Dylan Esau (left) was recently named the NSRBL's top pitcher as well as league MVP while his brother, Brett, was named the league's top batter.

The Meadow Lake Sr. Sox have one more crack at the bat this summer.

The Sox will be in Macklin this weekend (Aug. 5-7) to compete for the Tier 3 Senior Provincial Championship.
“We’re taking a little bit of a different team than we had during the regular (North Saskatchewan River Baseball League) season,” explained Sox player and team manager Alex Vidal. “A few of our guys didn’t want to play, so we picked up some guys from Mervin, a guy from Lloydminster and, of course, we’ll have some of our younger guys from Meadow Lake. It’s a development year for guys coming up, so this will be great experience for them.”

Last year, the Sox competed for and won the Tier 4 championship.

“This year we got bumped up to Tier 3, so we’re hoping we can have continued success,” Vidal continued. “We still have a decently skilled team. We may not be as skilled as we were at last year’s provincials, but I’ve seen it where the lesser skilled teams have done fairly well for themselves. You never know what will happen. If we get on a role and the bats get going the first few games, it will be interesting.”

Meanwhile, the NSRBL regular season wrapped up in July followed by playoffs that saw Meadow Lake eliminated in the first round by the Standard Hill Lakers.

“We ended up in fourth place heading into payoffs where we met Standard Hill,” Vidal said. “We had home field advantage in Game 1, but ended up losing by a score of 8-1. Considering the result, it was actually a much closer game than it sounds. We just couldn’t get the bats going.”

In Game 2, the Sox fell 7-3 in the best-of-three series.

“The game was tied 3-3 for three or four innings, but they scored a few more runs later on and we couldn’t catch up,” Vidal noted.

In spite of the team’s elimination, the NSRBL did recognize two Meadow Lake players – brothers Dylan and Brett Esau – with a series of accolades. Dylan Esau was named league MVP and top pitcher while Brett Esau was named the league’s top batter.

“Dylan’s pitching was unbelievable this year,” Vidal said. “He had a great year. It’s pretty nice to have a guy you can rely on to be that good for every game. Offensively, Brett was a really big help. Every team was scared to pitch to him. It’s also cool to see two brothers win these awards.”

by Phil Ambroziak