August 24th, 2008

SOX WIN! SOX WIN! SOX WIN! These were the announcers words as the Parkland Whitesox became the first expansion team in NCABL history to win the league Championship with a 2-0 series sweep of the #3 ranked Legal Indians yesterday in Westlock. The Whitesox won game 1 by a final score of 14-0, and game 2 by a nailbiter score of 3-2 in extra innings.

Game 1 saw Jamie Cameron take to the hill to start, and just like last week's performance, he did not disappoint. Jamie went the distance in earning the complete game shutout while scattering 3 hits and striking out a handful. He continued his dominance over teams in the NCABL with a spectacular performance in shutting down the 2nd ranked offense in the league. And for a second straight weekend he was given solid run support throughout the game. The Sox started things off slowly by scoring 1 run in each of the first 3 innings before blowing the game wide open in the 4th inning by adding 9 more runs. Unlike last weekend the Whitesox didn't sit back on their laurels either, they continued to add another 2 runs in the final 3 innings to complete the 14-0 game 1 win. Parkland's offense seemed to be sparked by the return of their DH/2B Dale Ewart who hit 2 early homeruns to get things going. The rest of the team soon followed suit with everyone in the lineup finding a way on base.

In between games the NCABL gave out its annual awards, and although none of the Whitesox won any of the individual awards they managed to have a few members finishing a close second in 3 categories. Derek Ewart was 2nd in league MVP voting and also won the coveted title of "Triple Crown winner" by leading the league in batting average, homeruns, and RBI's. Brandon Strocki was 2nd in the Most Promising Junior category, and coach Doug Jones was 2nd in Manager of the Year voting. Congrats to all 3 guys on their great seasons and league wide recognition.

Aaron Huber got the nod for the Whitesox in Game 2 of the series, and much like Cameron in Game 1, he also did not disappoint. Huber threw the entire 10 inning game giving up only 2 runs while striking out about 15 batters. Simply put Huber was magnificent on the hill, and  he even factored into the outcome offensively as well with an RBI double in the bottom of the 6th inning that plated Brad Walde as the tying run. Unfortunately for the Sox their bats weren't firing on all cylinders as was the case in Game 1 earlier. Derek St. Laurent of Legal was untouchable for 5 complete innings before Parkland finally got a hold of him in the 6th with the tying run. But from that point on it seemed as though neither team was willing to throw in the towel in defeat. Both teams had their share of chances but timely defensive plays by both teams made short work of those. Shawn Ohman took over for St. Laurent, of Legal, in the 7th inning and baffled the bats of the league's top offense for 3 innings. It was only in the bottom of the 10th inning that things would change for Ohman and the Indians. Jamie Cameron was to lead off for the Whitesox and seemed to have a little extra hop in step on the way into the batters box. And on only the second pitch he saw from Ohman, Cameron decided to take the game into his own hands as he took a mighty cut at a piped fastball. The entire Whitesox dugout cleared onto the field as they heard the ball hit the bat. Even coach Doug Jones couldn't contain himself as he watched the fly ball sail over the left-center wall. Jamie Cameron had hit a "walk-off" solo homerun to clinch the series, in dramatic fashion, in the bottom of the 10th inning for the Whitesox. It was the perfect ending to a cinderella season for the expansion Sox, as they captured the 2008 NCABL Championship. Aaron Huber was selected as the LCS MVP for pitching 17 innings, recording 2 wins, and hitting over .500 in the 2 series'.

We here would just like to say thanks to the boys for giving us such a great inaugural season with so many memories! Congratulations to the 2008 NCABL Champion Parkland Whitesox, and we're already looking forward to Spring Training in 2009 and hopefully a title defense!

August 22nd, 2008

The wait is almost over. Final preparations take place tonight for the Parkland Whitesox, on the eve of game 1 of the NCABL Championship. Both teams are used to waiting a week in between games, but this one seems to feel a bit longer. With the series that seemed like it would never arrive, now only one night away, both teams are ready to get things started. The Whitesox will receive a boost to their already powerful offense they boasted in the semi-final series with the addition of infielder Dale Ewart, and catcher Kris Walde. Dale is currently hitting .400 on the season, and will bring even more power into an already dangerous lineup. In limited action this season, Walde is hitting .450, but has been an even more important anchor behind the plate. Game 1 gets underway at 1:00pm MT. Local television blackout will be in effect.

August 17th, 2008

The first day of the 2008 postseason has come and gone and the Parkland Whitesox have nothing but smiles on their faces as they swept the 1st place Edmonton Blackhawks in the best of 3 series, 2 games to 0. The Sox came into the NCABL Semi-Final series riding a 3 game win streak, scoring 48 runs during that stretch, and kept it going by adding another 2 wins to the total. Along with the 2 wins the Whitesox also continued to swing their hot bats winning the first game 10-1, and the second 5-2 over the stingiest defense in the league.

The first game, despite the score, was a hard fought battle by both sides. The Blackhawks jumped out to an early lead with a solo Homerun in the bottom of the 2nd inning. But that would be the end of their offense in Game 1 as Whitesox pitcher Jamie Cameron continued his dominance in the NCABL by going the distance and allowing only the one run while scattering 4 hits. The Sox took control of the game when they exploded for a massive 8 run inning in the top of the 4th, capped by a 2-run Homerun by shortstop Derek Ewart. The boys would later add another 2 runs for insurance in the 6th inning on their way to a 10-1 victory and a 1-0 series lead.

The second game saw Aaron Huber take to the hill for the Whitesox in an effort to close out the series. Once again the Blackhawks jumped out to an early lead, scoring 1 in the top of the 1st inning. However, the Whitesox took little time to respond thanks to another 2-run big fly by Derek Ewart. From that point on Huber settled down and found his rhythm. He only surrendered 1 more run to the Hawks while striking out 8 in 7 innings of work. Parkland would score a couple more runs in the 4th inning to take a 4-2 lead, and sealed the win with a solo Homerun by Jamie Cameron in the bottom of the 6th.

The boys now wait for the result of the other Semi-Final series that is currently being played between the 2nd place Mayerthorpe Mets and the 3rd place Legal Indians. The League Championship Series (LCS) will take place next weekend, August 23 & 24th, in Westlock. Game times will be at 1:00pm and 4:00pm on Saturday and 2:00pm, if necessary, on Sunday. Whether the season finishes with a league championship or not, the expansion Parkland Whitesox's first season in the NCABL has already been deemed a success by coach Doug Jones. He stated "I'm very proud of our boys this year. No one in this league expected us to do what we've done so far, and the boys deserve a huge pat on the back for that." We couldn't agree more with that statement and give our best wishes to the boys in their search for the championship next weekend. Good Luck Sox!

August 7th, 2008

Congratulations and welcome to the postseason boys! The whitesox finished their regular season with a convincing 18-0 win over the Edmonton Warriors last night at Spartan Park in Edmonton. Aaron Huber took to the hill for the sox and put in a gem of an effort in getting the win. He pitched 7 shutout innings while surrenduring only 5 hits and striking out 11. And for the 3rd game in a row the whitesox bats simply could not be silenced. They started out slow scoring only 4 runs in the first 2 innings but opened things up in the 3rd and 4th innings, and even hit through the lineup in the 4th. MVP candidate Derek Ewart continued to add to his league leading RBI total with yet another stellar day at the dish. After recent struggles at the plate Matt Jones seemed to find his stroke once again going 4 for 6 with 2 doubles and 4 RBI in the offensive win. All together the Whitesox bats are alive and swinging....... And right at perfect time as they now gear up for a best of 3 playoff series with either the Mayerthorpe Mets or Edmonton Blackhawks.

The post season will begin next weekend, August 16th & 17th, in Westlock with both the 1 vs 4, and 2 vs 3 series' taking place. The semi-final weekend is an annual tradition in Westlock as they typically host the event during their annual Agri-Fair Days. Fan turnout is expected to be at a season high in Westlock as the best of the best in the NCABL make their way to the town for the weekend. For those of you looking to go and cheer on our own Parkland Whitesox be prepared to pay about $5/game to be in attendance.

July 31st, 2008

The goal of making the playoffs is near reality for the Parkland Whitesox. They started the season with a win over the Camrose Axemen, and a win over those same Axemen tonight has put them within reach of their goal. The Sox scored early and often against the Camrose, jumping out to an 8-0 lead by the end of the 2nd inning. After it was all said and done, Camrose was officially eliminated from playoff contention, and the Sox had an 18-4 win. Like Ziprick has done the previous game, Aaron Huber stepped up and threw a complete game to get the win. Huber, who has been plagued by shoulded trouble this season, was called upon to get the start and delivered the biggest win of the season for the Sox. At the plate, All-Star, and league mvp candidate Derek Ewart continued to add to his league leading total by hitting his 11th and 12th homeruns of the season. Parkland was again solid defensively, with Drew Ziprick continuing his strong play in the field, making a number of outs at 3rd base.

After Mondays action was rained out, the Whitesox will have to wait to find out if the pack will now catch up to them, as they have taken sole posession of 3rd place with Westlock and Legal having a game in hand. Next up for the Whitesox is the season finale against the Edmonton Warriors. Pitcher Jamie Cameron is hoping to be back for the crucial game, but it is not yet known if he will be healthy enough to play. The Warriors currently sit at 8-8, and it is a game the Sox have vowed not to take lightly. A win next Wednesday will clinch a playoff spot, with a first round series beginning August 16th.

July 30th, 2008

The Parkland Whitesox have inched one step closer to a playoff birth in their inaugural NCABL season. A 13-5 win over the Athletics has kept them with the pack, and in a 3 way tie with Legal and Westlock, with only 2 games and 2 playoff spots remaining. Although the win was a lopsided one, the Sox benefitted from a number of Edmonton errors that prolonged innings and scored them a few unearned runs. Parkland admits they will need to be better in order to run the table and qualify for the playoffs. Defensively Stony put in as solid of an effort as they have all year, which bodes well for the tight games they will no doubt be involved in down the strecth. Drew Ziprick went the distance, picking up his second win in as many outings.

The Sox now need to win their two remaining games inorder to clinch a spot in the post season. 2 wins will be no small task, as the Sox first face off against the Camrose Axemen, then close out the regular season against the Edmonton Warriors. The Axemen got off to a league worst 1-6 start, but have gone on a scorching 7-2 tear since then. While the playoffs do not seem likely, they are mathametically still in the hunt and will no doubt come into Centennial Park and put up a fight. Matt Jones or Aaron Huber will likely pick up the start after all star pitcher Jamie Cameron left a weekend game with a lower body injury. He is not expected to be in the lineup, and will be re-evaluated next week.

Stony will likely be glancing at the scoreboard this week, as the schedule could do them some favors. Legal has 2 games remaining against the league leading Blackhawks, and the team they are fighting to get into the playoffs, the Westlock Red Lions. Although a 2 losses by either Westlock or Legal would help the Whitesox chances, the Sox control their own destiny and can advance by winning their next two games.

July 23rd, 2008

The 2008 NCABL Allstar game has come and gone with the Division I Allstars winning a tight game 5-4. Whitesox pitcher Jamie Cameron got the start for the Div II Allstars and pitched 2 scoreless innings while striking out 4. He also went 1 for 3 with a single at the dish. Catcher Brandon Strocki, who also got the start, played 4 innings going 1 for 1 with a walk. Centerfielder Brad Walde also got the starting nod and played in all 7 innings going 0 for 3 with a walk as well. When asked how he felt the game went Walde replied "It was a lot of fun playing with some of the other guys in the league. We had a great time and met some good ball players." Walde also commented on the fan turnout in Legal saying "The bleachers were almost full and there were even more people sitting down the baselines watching. It was really great to see such a strong fan showing from the people of Legal."

Now the Sox have the next 6 days off to prepare for a big week with 2 key games against the Edmonton Athletic's and Camrose Axemen. With only 3 games to go in the regular season every game is critical. The Whitesox currently sit in a 3 way tie for 3rd place with the Legal Indians and Westlock Red Lions, with the Camrose Axemen only 1 game back.

The game against the Edmonton A's will take place Tuesday July 29th at Spartan Park in Edmonton, while the game versus the Camrose Axemen will take place Thursday July 31st at Centennial Park in Stony Plain. The Camrose game will be the last home game of the season for the Whitesox so make sure to come out and support our boys! Game time for both games is 7:15pm.

The Sox then finish the regular season in Edmonton versus the Warriors on August 6th.

July 18th, 2008

The NCABL All-Star votes are in and the Parkland Whitesox will be sending 5 players to the midseason classic. The game will be played Tuesday July 22nd in Legal at Citadel Park. Shortstop Derek Ewart and catcher Brandon Strocki were both voted in as starters while centerfielder Brad Walde, second baseman Dale Ewart, and pitcher Jamie Cameron round out the reserves for the Whitesox. Congrats to all 5 guys on their All-Star selections and good luck on Tuesday in Legal.

July 17th, 2008

The Parkland Whitesox head into the 2008 All-Star break with a 9-6 record and currently sit in 3rd place in the NCABL. With only 3 games to go in the regular season every win is vital if the Sox are to clinch a playoff spot. Last night the Whitesox suffered a hard fought loss to the Mayerthorpe Mets by a score of 4-2 in Mayerthorpe. Once again Jamie Cameron turned in a jewel of a performance on the hill, but for the first time in the last 6 games the run support was simply not there for him.

With the loss the Whitesox record falls to 9-6 while the Mets jump to 10-5. Both teams trail the Edmonton Blackhawks at 11-2, while Legal and Westlock sit tied for 4th with identical 8-6 records.

Following the All-Star break the Sox finish the season with games against the Edmonton A's, Camrose Axemen, and Edmonton Warriors. Both games against the Edmonton teams are in Edmonton while the last home game of the season is set to take place Thursday July 31st against Camrose.


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