By Joel van der Veen
HANLEY — The Hanley Merchants went their whole first season without a single win.
In their second year, they showed modest improvement, winning two games.
So it was nothing short of a shock when the team, now renamed the Hanley White Sox, finished its third season by winning a provincial title.
The Sox defeated the Ponteix Pirates 6-5 on July 23 to win the Midget AA Tier 4 provincial championship.
“We didn’t expect that at all,” said Jason Bellina, the team’s head coach, adding that while the win was a surprise, the boys earned it just the same.
“It’s not like we’re a bunch of schmoes out there. They’re good ball players. It was fitting for them to win the whole thing.”
The midget team included 16 players, drawing from Hanley, Dundurn, Kenaston and Clavet, and played in the Saskatoon league.
All their games are played in the city, as Hanley’s diamonds aren’t in line with the league’s regulations.
The past season had been the team’s best yet, with three wins in the regular season and a brief run in league playoffs, where they reached the second round.
“They’re such a good group of guys,” said Bellina. “You could just see them getting better and better through the season.”
Initially they hadn’t planned to go to provincials, but later decided to take a stab at it.
“We figured, ‘Who knows? Let’s just see what we’re up against,’” Bellina recalled.
Midget AA Tier 4 provincials were held in Ponteix from July 21 to 23, beginning with round-robin play on Friday and Saturday. Six teams competed in two pools.
For the full story, please see the Aug. 14 edition of The Davidson Leader or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.