The Montreal Metropolitan Baseball League (MMBL) playoffs got into full swing last week with no less than four area inter-city AA teams qualifying to play for city championships.
The peewee minor (first-year players) Lakeshore-Trois Lacs Yankees, bantam minor Lac St. Louis Cardinals, peewee major (second-year players) Lac St. Louis Cardinals and midget Lakeshore-Trois LacsYankees each participated in best-of-five series that began on or close to Labour Day.
Heading into last night’s game four of their series against Laurentides West, only the midget Yankees remained alive. Head coach Fred Majeur’s troops trailed two games to one. A possible game five is scheduled to take place tonight. Meanwhile, head coach Steve Shelton’s peewee minor Yankees lost in three straight games to the Governors while head coach Matt Klemm’s bantam minor Cards dropped three straight games to Laval. Robert Litvack’s peewee major Cards battled tough against a pesky Montreal team, but in the end, could not prevail. The Cards came back from a 1-0 deficit in the series to take the next two games by 8-7 and 4-2 scores before losing game four on Sunday afternoon by a score of 13-2. In a fifth and deciding game on Monday night, the Cards came up on the short end of a 3-2 decision to drop the series.
It was the second consecutive appearance in an MMBL final for a Litvack-led Cardinals peewee major team. “When we win it’s all because of the players,” said Litvack. “When we lose though, it’s all the coach’s fault. I guess that after all these years coaching peewee, I’ve got the system down. But still, despite the fact we lost the series, this was a very talented group. In terms of pure talent, this team was phenomenal.”
The appearance in the final capped off a wonderful season for the Cards, who also finished first in the regular season with a 21-4-2 record. It was the first time a Cardinals peewee major team had ever captured a regular season title. “Nothing really ever got to this team all year,” said Litvack. “They really handled pressure very well.”
The Yankees dropped game one of their series by a 4-3 count before coming back to take game two 7-5. They dropped game three 10-2 on Sunday afternoon.
Diamond note: One of the major contributors to the peewee major Cardinals this season was Mitchell Silver, who besides enjoying a solid playoff had a phenomenal national tournament in August as part of Team Quebec. He received awards for best pitcher and best hitter for the tournament and had the most hits in four of the six games he played. He was selected to the tournament all-star team as a pitcher and chosen as Team Quebec’s Most Valuable Player.