Friday November 28, 2014

Cardinals starting to find their groove

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Matt Collier (36) and Cardinals coach John McVey welcome go out to congratulate Zach Mihic after the diminutive Cardinal smacked his second homerun of the season in Thursday’s 9-2 win over Edmonton.

The Yorkton Cardinals of the Western Major Baseball League are supposed to be wrapping up nine games in as many days, but rain wreaked havoc upon outdoor sports schedules across the province in recent days.

As a result Friday’s Cardinal visit to Weyburn was postponed until July 11, and Saturday’s game with Weyburn scheduled for Yorkton was also washed out, but a date has not been posted for the make-up encounter.

Cardinal coach John McVey said the inclement weather makes it hard on a team’s offence.

“You can’t come out here and hit or anything,” he said, noting after Sunday’s action it had been three days without a bat in hand for his players.

It might not sound like a lot, but he said timing is essential to hitting and it’s hard to keep timing intact when you are not seeing live pitching every day.

McVey said that is one thing about the WMBL and its busy schedule, “guys have got to be ready every day,” even on those cloudy mornings when it is uncertain whether a game will be played on not.

The Cardinals did get in four games on the week, including a huge road win against East Division-leading Regina Monday.

The Cardinals scattered 17 hits on the night and put up runs in five different innings, while limiting the Red Sox to only six hits in the 12-0 win.

Georgie Santiago had a three hit night, and five-runs batted in to lead the offence.

Austin Drummonds and Ben Grillo also had three RBIs apiece.

On the mound for Yorkton Jamie Whitehead tossed a six-hit gem through eight innings, striking out four, before turning it over to the bullpen.

On Sunday the Cardinals hosted Edmonton.

The game, scheduled for a 2:05 start finally hit the field at 7:00pm.

McVey said Sunday was a tough day. It initially looked like the game would need to be postponed, but while the clouds stayed, no more rain fell.

“A situation like today (Sunday), we had to push the game back five hours to get it in … We really didn’t expect to get this one in,” he said, adding “we worked the field for close to three hours to get it ready.”

The game, under gray skies, cool weather, and wet conditions, turned out to be a defensive battle.

The visiting Prospects scored twice in the fourth, with Yorkton responding with one in the fifth, but that would be it on a night where the teams combined for only eight hits.

Jeff Pool started and took the loss after tossing six innings, allowing only three hits and both runs. He walked five and struck out four.

McVey said the fact players had not been seeing live pitches in the rain, coupled with good pitching from both sides “showed on both sides” in a lack of offence.

Thursday action

It was a warm Thursday evening at Jubilee Park, with a near full moon in a clear sky, as the Edmonton Prospects faced the Cardinals.

Yorkton would score one run in the bottom of the first, add three in both the second and third innings, and roll to a 9-2 win.

Zach Mihic hit a round-tripper for Yorkton, plating three to lead the offence.

Eliot King would start the game on the hill for Yorkton, going five to pick up the win. He allowed four hits and two runs, but only one was earned. He had three strikeouts.

Last Wednesday

The Highway 10 rivalry chapter written June 12, was one of offence.

The Cardinals and host Millionaires would combine for 30 hits and 22 runs.

Neither team would plate a run through two innings, but after that the runs came in every inning through nine.

Thanks to three in the eighth Yorkton held an 8-6 lead, as Melville went to the dish in the home half of the ninth. The Mils would manage a pair to send the game to extra innings.

The 10th and 11th innings proved nothing, but the Cardinals erupted for six in the 12th to put away a 14-8 road win.

Among the multiple hits were a pair of long balls, Zach Mihic hitting his first of the season for Yorkton, and Garrett Dodd getting his first for Melville.

Georgie Santiago and Kameron Mizzell each had three runs-batted-in for the Cards.

Codi Scanlon would pick up the win on the mound for Yorkton, tossing the three extra innings, allowing only one hit and striking out five.

Climbing the ladder

The Cardinals now sit with a 5-6 record and are tied with Weyburn only 1.5 games off the pace in the WMBL’s East Division. Regina leads the loop with a 7-5 record. Melville trails the four-team division 2.5 games two games back of the Red Sox.

While the loss Sunday kept the Cardinals one game away from being .500, McVey said after the game he is still optimistic in a very tightly contested East Division.

“We are right there,” he offered, adding if a couple more guys can get their batting strokes down, “we can get on a fair run here …

“We’ve just got to come out and compete.”

Up next

The Cardinals are scheduled to play in Regina tonight.

Weyburn is at Jubilee Park Thursday.

The Cardinals finally get a day off Friday, but head to Moose Jaw for action Saturday.

Sunday afternoon Yorkton will host Regina.

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