With more sunshine the Yorkton Cardinals have been kept busy playing scheduled games and trying to make-up for numerous rain-outs earlier in the season.
“It was a tough week, with so many games piled together,” said Cardinal coach John McVey.
It was not the week the Cardinals wanted in the Western Major Baseball League, but Monday night’s 6-2 win over Melville at Jubilee Park was a big one.
“The guys battled,” said McVey, adding the team stayed focused and “really stuck in this one.”
The win helped the Cardinals hang onto a playoff spot, sitting third in the WMBL East Division 7.5 games back of front-running Regina. Weyburn is in second seven games back. Melville trails the Division nine games back.
Monday the Mils struck with a run in the top of the first, and that run held up until the Cards plated a tying run in the fifth.
Yorkton took its first lead of the game with a run in the sixth, only to have the Mils tie it with a run in the top of the seventh.
The Cardinals broke it open with four runs in the bottom of the seventh.
Melville managed one in the ninth to round out the 6-3 Cardinal win.
Clay Rideout was the Cardinals game star as the starting pitcher. He went seven innings, scattering six hits and giving up two earned runs and striking out 10.
Saturday Swift Current visited the Cardinals, scoring a trio of runs in the top of the first inning.
But Yorkton responded with four in their half of the first to take a 4-3 lead.
It would, however, be the only runs the Cardinals would manage in the game while the Indians would add six, including three in the eighth and two more in the ninth for a 9-4 win.
Jamie Whitehead would start for the Cardinals and go eight innings to be tagged with the loss. He would allow 11 hits and seven runs, all of those earned while striking out five on the day.
Sunday afternoon the Indians would again face the Cardinals at Jubilee Park.
Swift Current would score three in the third and never look back as they scored 14, while the Cardinals managed eight.
Vin Whitenight took the loss for Yorkton after going 5.2 innings as the starter on the hill. He allowed only three hits, but walked five, giving up five runs, four of those earned.
Yorkton’s own Derek Marshall was pushed to the mound for a rare appearance, and while he gave up five earned runs in 2.1 innings of work, his coach said he actually was pretty solid.
“To be honest I was impressed with him,” said McVey, adding it was obvious the little-used Marshall tired in his final inning.
The Cardinals were back on their home turf Sunday evening hosting Weyburn in a make-up game.
The Beavers took a 1-0 lead in the fourth, but Yorkton got that run back in the seventh.
In the eighth Weyburn added three with the Cardinals responding with two in their half of the frame to fall a run short in the 4-3 loss.
Jeff Pool went 7.2 innings as the starter, scattering 10 hits and allowing four earned runs while taking the loss.
“The Weyburn game could have gone either way, as every Weyburn game has been this year,” said McVey.
Last Wednesday woes
The Cardinals hosted Weyburn last Wednesday in a double header.
In the early game Yorkton plated three in the fifth, while the Beavers scored one in the second and two in the seventh to push the shortened seven-inning game to extra stanzas.
It would be Weyburn scoring a trey in the 10th for a 6-3 win.
Kameron Mizzell was tagged with the loss based on 1.1 innings of relief work.
The second game was one for the books as they say.
The Cardinals scored one in the home half of the first inning on an RBI double by Kameron Mizzell, and the run looked like it might hold up for the win until the Beavers plated one in the seventh, again pushing the game to extra frames.
This time it would be the eighth where the Beavers erupted for five runs.
Yorkton would add two in their half of the extra inning to make the final 6-3 in favour of Weyburn.
Easton Etter took the loss on 0.1 innings of work.
Friday the Cardinals headed to Weyburn for another doubleheader with the Beavers.
Yorkton would plate one in the first inning, only to have the Beavers score four in their half of the frame.
The Cardinals would add five in the third, and a pair in the sixth for an 8-4 win.
Max Chadsey went six as Yorkton’s starter for the win. He scattered six hits and four runs, two of those earned, striking out eight.
In the night cap the teams traded one run innings to be knotted at three after seven innings, taking the game to an extra frame, where the Cardinals scored a pair for a 5-3 win.
Aaron Dick started and went five innings, scattering 10 hits, but Vin Whiteknight would get the win based on one inning of relief.
Tonight (Wednesday) Yorkton is scheduled to play in Melville, and are headed back to Pirie Field for action Thursday.
Friday Yorkton heads to Moose Jaw, before again playing in Melville Saturday, before Moose Jaw hits Jubilee Park in Yorkton for action Sunday for an afternoon encounter.
Monday Regina travels to Yorkton with the Cardinals repaying the visit Tuesday.
McVey sad the upcoming games against the Mils are obviously huge as the two teams, along with Weyburn, are fighting for their playoff lives. He said it’s a case of having three “strong teams” still in contention.
“We really need to do well,” he said, adding the Cardinal players believe they will prevail.
“They believe they are going to make it … We’re planning to be in the playoffs,” he said.