The SESBL regular season came to a premature end due to the torrential rain and horrible weather that has plagued Southeast Saskatchewan and Southwest Manitoba in recent weeks.
But with a premature end to the regular season comes an early postseason, and what better series to kick off the 2014 SESBL playoffs than the Highway 10 Rivalry, with the back-to-back defending SESBL champion Yorkton Yankees seeking their third consecutive SESBL title.
Standing in their immediate way, however, were the rival Melville Bison, who had previously disposed of the Yankees 3-0 in their most recent meeting at Jubilee Park earlier this season and who were looking to spoil Game One of the quarter-finals for the host Yankees.
Instead of Melville spoiling Game One, however, it was Yorkton that struck first, scoring a pair of runs in the bottom of the first to take a 2-0 lead.
The defending champs then rode the talented arm of starter Logan Calanchie the rest of the way to take Game One 7-1 and take a one-game-to-none lead in the Best of Three SESBL Quarter-final round.
But while Calanchie’s effort on the mound was definitely a big reason for a Yankee win, there was one play in particular that broke the spirit of the Bison baseball club.
That play occurred in the Yankees’ four-run third inning when, with the bases loaded, Yorkton’s not so fleet-of-foot first baseman Mark Jacobs laid down a picture perfect suicide bunt to not only score Kurt Karcha from third, but give himself a single on the play.
But what was Jacobs, who doesn’t exactly run well, thinking when he squared up for the bunt? “Well I seen Kurty (Kurt Karcha) going, I got a pitch up and I made sure I put it on the ground and it worked out,” offered the first baseman, suggesting that it was also something that he had discussed with third base coach Dalane Lamb earlier in the at-bat.
Jacobs then went on to mention that it wasn’t his first bunt single of the season and that he had had one earlier in the year, but also added that he “probably shouldn’t get used to trying to leg out bunts” but would still keep it in the back of his mind should he need to cross up the opposing defence again.
Jacobs, who is also an assistant coach with the Yankees, then switched gears, going from player mindset to coach to comment on just how important it is for his team to take Game One from a tough Bison club. “It’s huge,” offered Jacobs, continuing, “It’s definitely better than going there down a game and trying to win an elimination game.
“You always feel better getting that first win of the series.”
And when asked about how confident he was in his teams’ chances at moving on to the semi-finals after Game Two, Jacobs suggested that his team was “in a good position to win” and that they could, hopefully, “keep the good times rolling”.
The Yorkton Yankees will travel to Melville for Game Two tomorrow (Thursday, July 10) with the chance of sweeping the Melville Bison and advancing to the SESBL semi-finals for the third consecutive season.
First pitch on Thursday is scheduled for 7:30pm at Pirie Field.