The Yorkton Cardinals took two steps back in the Western Major Baseball League standings last week with a 1-4 showing.
The Cardinals ended their week’s action with back-to-back home games against the Lethbridge Bulls. In the matches, they ran into hot pitching, especially from Dennis Neal in Game 1 as he pitched seven innings of shutout ball in Yorkton’s 5-0 loss. The Cardinals dropped the second one 6-2 after holding a two-run lead until the seventh inning.
“Their pitchers really played well,” said Cardinals head coach Bill Sobkow. “We had trouble getting anything going against the Bulls. They are a good team and had some strong performances from some of their go-to players.”
The Cardinals captured their lone victory of the week against the Moose Jaw Miller Express on Friday at Jubilee Park. Led by three runs apiece from Michael Meany and Matt Chavarria, Yorkton edged Moose Jaw 13-10.
The contest shouldn’t have been as close as it was, though. The Cardinals had a 12-3 lead after the seventh inning, but the Miller Express rallied to score seven runs in the last two frames.
“They made a late push, but we were able to hold them,” said Sobkow. “I was happy with our hitting that game. We had a couple innings where we scored a handful of runs that gave us some momentum.”
Anthony Martinez recorded his first win of the year in the match. He allowed three runs over six innings, struck out three, walked one and gave up seven hits.
The rival Melville Millionaires bested Yorkton 14-7 on Thursday to start their four-game home stand.
The Millionaires grabbed a stranglehold on the game early on by scoring eight runs in the first two innings. This ultimately sealed the Cardinals’ fate.
“They got off to a great start and we couldn’t come back from it,” said Sobkow. “Their bats were hitting well and you have to give credit to them. We did score five runs in the sixth inning, but it was too little too late.”
Giving up five runs throughout the fourth and fifth innings against the Weyburn Beavers on Tuesday, June 11 led to a 7-5 road loss for the Cardinals.
“We rallied near the end to bring the score within one at 6-5 at one point, but we couldn’t complete the comeback,” said Sobkow. “We almost tied the game 6-6 too, but our runner was thrown out at home plate.”
The Cardinals sit in fourth place in the East Division and ninth overall in the 11-team league with a 4-9 record.
Yorkton hosted the Regina Red Sox on Tuesday, June 18, but the score was not available for press time.
Following their home game, the Cardinals go on a four-game road trip starting on Wednesday against the Saskatoon Yellow Jackets. In the road trip, they play the 3-7 Yellow Jackets and the 1-12 Edmonton Prospects two times apiece. Despite the clubs’ poor starts to the season, Sobkow believes the road trip will be far from easy.
“They are better than their records,” he said. “Edmonton is in a tough Alberta division and Saskatoon has played some good baseball this year. Those will be some tough games. We can’t underestimate our opponents.”
Yorkton wraps up next week’s action at Jubilee Park on Sunday at 7:05 p.m. against Melville.