“Scoring two runs in two games just isn’t enough.”
Those are the words of Yorkton Bantam Cardinals head coach Kevin Shirtliffe after his team lost both ends of a doubleheader, falling in Game One 8-1 before dropping Game Two 10-1 against the Regina Pacers at Jubilee Park on Saturday.
The two losses, their sixth and seventh consecutive defeats, give the Bantam Cards a 2-12 record in Regina Baseball ‘AAA’ Bantam League play and sole possession of last place in the seven team ‘AAA’ league.
The Cardinals got off to a good start in Game One as starter Grady Hawkins quickly disposed of the Pacers in the top of the first.
Kaito Farquharson got the Cardinals offence going in the first with a single. Farquharson then came around to score on a Jordan Evans double to give the Cardinals the lead, however the Pacers would explode for four runs in the top of the second and never looked back, scoring one more in the third before adding three in the seventh for an 8-1 win.
Hawkins took the loss for the young Cardinals going three innings and giving up five runs on four hits and five walks while striking out two.
Owen Shirtliffe’s 2-for-2 effort in Game One led the way for a lacklustre Cardinals offence that, after scoring the game’s opening run, could not muster an attack.
Aside from Owen Shirtliffe’s strong offensive game there was one strong defensive effort that could be viewed as a positive for the Cardinals and should be something to build on for the future. The play? A diving effort by first baseman Jordan Evans to get back to his bag for the out after noticing no one was covering on the play in the third inning. “That was a great heads up play he made,” said the head coach of Evans’ effort. “He realized he didn’t have anyone covering there and made the play himself.”
The Cardinals, needing a win, sent ace Kaito Farquharson to the mound to start Game Two.
However Farquharson (3.0 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 5 BB, 3 K) was not his usual self as the Pacers bats roughed up the talented pitcher, scoring three runs in the top of the first and one each in the second and third to chase the Yorkton starter from the game and saddle him with the second Cardinals loss of the day.
The Regina offence continued to do a number on Cardinal pitching throughout the game, tacking on a run in the fourth, two in the fifth and one each in the sixth and seventh while Yorkton could only generate one run in the bottom of the seventh to break the shutout.
Offensively Yorkton mustered just three hits, an Ashton Shewchuk single in the fifth and two seventh inning singles, one each by Mitchell Karapita and Kaito Farquharson to wrap up a day of baseball that head coach Kevin Shirtliffe felt was less than spectacular. “This wasn’t our best ball today,” offered Shirtliffe. “This (the Pacers) is a team that I still believe we can beat even though we lost twice to them now. They’re not that overpowering.”
One reason for the losses might be due to the fact that the Bantam Cardinals just cannot take the field for practice. Due to the weather they haven’t even been able to take batting practice in nearly a month; something that Shirtliffe feels is directly related to his teams’ offensive woes. “Our batting cages have been in standing water for what seems like a month so it’s been tough to get any swings in,” mentioned Shirtliffe. “We’ve got out when we can but it’s been tough to get any practice in because of this weather.”
The Yorkton Bantam Cardinals (2-12) were scheduled to take on the same Regina Pacers (7-7) in Regina yesterday, however results were unavailable at press time.
The next action for the Bantam Cardinals will be Sunday, July 6 when they host the Regina White Sox (9-8) for a twinbill. First pitch for Game One is set for 1:00pm.