July 21st, 2024

Mavericks to open post-season in Lethbridge

By Ryan McCracken on July 31, 2017.


Another chapter in the Western Major Baseball League’s Highway 3 rivalry is set to unfold after a wild conclusion to the regular season on Sunday.

The Medicine Hat Mavericks did their part over the weekend, stringing together a pair of victories over the Edmonton Prospects to remain in the race for the second seed in the Western Division, but the rival Lethbridge Bulls pulled away with a late victory over the Brooks Bombers to seal home field advantage in the Crowsnest clash.

While the scoreboard watching didn’t go as they had hoped, Mavericks field manager Michael Thompson says they still managed to gather some steam entering the best-of-five series.

“That’s what you want. You want to build some momentum heading into the playoffs,” said Thompson, whose Mavs closed out the season at 27-21 on a three-game winning streak. “We got all our pitchers in who needed to get some work and defensively we were playing really well.”

The Mavericks swept a two-game set over the Prospects to secure the third seed in the division, with a 6-4 win Saturday and a 12-9 victory Sunday.

Tyler Skinner kept the Mavericks in Saturday’s contest by holding Edmonton to two runs on six hits through six innings of work before Connor Deeds closed out the game with a shutout 2 and 1/3 innings to earn the victory. Edmonton’s Eric Sabrowski took the loss after allowing the Mavs to take over a lead with two runs in the top of the ninth.

Louie Canjura and Colton Wright cashed in 2 RBI apiece to lead the Mavericks to a four-hit victory while allowing nine out of the Prospects.

Edmonton jumped to an early 3-0 lead in Sunday’s season finale, but Medicine Hat quickly answered with a six-run third, then Barry Caine shut down the Prospects for a relief victory to keep the Mavericks rolling into the playoffs. Caine entered the game in the third and held Edmonton to two runs on two hits.

The Mavericks open the post-season on Tuesday at Lethbridge’s Spitz Stadium. While they lost the season series 4-2, Thompson says they’re feeling good about their chances as the underdog.

“We’ve had some leads at their park in most of those games and we let them slip away, but I think right now we’re playing our best baseball so we should have a good opportunity to go in there and at least take one, hopefully take two,” he said. “We’re feeling really good. I feel like everybody is well rested and healthy right now. Our guys are swinging the bat really well.

Game 2 is slated for Wednesday night in Lethbridge. The series shifts to Medicine Hat for Games 3 and 4 on Thursday and Friday before returning to Spitz Stadium for Game 5, if necessary, on Saturday. All games are schedule for a 7:05 p.m. first pitch.

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