The top four baseball teams from across Saskatchewan are in the Queen City for the 2018 Baseball Saskatchewan Senior AA Tier One Provincial Championships this weekend.

The Regina Trappers, Moose Jaw Padres, Marysburg Royals and Saskatoon Outlaws will all be taking part in the tournament.

“It gives them an opportunity to play at a really high level of ball after college, after the WMBL. It gives them an opportunity to be able to go and play in a tournament like westerns where you’re playing against the best players,” said Colin Back, the President of the Provincial Championships.

The tournament is a way to showcase baseball in Saskatchewan, and Trappers centre fielder and designated hitter, Ben Van-Iderstine, is happy to be back in Regina.

“I’ve been working and playing ball in Regina for the last 10 years, and this has just become my life. I’m comfortable here and I’m going to stay here for probably as long as I can,” says Van-Iderstine.

Originally from Regina, he spent eight years abroad, playing college baseball in the United States and even playing in some minor professional leagues. Van-Iderstine brought his passion for baseball back to Saskatchewan, but he says that commitment and a short baseball season is hindering growing the game here. He also hopes that showcases like the Provincial Championships with encourage kids follow in his shoes, to go south and try to build a career out of baseball.

"Every year there’s only a handful of kids that would actually try the college route and some of them go down for a year and they are just discouraged, and they come home and they are done,” said Van-Iderstine. “I think they just need to give it a shot and be patient and stick with it."

The final game of the tournament will take place on Sunday at one p.m. at Regina Optimist Baseball Park.

Based on a report by Madina Azizi