Smiles and laughter filled the red jersey-wearing players at Ross Wells Park as the Moose Jaw U18 AAA Canucks have possibly said goodbye for the season after a 9-6 win over the Swift Current 57s.

The second win in a row happened thanks to a pair of big innings with the bats. They exploded with six runs in the third inning and game themselves the insurance they needed with three more runs in the fifth.

In some ways, one can only help but wonder what the Canucks would have been able to do with a full season.

As it was, the Canucks will be able to rest on the 2020 season with a 5-13 record. The record will show that the teams that easily defeated the Canucks in the early going ended up on the losing end of the scores in the latter part of the season.

Normally a season in this AAA league will go for 30 games but the pandemic didn’t allow league games to take place until early July and even then against only teams from the southern half of the province.

Canucks head coach Ray Wareham praised Canucks starter Kyle Duncan, who went four innings of work and allowed only three hits and two walks, and centrefielder Cole Brietkreuz, who had a double and a triple and a pair of RBI.

“Cole had a good game today, we bumped him down in the order,” said Wareham. “He was getting frustrated with himself and it seemed to help a little bit. He had a good game and Nate (Nathan Varjassy) had a couple good games in a row with the sticks so that helps when you can get production from those guys. Our other guys were getting on and doing a job. We were pretty good defensively again so it’s a good way to end the last two games. Hopefully, now we can learn from our mistakes and be better next year.”

Breitkreuz was pleased with the way the Canucks ended the season. “I wasn’t hitting the ball the greatest the past couple of games, so I wanted to just keep my eye on the ball and just hit a couple and just go from there, and it turned out into a great team effort tonight,” he said.

Recovering from a separated shoulder, Evan Callaghan almost had enough in the tank in relief to complete the game but Wareham was wary of his pitch count. Kaleb Waller came on in relief to shut the door on a comeback attempt from Swift Current with the last out of the seventh.

Brietkreuz is already looking forward to the 2021 season.

“We’ve got a lot next year,” he said. “It’s going to be fun.”

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