BY JAMES TUBB ON JUNE 23, 2022.
Having an off day Friday couldn’t come soon enough for the Medicine Hat Mavericks.
The Mavericks will use the day to forget and move on from their 10-9 loss Thursday night against the Moose Jaw Miller Express at Athletic Park. Medicine Hat led 6-4 through six innings before allowing six runs in the top of the seventh without giving up a hit to lead to their fourth straight loss.
Head coach Tyler Jeske said that inning is the same song on a different night, walks and hit by pitches “killing” the Mavericks.
“Being able to throw strikes is one of the fundamental aspects of being a pitcher, throwing competitive pitches,” Jeske said. “There we had runners on second and third and (Nate) Mensik, their best hitter coming up and he’s hit multiple bombs against us. We’re up, we have a two run lead, set up a double play (with an intentional walk) and not give them the chance to get a three run home run and take the lead on one swing. Force the hitters below him to execute.”
“Then you go back to walks, hit by pitches, like that just can’t happen. Might as well let him hit the three run home run at that point.”
The Mavericks used four pitchers in that bloated inning. Jacob Prosch started it off before Hunter Boylan came in for relief, Jack Suhai came in to relieve him and Bryce Libke was called upon to get out of the inning. The four pitchers combined for two innings as Prosch worked the complete sixth frame beforehand.
Mathew Krall start the game for Medicine Hat and was in line for the win after five innings with three strikeouts and two runs allowed on four hits.
The Mavericks were first on the board Thursday with an RBI single from right fielder David Dell in the second. They followed it up in the third frame with an RBI single from shortstop Nathan Ade and a two RBI single from first basemen Hunter Cooper.
Ade said the message after the game was to forget and move on.
“Baseball is a game you can’t live in the past or you’re always going to struggle,” Ade said. “You always have to look forward. I think the best thing for us right now is just go out, show up on Saturday and just play how we can play.”
The shortstop said the Mavericks are a better team than they are playing like and he is looking forward to getting back on the field to prove it.
“I think everyone’s pretty antsy for Saturday because we want to get out of this, we want to play well,” Ade said. “But it’s kind of like hitting, if you’re in a slump you can chase hits, you just can’t chase wins. All you can do is play your game.”
Moose Jaw scored two runs in the fourth and sixth to tie the game at 4-4. Medicine Hat answered back in the frame with a two RBI double from third basemen Adrian Salazar, who finished the game with four hits.
After Moose Jaw’s big seventh inning, the Mavericks flexed their offensive muscles by bringing themselves within one run.
Dell had an RBI double that led into centre fielder Braden DeSonia hitting a sacrifice fly to drive in left fielder Nate Ewing from third. Kellan Williamson batted in the Mavs third run with an RBI single.
Ewing took over on the mound for the eighth and ninth innings and held Moose Jaw off the board with two strikeouts. Medicine Hat could not muster the tying run in the ninth with runners on the corners as they lost 10-9, setting their record at 6-13.
The Mavericks aren’t in action again until they host the Weyburn Beavers at Athletic Park on Saturday night. Jeske said the Mavericks need the reset to get their minds off the win/loss record and on the game.
“The analogy I used was, a hitter who starts starts chasing hits, the 0-for’s start piling up. A hitters natural reaction is to start chasing hits and it’s the same thing as a team,” Jeske said. “We collectively start chasing a win and so my head is on wins and losses but it’s also on, can we do the things that add up to a win? Do we do the things that add up to it or do we do the things that add up to a loss. We see again tonight, we did the things that add up to a loss.”