When it comes to the Western Major Baseball League, the Melville Millionaires certainly have the Yorkton Cardinals’ number this season.
The rival teams met four times this past week, and Melville captured three-of-four.
The week leaves Yorkton with a 7-17 record, in the WMBL East Division 11-games back of Division-leading Regina, who have a 17-5 record, the best in the league.
Melville sits second, three games off the pace, while Weyburn is 10-back, a full game up on Yorkton for the final playoff spot in the Division.
On Sunday, the Cardinals hosted Melville for a Canada Day contest.
Yorkton managed only one run off Millionaires’ starter Allen Rimer and lost the contest 4-1. Rimer went the distance scattering eight hits, and allowing only the one run.
Logan Hershenow started for Yorkton and took the loss throwing five innings. He gave up seven hits and the four runs, all of them earned.
A night earlier, things were not even as close at Pirie Field as the host Mills clobbered the Cardinals, 14-4.
Yorkton actually took an early lead in the game scoring two in the second inning, but Melville would record 15 hits, four walks and three Cardinal errors and turn them into 14 runs. Five Millionaires would have multi-hits games.
Cardinal manager Bill Sobkow said the team needs to find their bats.
“We played OK, but we can’t win,” he said. “We’re playing better. Our defence has shored up pretty good, and our pitching was fine.”
Sobkow said Hershenow “was disappointed” being lifted from the game, but added he had his pitcher on an 80-pitch count in the game, coming off a 120-pitch effort on the team’s recent Alberta road swing.
Sobkow said the issue comes down to hitting, noting the Cardinals have a team batting average about 100-points lower than other WMBL teams, and that is a huge margin to overcome.
Friday in a make-up game, also at Pirie Field, Yorkton managed their lone win, a 7-5 contest with Bryce Manning getting the win based on two innings of relief work.
Mike Perry, who has since left the Cardinals to go home, was the offence with three hits, including a home run, and five runs batted in.
Last Tuesday in Yorkton Melville scored a run in the first inning to establish a lead they would not relinquish on their way to a 7-3 win.
Rimer earned the win for Melville in this one as well, starting and going six innings, allowing four hits and three runs, two of those earned. He struck out seven.
Donahoo was tagged with the loss based on a five inning start with which he allowed 10-hits, and six runs, five of this earned.
Sobkow termed the week’s efforts against Melville as “very, very discouraging,” but added he had to credit the Millionaires. “… At the same time obviously they’re playing some very good ball.”
Monday the Cardinals were in Moose Jaw and through six innings led the Miller Expresses 4-3.
But a four-run seventh inning by the host team turned the tide, giving Yorkton a 7-4 win.
Dylan Tye was the Yorkton starter going 6.2-innings, giving up six hits and seven runs, but only two of those earned, on a night the Cardinals committed three errors.
Brayson Colley did swipe his league-leading 18th stolen base of the season for Yorkton.
The Cardinals were scheduled to host Regina in an evening doubleheader Tuesday, but results were not available at press time.
Yorkton hits the road for four games this week, visiting the Red Sox in Regina Wednesday and Saturday, with Weyburn Thursday and a visit to Moose Jaw Friday.
The local team is back at Jubilee Park to host Saskatoon Monday, Weyburn Tuesday, and Melville next Wednesday.
Sobkow said the Cardinals need wins.
“Absolutely it’s desperation time,” he said.