BY JAMES TUBB ON AUGUST 4, 2022.
The Medicine Hat Mavericks were playing from behind early Thursday.
The Mavericks trailed the Weyburn Beavers 2-0 after the first inning and ultimately fell 8-5 at Athletic Park.
Medicine Hat came into the loss on the heels of a 9-5 loss to the Lethbridge Bulls Tuesday in the Hat. The Mavericks had the opportunity to clinch their spot in the WCBL playoffs with a win Thursday as they sit three wins ahead of Weyburn for the fourth and final playoff spot in the East division.
Mavericks head coach Tyler Jeske pointed out times on both sides of the ball where the Mavericks lost the game.
“Clearly (Gerrit) Erickson didn’t have his best stuff, he didn’t have command of the breaking ball and he wasn’t able to throw for strikes. So it became we know this is going to be a shorter start and (Ethan) Bromley comes in. He’s able to give us some innings and keep it within striking distance,” Jeske said.
“At the end of the day, you look at the eight runs we gave up, to me a couple of those runs are created through critical errors where we, I say only kind of sarcastically, you look at some games last week where we had three, four or five errors per game and we only had two tonight. But they were very costly errors in terms of the runs that were scored as a result of that. I look back at the offence and go, we can’t punch out, we can’t have that high of punch out rates. We have to have better at bats, be able to move balls forward. We saw what happens when we put balls in play and pressure their defence to execute.”
Mavericks starter Erickson pitched three innings with one strikeout before handing the ball over to Bromley who worked three innings of his own with five strikeouts.
Bromley said after the loss that he wasn’t thinking about the implications of what a win would bring the Mavericks while on the mound.
“I don’t really like to worry about the big part of it, overall, it’s just baseball and that’s the cool thing,” Bromley said. “I’m going out there, trying to throw strikes. You have a couple of good innings and you might miss spots and then you have one inning that’s a little bit bigger, but you’re right in your spot. It’s a humbling sport but you can’t you can’t get all worried about the big stuff, it’s just kind of being in the moment.”
After Weyburn scored two runs in the first inning, the Mavericks answered back in the third inning on a RBI single from CF Braden DeSonia.
The Beavers added another run in the fourth inning before Medicine Hat tied the game up at 3-3 in the bottom of the sixth. A sacrifice hit from first basemen Hunter Boylan in addition to a Weyburn error scored two runs as Medicine Hat clawed their way back.
Weyburn followed that up with a three run seventh inning to take a 6-3 lead and added to that in the eighth and ninth with two runs for eight runs total. The Mavericks challenged in the eighth inning as they scored two runs on a sacrifice hit from shortstop Ranciel Ventura and a RBI single from right fielder Josh Stark.
Mathew Krall worked the eighth and ninth inning on the mound for the Mavericks and picked up three strikeouts in his outing. The Mavericks weren’t able to plate anymore runs in the ninth as Weyburn held on for the 8-5 win.
Medicine Hat has another chance to clinch their playoff spot Friday as they host the Beavers at 7:05 p.m. at Athletic park. Bromley said the Mavericks just need to bring some swagger to the ballpark and that will bring them success.
“I think individually, it just goes down to, yeah, we’re all burnt out, we’re all at that point. How can we find a bit of swagger and for three hours just forget about what else is going on the world, for three hours just ball out,” Bromley said. “If we’re doing that, I think we’ll have great success.”