The Yorkton Yankees took on the Langenburg Indians in SESBL semi-final action on Tuesday, July 22 in Yorkton for Game One and again on Thursday, Jul 24 for Game Two in Langenburg.
And while the result was the same, Yorkton victories in each game, the road to those two W’s were vastly different.
In Game One the Yankees, in search of yet another victory, sent their ace Logan Calanchie to the mound to do battle with Langenburg’s Dane Kobylko.
However it was Kobylko and his Indians that looked poised to steal a victory from the Yankees as Langenburg scored twice in the third and once in the fourth to take a 3-0 lead into the seventh and final inning, while Kobylko kept Yorkton’s batters off balance all game long until that point.
But the Yankees aren’t back-to-back defending SESBL champions for nothing. A bloop single, aided by the lights, followed by a single chased Langenburg’s starter Kobylko from the game with just one out in the seventh. The removal of Kobylko led to a series of Yankees hits and then, with two outs, the Yankees found a way to bring home the winning run and snag victory from the jaws of defeat with a 4-3 come-from-behind victory. “They had us by the throat for much of that game,” mentioned player/coach Mark Jacobs before crediting Langenburg’s starter with nearly beating his team single-handed. “Kobylko threw a heck of a game; he was on all night and hats off to him he kept us off balance.”
But while Kobylko did throw a heck of a game he still took the loss. Calanchie, meanwhile, came away with the win thanks to yet another complete game effort in which he scattered six hits and two walks over seven innings while striking out five.
In Game Two the Yankees asserted their dominance right from the get-go, scoring twice in the first.
Langenburg responded with a run of their own in the bottom of the first inning, however a three-run third for Yorkton, capped off by back-to-back homeruns by Mark Pelham and Dave Morari, silenced the raucous Langenburg crowd and signalled the beginning of the end to the Indians season.
A pair of Yankees runs in the fourth and sixth innings pushed any thought of a comeback out of the minds of Langenburg players and faithful alike as the Yorkton Yankees took Game Two by a 9-1 score to sweep the best-of-three SESBL semi-final series and earn their third straight berth into the SESBL Finals.
Mark Pelham picked up the win in the series clinching game. Pelham struck out nine over seven innings, scattering six hits while allowing just one Langenburg run. In addition to his strong start Pelham, the Nova Scotia import, went 3-for-4 with a walk and a homerun while Morari was just a triple short of the cycle in his 3-for-4, four RBI performance.
The series win over Langenburg sets up a rematch of the 2012 SESBL Finals with the Willowbrook Royals.
Willowbrook slaughtered the SESBL regular season champion Swan River Reds by scores of 16-5 and 6-0 in their semi-final to earn a spot in the league final.
Unfortunately dates for the Best-of-Five SESBL Final have not been decided.