The Yorkton Cardinals are off to another shaky start in the Western Major Baseball League, which sees them in the midst of a four-game losing streak and in the East Division basement, three games off the pace.
Regina sits atop the East with a .714 winning percentage seven games into their season. Both Melville and Weyburn are at .500, 1.5 back of the Red Sox, while the Cardinals are 2-5 for a .286 winning percentage.
Rain shortened Sunday’s game at Jubilee Park in Yorkton to only five innings, but it was enough for Melville to record a 4-0 win, all four runs coming in the fourth inning.
Clay Rideout threw all five innings for Yorkton giving up seven hits, four runs, three of those earned, and striking out three.
Blake Evetts was pitching a gem for the Mils, allowing only two hits in the win, and striking out seven.
Saturday the Cardinals were in Regina.
The host Red Sox scored a single run in the home half of the first inning, but the Cardinals responded with three in the second and one in the fourth to surge ahead 4-1.
The Sox, though, would not settle for a loss, scoring twice in the sixth, then adding three in the seventh for a 6-4 win.
Jeff Pool started the game and went six innings for Yorkton before Max Chadsey was handed the ball in relief.
Chadsey would last only two-thirds of an inning, allowing two hits and three runs, to be tagged with the loss.
The Cardinals had kicked off home action at Jubilee Park in Yorkton Friday night, hosting Melville in their first home game of the 2014 campaign.
The Millionaires struck hard and fast, plating eight in the first inning off starter Jamie Whitehead. Whitehead, who would take the loss, actually stuck around for seven innings, finishing with seven hits against while allowing eight runs, but only three of those earned, and striking out seven.
Meanwhile the Cardinal offence scratched their way back into the game, scoring four in the third, adding two in the sixth, and one in the ninth to make it an 8-7 game.
Catcher Georgie Santiago led the rally with a home run and four runs batted in.
Santiago said the game was one where defensive gaffs early cost the Cardinals, noting “a couple of errors in the first inning hurt us.”
In spite of being way down early, Santiago said the team settled down the rest of the way and almost completed the comeback. He said the team had nine innings to work with, so the key was trying not to do too much.
And that was the case of his home run. Santiago said “I was looking for a first pitch fastball, and got it right down the plate.”
Cardinal coach John McVey said he tried to just keep his team on task, chipping away at the Millionaires lead, reminding them that “there’s no such thing as an eight-run home run.
“We had to take it one hit at a time, one run at a time, and we did that.”
McVey did praise for Whitehead for having the tenacity to stick around for seven innings, adding had his pitch count not been up there, he might well have tossed the eighth too.
As for the opening inning, McVey said it was almost like home opener nerves got to his team, including his starter. “He got some pitches up and Melville didn’t miss them.”
The Cardinals are scheduled to play in Melville tonight to kick off a string of nine games in nine days.
Thursday Edmonton will visit Jubilee Park.
Friday Yorkton heads to Weyburn, with the Beavers repaying the visit Saturday.
Sunday Edmonton is again the visitor.
Monday the Cardinals head to Regina, before Yorkton hosts Moose Jaw Tuesday, then heads back to Regina next Wednesday (June 18), before finishing the run hosting Weyburn June 19.