Rain again played havoc with the Yorkton Cardinals Western Major Baseball League schedule last week.
On Canada Day Yorkton was to host two games, Weyburn for afternoon action at Jubilee Park, and Saskatoon for an evening contest, but both were postponed due to field conditions caused by rain.
Last Wednesday (July 2), Saskatoon did make it to the city, playing an evening doubleheader.
In the opening contest Saskatoon scored a deuce in the third, then added single runs in the fourth and seventh on their way to a 4-2 win over Yorkton.
Codi Scanlon would start on the hill for the Cardinals, lasting six, allowing five hits and three runs, only one of those earned. He struck out six and was tagged with the loss.
Matt Collier led the Yorkton offence with two runs batted in.
In game two Yorkton would score one in the second and add two in the third on their way to a 4-2 win over the Yellowjackets.
Vin Whiteknight was the winning pitcher, based on one inning of relief following Cardinal starter Max Chadsey who went only 3.2 innings in the game.
Second baseman Austin Drummonds would hit his first home run of the campaign for the Cardinals, a solo shot.
The Cardinals were to play in Melville Thursday, but the game was postponed due to field conditions.
Friday the Cardinals hosted East Division-leading Regina.
Yorkton was up 5-0 after four innings, but the Red Sox did not fade away, picking up a pair of runs before the Cardinals seemed to put the game out of reach with two of their own runs in the bottom of the eighth to make it 7-2.
But the pesky Red Sox would make a charge in the ninth coming up just a run short, plating four to make the game close at 7-6.
Georgie Santiago and Kameron Mizzell, coming off WMBL Player of the Week honours, would lead the Cardinals offence, both recording two RBIs.
Cardinal pitching would give up 12 hits, including a pair of runs, but starter Jamie Whitehead would get the win based on 6.2 innings of work, striking out six and allowing eight hits and two runs, both of them earned.
Cole Roark would get three outs in the ninth, two of them via the strikeout, for the save.
Cardinal coach John McVey said the game was one that had a ‘must-win’ feel to it, adding most games are getting to that point as the season wears into July.
“Every game feels like it’s important, especially against teams in the East, and games at home, is a must win,” he said, adding the team sees winning at Jubilee Park as important. “We want to protect this park.”
In a big game like the win over Regina, McVey said players have to rise to the occasion, noting starter Whitehead threw a strong game. After a shaky outing early in the season, McVey said Whitehead has been a pleasant surprise settling into a steady starter for the Cardinals.
Of course Whitehead’s effort was nearly squandered late.
McVey said he has confidence in his bullpen, and feels “very comfortable” with whoever they send in relief, but on some nights a pitcher will have a rough outing. Against the Red Sox they at least had some runs to give and Roark came in and finished off the Sox in the ninth.
Sunday the Cardinals repaid the Red Sox visit, traveling to Regina for an afternoon encounter.
Regina scored one in the second, then added a ‘three-spot’ in the third to burst on top 4-0.
A pair by the Cardinals in the fifth, and another in the sixth, made it close, but the 4-3 score would hold the rest of the way for a Red Sox win.
Jeff Pool would take the loss as Yorkton’s starter, tossing 3.1 innings, giving up seven hits, and four runs, all of them earned.
The Red Sox were back in Yorkton for action Monday evening, but the game was suspended due to rain.
The result of the week leaves the Cardinals and Melville tied 5.5 games back of the WMBL East Division-leading Red Sox, with Weyburn 7.5 games off the pace.
The Weyburn Beavers are scheduled to play at Jubilee Park tonight (Wednesday), and Friday the Cardinals will repay the visit to Tom Laing Park.
Saturday and Sunday the Cardinals play host to Swift Current.
Monday it is the Melville Millionaires who are scheduled to visit the ‘Cardinal nest’.