By Southern Alberta Newspapers on August 3, 2017.
Alberta Newspaper Group
With a couple timely swings of the bat, the Medicine Hat Mavericks have pulled even in their Western Major Baseball League series with the Lethbridge Bulls.
The Mavericks defeated the Bulls 6-3 during Game 2 of the teams’ best-of-five opening round series Wednesday evening at Spitz Stadium. With the win, the Mavs even the series at 1-1 as Games 3 and 4 head back to Medicine Hat tonight (7:05 p.m., Athletic Park) and Friday.
The Mavs win negated a quick Bulls start as the hosts opened up a 3-0 lead after the first inning before Medicine Hat chipped away at the lead thanks to solo home runs by Chris Rodriguez in the third inning and and the go-ahead shot from David Salgueiro in the fifth.
Meanwhile, the Mavericks got another quality outing from their starter as Brady Tedesco went eight innings to post the win, settling in after the early Bulls charge.
“That was good to see,” said Mavericks head coach Michael Thompson. “We gave up those three runs in the first inning and didn’t look sharp. Brady was able to settle down after that and give our offence a chance to get ourselves back in there. But that was big, coming back with those two runs in the second inning and just kind of setting the tone, getting our team settled down a little bit and getting them comfortable to make a run.”
Lethbridge got a bases-loaded walk to open the scoring, then made it 3-0 on doubles by Jesse Hilyard and Dylan Flasch.
Colton Wright doubled to lead off the second for Medicine Hat. But he advanced to third on what looked like a catch by Bulls right fielder Nolan Handley off the bat of Chris Caffrey, but was ruled a hit to put runners on the corners. Zack Kunkel got the sacrifice fly to bring him in, then Jacob Leal singled home Caffrey.
Then the timely solo shots put the visitors in front for good.
Rodriguez made no mistake sending a towering blast over the scoreboard in left field to make it 3-3 in the top of the third inning. In the top of the fifth Salgueiro sent a two-out solo shot over the right field wall to make it 4-3. Louie Canjura hit an RBI single in the seventh and scored on a Wright sac fly in the ninth for insurance.
“We got off to a hot start and things looked good and then we just got into a little bit of a funk,” said Bulls head coach Jesse Sawyer. “But we hit a lot of balls hard right at guys and (they) made some nice plays against us. It was just one of those nights, nothing fell for us.”
Similar to Game 1 Tuesday, both teams got solid outings from their starting pitchers. Brady Tedesco surrendered three runs on eight hits and walked three in eight innings of work before Connor Deeds came on to earn the save. Bulls starter Greg Hollman worked into the sixth, allowing four runs on eight hits, walking one and striking out four.
“You’re seeing good pitching performances from both teams,” said Thompson. “Both starters both days have done a really good job of keeping the offences under wraps. In a series like this where you’re basically playing for your lives you’re going tosee guys step up.
“I think between the defences and the pitchers, they really stepped up these first two games.”
Thompson credited his team for not getting rattled after giving up the three-spot in the first.
“We kind of set the tone before the playoffs started and really before the season started of a team that wanted to win a championship and these guys have bought into the fact that’s what they want to do. They’re here for that reason. So they’re not going to die until they’r out of it. I’m very proud of the way they fought tonight.”
Flasch had the only multi hit game for the Bulls, batting 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Canjura was 2-for-5 with one run scored and one RBI, while Caffrey was also 2-for-5 with one run scored.
Wesley Moore gets the start for the Bulls tonight, while the Mavericks reply with Tyler Skinner.
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