Despite a couple of strong performances, the Yorkton Bantam ‘AA’ Cardinals are 0-4 after four losses this past weekend to the Moose Jaw Mallards (14-10, 13-2) and Regina Buffalos (11-4, 5-4) on Saturday and Sunday.
In Moose Jaw
On Saturday the Yorkton Bantam ‘AA’ Cardinals kicked off their 2014 season in the Baseball Regina Bantam ‘AAA’ League on the road against the Moose Jaw Mallards for a two game set.
Owen Shirtliffe shouldered the loss in Game One against Moose Jaw in just 0.2 innings of work. However it was not his fault as the entire team channeled their inner Toronto Blue Jays and fell apart in the sixth inning, allowing the Mallards to score eight times.
Offensively the Cardinals were led by the combination of Kaito Farquharson and Jordan Evans.
Evans went 3-for-4 at the dish with four RBI’s in Game One while Farquharson drove in a pair of runs and went 2-for-2in the game while reaching base on every plate appearance as he was plunked twice by Mallard pitching. Three of those times he came around to score.
Game Two was a little tougher for the Cardinals as they just couldn’t seem to get on track. The Mallards poured on the pressure, eventually running away with the game via a 13-2 score.
Taking the loss for the Cardinals was Evans who struggled with his control, striking out eight but walking five over just four innings of work.
The two game series was something of a Jekyll and Hyde situation in which the Cardinals played strong baseball in one game only to turn in a monstrously bad performance in the next; something head coach Kevin Shirtliffe felt might have been because of the sixth inning collapse in Game One. “The first game we played really well. We came out, got an early lead and held it right through five innings and then had a bit of a break down and gave up a big eight run inning and couldn’t recover from that,” mentioned Shirtliffe. “Our second game I felt the guys didn’t play quite as well, I don’t know if they were a little deflated after letting that first one get away from them or what it was but we just didn’t seem to have the effort or the hustle we had in the first game.”
Run over by Buffalos
The Bantam Cardinals were back at it on Sunday. Fresh off a pair of stinging losses to the Moose Jaw Mallards, the Cardinals looked to rebound against the Regina Buffalos.
However a rebound was not to be as the Buffalos proved terrible hosts, downing the Cardinals 11-4 and 5-4 to drop the Cards’ record to 0-4 early in the season.
Grady Hawkins got the ball for the Cardinals in Game One and, despite a good performance, was issued the loss after four tough innings of work in which he walked just two Buffalo batters and struck out four in the 11-4 defeat.
Jordan Evans once again led the offence for the Cardinals, going 2-for-3 with two RBI’s and one run scored.
Game two was much closer, however the Cardinals still came out on the losing end of a tight 5-4 score.
Cardinals ace Kaito Farquharson took the loss despite a stellar outing in the second game in Regina.
Evans was again the offensive catalyst for the Cardinals driving in all four Yorkton runs in the game while Zachary Goulden-Maddin also had a strong game offensively going 3-for-3 with two runs scored.
And while the four games didn’t exactly go according to Cardinals’ plans there were still some standout performances. Most notable was the offensive clinic put on by Cardinals slugger Jordan Evans who went a collective 8-for-12 on the weekend and picked up 11 RBI’s, including a monstrous homerun in the second game against Regina.
Another strong performance came from the deceptively skilled Kaito Farquharson on the mound. Farquharson, the ace of the Bantam Cardinals pitching staff, went 6.2 innings against Regina, walking three batters and striking out six in a losing cause.
Farquharson also pitched in the first game on Saturday against Moose Jaw, walking just two batters while striking out seven in just 2.2 innings of work. “Kaito is doing exactly what we expected him to do,” mentioned the Bantam Cardinals bench boss Shirtliffe. “We knew he was going to be a leader on the team and be our ace. We knew we were going to lean on him and we did in Regina and he came through with flying colours.
“He pitched really well and even in the game before that when he wasn’t on the mound he was playing great defence. He’s doing what we expected him to do and I’m really impressed with his play.”
Another player that caught not only Shirtliffe’s eye by the eyes of everyone in attendance was Jordan Evans. “Jordan is doing what I thought he was going to do this season as well. He started out on opening weekend strong hitting the homerun. He’s hands down leading the team in RBI’s after four games. His bat is really impressive.”
The Yorkton Bantam Richardson ‘AA’ Cardinals will be back in action this weekend when they welcome the visiting Swift Current Indians for four games, two each on Saturday and Sunday at Jubilee Park.
Game One on both Saturday and Sunday will start at 1:00p.m. with Game Two on each day starting at 4:00p.m.