by going the distance in game 3, giving up only three hits while striking out six on his way to a complete game 7-1 victory over the defending League Champions. Although the Red Lions turned two double plays in consecutive innings to start the game, their bats were no match against the barrage they faced from a hot Blackhawk line-up led by Eric Campbell (3 for 4) with heavy support from Ewanishan, Holroyd, Jennings, and Martel who each contributed two hits in the final contest. Sawatzky was replaced by Aaron Watamaniuk in the fifth, one of the Red Lion’s most prolific hitters with a post-season average of .461, who shut down the Blackhawks for the balance of the game. The damage was done, however, as the Blackhawks prevailed 7 -1 over the Red Lions to capture their second franchise championship having previously won in 2005.

For complete game results go to schedule and scroll down to post-season 2013.

Red Lions and Blackhawks Rebound Ousting Axemen and Athletics

Local baseball fans who attended the annual Semi-Final Series in Westlock this past week-end were thoroughly entertained by four clubs who all deserved to be there. In Series A, the Axemen played a strong opening game against the Red Lions defeating them 3 – 0 before dropping a more lopsided affair in game 2 of that series. The stage was set for a thrilling third and deciding game, one which saw Red Lion pitcher Sean Beaudoin go the distance as the Red Lions narrowly defeated the pennant champions from Camrose by a score of 3 -2. In Series B, the drama began early in game one with the Athletics leading the Blackhawks by a single run late in the game. With their backs against the wall in the bottom of the seventh, Martel drew a base on balls which was followed by a single from Knoll and an RBI single from Gregg to score Martel and push that game into extra innings. Six excellently played innings followed by both clubs until the thirteenth when both Demchuk and Kenyon singled for the Athletics. In an unsuccessful attempt to end the inning with a double play on Kenyon and Kirwor, Demchuk scored and the Athletics went on to win a thrilling opener. Sunday’s stage was set when the Blackhawks responded with a game 2 victory behind the masterful pitching of Matt Kukovica. When the scoreboard flashed the score after game three, fans also saw Matt Kukovica atop the mound with hands raised in victory after having thrown fourteen innings of baseball and having allowed only 7 hits along the way. The hard fought 2 -1 victory was largely his doing, but key hits by Gregg, Reschny, Campbell, and Ewanishan sealed the deal for an experienced Blackhawks club who prevailed against a younger but very talented club from Sherwood Park.

For the complete results and for the League Championship Final Series schedule click onto “schedule” and scroll down to “post-season 2013”.

Lucky fan asked to contact NCABL Office

During the deciding game of Series B between the Edmonton Blackhawks and Sherwood Park Athletics a rain delay resulted in many fans leaving the park prematurely. After a brief delay play resumed and the fans who remained witnessed the conclusion to a fine baseball game won by the Blackhawks 2-1 over the Athletics. One fan with ticket number 439282 left without collecting a prize which the NCABL will honour until August 31 If you are the holder of this lucky number and can produce it as validation, please contact the NCABL Office without delay. Axemen Capture Second Consecutive Pennant

The 2013 NCABL pennant race went wire to wire this season with three clubs emerging from the regular season with identical 13 and 5 records. With the pennant as the prize, the Blackhawks and Axemen met face to face on the last day of the regular season to do battle. Two crucial errors in the first inning by the Blackhawks allowed the Axemen to score three early runs and go on to post a 5 – 1 victory over the Blackhawks on their home field. The win propelled the Camrose Axemen to their second consecutive pennant and dropped the Blackhawks to second place and the Sherwood Park Athletics to third in the ten club League. The Westlock Red Lions were the fourth and final club to qualify for the post-season. The Axemen began the season by posting only two victories in their first six regular season games. Camrose caught fire after that closing their season with 11 victories while dropping only one game during that stretch.

For the complete results and for the League Championship Final Series schedule click onto “schedule” and scroll down to “post-season 2013”.

Sunny Skies Prevail for 2013 All-Star Game

The Big League Sports All-Stars took to the field at Centennial Park with a complete roster featuring some of the best players, voted and selected, from the Red Lions, Blackhawks, Cardinals, Warriors, and Indians. Despite a depleted roster due to several no-shows, the Beverly Optimist All-Stars battled hard for five innings and only trailed by two runs (5-3) going into the sixth. The Beverly Optimist All-Stars even added a run in their half of the sixth but could not hold the surging Big League All-Stars who amassed seven runs during a huge sixth inning rally to secure the victory. The final score: Big League All-Stars 12 and the Beverly Optimist All-Stars 5. Jason Louis of the Indians earned MVP of the Game honors going three for four on the night including a triple, two RBI’s and three runs scored. Following the game, Commissioner Riopel expressed some disappointment over the fact that several Beverly Optimist All-Star selections had recanted without giving proper notification to League Office which would have given the League time to find replacements. “It is unfortunate that the Beverly Optimist All-Stars were forced to play at a disadvantage tonight”, commented the Commissioner. “This is not to say”, he continued, “that the Big League All-Stars were not fully deserving of their victory. They played very well and were definitely the better club on this night.” Also honoured in a pre-game ceremony were umpires David Skuban and Jim Crawford who both received five-year service recognition awards. Commissioner Riopel noted that the NCABL’s core of umpires are examples of reliability and dedication to the game of baseball while exhibiting an unquestioned knowledge of the rules of the game.

Ken Schultz Memorial Award To Be Presented Next Month

Although Ken Schultz passed away years ago, the 34 year old umpire left this earth with a passion for the game and an even greater passion for umpiring. His perseverence through the pain and suffering of his lingering condition is what we will remember from Ken’s passage in the NCABL. The Barrhead native may have lost his own personal battle, but he left us with the inspiration to serve with a steadfast determination despite the obstacles. The Ken Schultz Award was established by the NCABL and continues to be supported by the Schultz family to recognize dedicated and longtime service to the great game of baseball in the North Central Alberta area. It recognizes individuals who have impacted the game and the young men who play it, be it through their financial support, time committed to managing or coaching or umpiring or building. These individuals exist because if they didn’t the game would not have survived and thrived in this part of the world. They are the individuals who probably go about giving to the game without seeking praise nor recognition. They are the pillars of our baseball community, both past and present. Honoring them in a special way by taking the time to nominate them for the Ken Schultz Memorial Award is but a small gesture of appreciation for what these individuals have done for the development of our sport and for the young men who have been positively influenced and molded into strong citizens along the way. Resumes should be mailed or E-mailed to League Office without delay.

The Best Are Voted in as 2013 All-Stars

Each year, Managers and Coaches from across the League vote for the ten players they deem to be the very best at their respective designated positions. These positions include the All-Star battery, five infield and three outfield positions along with a utility position. A utility player must exhibit a higher than average skill set at more than one position. The North Central Alberta Baseball League has released the names of the all-star players voted to the ten qualifying positions. Other players to a maximum of fifteen players per club will be “selected” by the respective All-Star Managers and their coaching staffs. The entire All-Star club rosters will be released shortly afterwards on this website. Congratulations to the following players who will be representing their respective All-Star clubs on Tuesday, July 23rd, during the annual All-Star Game.

PositionPlayerHome ClubAll-Star ClubBallots
PitcherMatt KukovicaBlackhawksBig League Sports30
CatcherTJ OliwaRed LionsBig League Sports35
First baseJason LouisIndiansBig League Sports40
Second baseRyan GreggBlackhawksBig League Sports25
Third baseDustin ReschneyBlackhawksBig League Sports25
ShortstopPaul OfrimAxemenBeverly Optimist30
OutfieldEvan HoffmanWarriorsBig League Sports30
OutfieldRyan DemchukSh. Pk. AthleticsBeverly Optimist25
OutfieldRyan LysterMetsBeverly Optimist20
UtilitySean BeaudoinRed LionsBig League Sports45

Manager Adam Sawatzky of the Westlock Red Lions will be in charge of the Big League Sports All-Stars with assistance from the coaching staff of the Blackhawks, Cardinals, Warriors, and Indians. Brett McElroy will assume management duties for the Beverly Optimist All-Stars assisted by coaches from the Axemen, Mets, Edmonton Athletics, and Paladins. All selections by management must abide by NCABL guidelines which stipulate that all clubs must be represented on an All-Star club by at least one player. A second guideline limits the number of innings that any pitcher can pitch in an All-Star Game to two innings.


The Big League Sports All-Stars proved to be too much for the Beverly Optimist All-Stars to handle as they downed the latter by a score of 12-5 in the 2013 All-Star Game.


The Beverly Optimist All-Stars, although underrepresented, gave their rivals a few tough innings during the annual All-Star tilt held at Centennial Park and hosted by the Sherwood Park Athletics.