The Macklin Lakers will look to put together an unprecedented fourth straight senior provincial championship at home this weekend. After winning Tier 5 Senior provincials in 2018, and Tier 3 in both 2019 and 2021, the team is hungry for a fourth straight win, this time on home soil. Manager Derrick Lantz is feeling confident heading into the tournament.
“I'm sure we're prepared mentally and focused the way we need to be. We are going in there, winning it three years in a row, Tier 5 in 2018 and Tier 3 and 2019 and 2021. In my mind, I'd say the other teams coming in would probably say we're the favorite, right? But I mean you still have to play good baseball,” Lantz said.
The bats on the team were solid all year until the playoffs against Standard Hill, but Lantz feels they could break out again at any time.
“Offensively, our bats were good all year long up until that semifinal series against Standard Hill, but I think it was just in our guy's head. But I mean this tournament here being at home in front of our fans, I think that'll be a boost and a bonus for us, right? And it should be a good weekend and I hope we're ready to go, which I think we are, we have a good group of guys. It’s a young group, but we have some veterans who have played ball for a number of years, and they will lead the way” he said.
Lantz expects stiff competition heading into the tournament, especially from their opening opponent, the North East Red Sox.
“We play our first game at 6:00 o'clock Friday night against North East Red Sox, which in my mind, are a very good hitting team. They were at Davidson last year there, and I think they come up short. In my mind in our pool, I think they're the one of the strong teams to get that first win,” he said.
The action continues on Saturday for Macklin, as they play the Birch Hills Brewers at noon, and the Meadow Lake White Sox at 6:00 pm, both at Repsol Field.