BY JAMES TUBB ON JUNE 5, 2022.
The Medicine Hat Mavericks are back in the win column.
The Mavericks put up six runs in Swift Current Sunday afternoon to beat the 57’s 6-1 and snap their three game losing streak. Medicine Hat entered Sunday’s contest with their shoes still drying after their game Saturday against the Moose Jaw Miller Express at Athletic Park was rained out before the first pitch was thrown.
Mavericks head coach Tyler Jeske said getting the win Sunday feels great coming off their recent struggles.
“The idea is by week two or three we continue to get better and evolve. The biggest thing to me is this was a step forward and now we have two days off where we can recover,” Jeske said. “A lot of guys didn’t get time off between their college seasons and the start of the this season and we can get the pitching staff, lining up the rotation and bullpen to put us in the best position to win ball games.
Keon Burkholder picked up the win on the mound for the Mavericks in his first start donning the red and white. The 19-year-old from Williamonsport, PA had three strikeouts in his five innings of work and held the 57’s to one run and five hits.
Burkholder pleaded his case with the coaching staff for the sixth inning but said they’ll save it for the rest of the season.
“I wanted to throw the whole game,” Burkholder joked. “We’ll just wait until later in the season and see what happens.”
Swift Current scored their only run of the contest in the bottom of the second with an RBI single.
The Mavericks answered back in the top of the fourth with a sac fly from Austin Cappas that scored Adrian Salazar. Medicine Hat then picked up the lead in the fifth with an RBI double from Kellan Williamson that scored Braden Desonia. Williamson later scored on an errant throw from the 57’s catcher, one of their four errors in the game.
Williamson led the Mavericks offensively with two hits and two RBIs. Williamson said he works really hard on his offence and has enjoyed the strong start to his season.
“It’s nice when you’re getting hits but everybody knows the game goes up and down,” Williamson said. “Right now it might be going well but in a few weeks it might not. So I just try and stay even keeled all the time and have a loose attitude.”
Isaiah Bartels took over on the mound in the sixth inning and struck out four batters in two innings of work. Bryce Libke took over on the bump in the eighth inning and had one strikeout.
The offence continued in the seventh with an RBI single from Desonia that scored catcher Deon Reese. Desonia later scored on a dropped fly ball by the Swift Current left fielder off the bat of Williamson.
Desonia had three hits and two RBI’s and Reese scored twice after picking up two walks.
Medicine Hat padded their lead in the ninth with an RBI single from Williamson that drove in Reese. Jacob Prosch took the ball in the bottom of the ninth and struck out one batter en-route to closing out the win for the Mavericks.
Jeske said the message after the game and heading into the week relates to their 10-7 loss to the Moose Jaw Miller Express on Friday.
“That ninth inning was different than the first eight innings and that ninth inning has raised the expectations and standards for 27 outs,” Jeske said. “My challenge to them is 27 outs every night, every single game. When we do that, special things are going to start to happen.”
The Mavericks have two days off before they face the Edmonton Prospects at Athletic Park Wednesday. That game gets underway at 7:05 p.m.