For the first time in many years, the West Kootenay Little League championship was fought out between two Nelson teams.
Late last month the local house baseball season wrapped up in fine fashion with the Nelson Cardinals taking home the title with an 8-4 win over the Nelson Tigers at Queen Elizabeth Park.
The Cardinals got off to a strong start in the first inning when Jackson Hare hit a double off Tigers pitcher Kyein Evans that scored two runs. The Cardinals scored a total of four in the inning to jump out to a 4-0 lead.
In the bottom of the first inning, Cardinals pitcher Alec McMillan managed to get the first three batters to ground out thanks to stellar work by shortstop Kelton Forte, who threw out all three to preserve the early lead.
In the second inning Hare again knocked a double to drive in a run and Forte also scored to put the Cards up six. But the Tigers rallied in their at-bats when hits by Mike Zarikoff and Jacob Erickson helped score their team two runs.
In the third inning the Cardinals’ Matthew Bullen took a walk and managed to steal his way around the bases and score a run to put his team up 7-2.
There was no scoring in the third inning, but in the fourth Max Corinth scored for the Cardinals to give his team a comfortable 8-2 lead. In the bottom of the fourth, the Tigers closed the gap again when Eric and Nathan Gaffran both scored.
In the fifth and final inning Zarikoff came to the mound for the Tigers and struck out three batters to keep his team within striking range. But eight-year-old Forte came into the game as a closer and only had to throw 10 pitches as he struck out two and secured the victory and the West Kootenay championship.