After the long road they had to travel to reach the provincial senior A baseball championship, the Estevan Tower Wolves made a quick exit.
The Wolves went winless at the weekend tournament in Carlyle, losing all three round-robin games and missing out on the playoffs.
The Saskatoon Diggers clobbered the host Cardinals 11-1 in five innings in the provincial final.
“Saskatoon pretty much cleaned up on everybody,” said Wolves coach Devin Aspinall.
Estevan’s weekend got off to a horrific start Saturday morning when the Lloydminster Blue Jays tagged them for six runs in the top of the first inning.
The Blue Jays, who play in the North Sask. River Baseball League, would go on to win 13-3.
“They had a bunch of singles, a home run and we had a bunch of errors,” Aspinall said of the first-inning debacle.
“After that happened it was tough to get back into it.”
On the bright side, Dylan Lafrentz cranked a three-run homer to account for the Wolves’ offence.
The second contest was a must-win against rival Carlyle, which won both regular season meetings between the two teams.
It started out well, with the Wolves jumping out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning, but the Cardinals whittled away at the lead to make it a one-run game.
They then exploded for seven runs in the fourth inning and it was all but over, with the hosts winning 11-6.
Aspinall said the loss was tough to take after a terrific start, especially against a team that they’d struggled with all season.
“It was really frustrating. Our pitching wasn’t terrible, it was just that they got on a hot streak and got rolling and there was nothing we could do to stop them.”
The final round-robin game was meaningless for Estevan and they were on the receiving end of an 11-2 blowout against the Diggers.
“We made it out of qualifiers and unfortunately we couldn’t pull it all together,” Aspinall said.
“We played some really good teams and there’s no shame in losing to them, but we would have liked to make the games closer.
“I’m not sure why. We thought we were ready to go. (I don’t know) whether it was the big stage and we couldn’t handle it, or just having a bad day.”
The Wolves finished tied for third in the Saskota Baseball League with a 9-7 record, but that wasn’t enough for Aspinall.
“It’s tough to say we’re satisfied. We didn’t come out with any results in the end even though our play was better the last few weeks.”
He said he was happy with the pitching staff this year, but the team’s performance at the plate needs work.
“We definitely need to improve on our offence (throughout the batting order). We’re pretty strong 1-4 but not really past that, not enough consistency.
“If we can do that, that’ll help. I think our pitching is good enough, but they’re always pitching down with no run support.”