A pair of local Cal Ripken minor teams headed to Castlegar this past weekend for the annual Sunfest Tournament and the Nelson Cardinals came away with the title.
The Cardinals won all three games it played in the double elimination tournament, including a 10-9 nail biter against their hometown rival Nelson Tigers to win the 9 to 10-year-old event.
In the contest between the two Nelson teams, the Cardinals started off with scoring four runs in the first inning with key hits by Seamus Boyd and Kelton Forte knocking in two runs with a single. Boyd pitched the first two innings giving up only one run. After two innings the game was 5-1 favouring the Cardinals. An error and a hit by Tenzin Mint resulted in three runs scored for the Tigers in the third to make the game 5-4.
A double by Kaliana Forte — who scored three runs for the Cardinals — knocked in David Snell and a successful steal of home by Kaliana Forte in the fourth made the game 8-4 Cardinals. In the bottom of the inning, a double by Noah Quinn knocked in two runs and then another double by Matti Erickson drove in two more runs before he was thrown out at third base by Tigers center fielder Snell for the third out making the score 8-8 going into the final inning.
At the top of the final inning, Kelton Forte took a base on balls and stole second, third, and home for the go-ahead run. Adi Manhah stole home for the final Cardinals’ run to make the score 10-8 going into the bottom of the inning.
Kelton Forte pitched the final inning giving up a hard single by the Tiger’s Mint who stole around the bases to score a run making it 10-9. Kelton Forte then forced a grounder to first for the first out and then stuck out the last two batters to seal the win for the Cardinals who improved their overall team record to 14-2 for the season.
Earlier in the day, the Cardinals beat a strong Beaver Vally team 7-4 behind solid base running by the team, timely hitting by Josh Creek, and excellent pitching by Camryn Parnell and Kelton Forte who held them to one run in two innings.