Celebrating local talent, the Town of Unity happily welcomed 18U AAA baseball into their community once again this year.

Now, Tuesday night at 6:30 marks the final Saskatchewan Premier Baseball League "home game" in Unity for the regular season, with several local players helping make up the 18U AAA Zone 7 Sun Devils.

The zone based team was created about three years ago when Lloydminster left the SPBA. They shifted to playing out of Alberta, leaving a gap for the northwest.

"Left a pretty big hole on this side of the province." said Meadow Lake based coach Regan Beck, as after some deliberation with the league, the Sun Devils re-joined for 2023.  "We refer to ourselves as Zone 7, kind of our geographical region. We have players from all the way down in Rosetown, up to Meadow Lake, with hubs in the middle in the Unity, Wilkie area."

The local make-up of the team includes brothers Carter and Conner Ralston out of Unity, joined by Kayden Cey and Austin Sittler from the down the road in the Wilkie area. Rhett St. John out of Rosetown is the final local player, joining the rest of the Sun Devils roster with players also out of Meadow Lake, Edam, Maidstone, and a few from around Saskatoon.

Playing their home games on somewhat of a rotation, coach Beck shared more on their trips to west-central Saskatchewan.

"I think this will be our sixth home game in Unity this year. We had one (doubleheader), and we also had our home opener in Unity this year." said Beck.

The Sun Devils carry a tough 4-20 record into tonight's game. Despite their record, the west-central core has proved to be a key part of the team once again this year.

"We are a small team so everyone is critical, but especially when talking about Carter (Ralston) and Kayden (Cey), they have been the core of our group. Both league all-stars this year, and Conner (Ralston) was a rookie all-star this year." shared the coach. "A lot of representation from that area, a lot of good ball down there as well."

Ralston and Cey earned some extra recognition from the league, and for good reason. Both players are committed to play ball at the post-secondary level, committing to Dakota College in Bottineau, North Dakota.

With only a few weeks remaining with the current group, Beck gave his outlook on the rest of the season, with a look ahead to next year.

"It's been a growing process. I think we definitely improved from last year, and it's still growing. I think we have been more competitive all year, although the results have only been mildly better. I expect to see it growing more."

They are now set for a busy end to the 2024 campaign. 

"We have a lot of games, which is a challenge of course, but it also comes with an opportunity to get the bats a little hotter than they have been, and hopefully we get some rewards from that side of things."

While the Sun Devils likely won't have a spot, the 18U season ends with a provincial tournament down in Regina. Tuesday's game in Unity will be their first shot to end the season on a winning streak, and keep building into next year.