June 24th, 2024

Mavericks ride the long ball to win four-game set over Giants

By Ryan McCracken on July 16, 2018.

Medicine Hat Mavericks outfielder David Salgueiro gets a high five from teammate Johnathan Smithey (10) after scoring a run in Saturday's Western Major Baseball League game against the Fort McMurray Giants at Athletic Park. The Mavericks were sporting special jerseys for superhero night.


The Medicine Hat Mavericks rode the long ball to victory Sunday at Athletic Park.

Catcher David Vilches hit two home runs as one of four Mavericks to clear the fence in a narrow 9-8 win over the Fort McMurray Giants Sunday.

“When everybody is on, we’re on. We’re having bit hits, home runs, doubles, all that. Our one-through-nine can hit the ball hard any time,”said Vilches, who helped his team come back from a 4-1 deficit with 3 RBIin a 2-for-4 performance. “For some reason we always try to give them the game all the way up until the fifth of sixth inning. If we get the bats started early we’re just unstoppable, but for some reason we like to battle back late in the game.”

The victory lifts Medicine Hat to 29-6 following a doubleheader split with the Giants Saturday. After falling 7-3 to kick things off, the Mavericks rebounded for a rousing 10-5 win in their Superhero Night themed jerseys — which were auctioned off with proceeds going to the Alberta Children’s Hospital —before taking the series 3-1 with Sunday’s victory — a matchup that followed the annual Battle of the Badges game between the local police and fire departments.

“This organization is unreal,” said Vilches. “I’ve never been part of a community that comes out and supports the kids, bringing them out to come support our guys.I just love it here.”

Mavericks second basemen and Medicine Hat product Nolan Rattai also joined the home run with his first of the season before closing out the afternoon at 3-for-4. The Hat product says it’s easy to stay upbeat when the bats are as hot as they were Sunday.

“It’s so much fun. Everybody is contributing. Our team is so deep in the lineup, it’s just a great time,”said Rattai. “This team is very resilient. We really hate losing and everybody was just on their game. We came to the park ready to play.”

Jordan Dray and Sal Rodriguez also hit solo shots, while Dray finished 3-for-4 with RBI.

Barry Caine collected the victory for Medicine Hat, pushing his record to 6-0 on the season after holding Fort McMurray to just one walk while striking out three in two innings of relief work. Starter Alex Dafoe left the game after allowing four runs on seven hits through five innings. Tyler Shumpert collected his sixth save of the season.

Matt Vonderschmidt took the loss for Fort McMurray after allowing three runs on four hits in the seventh.

Matt Bowes led Fort Mac offensively with a grand slam in the fourth, but the Giants were unable to hold onto the lead.

The Mavs hit the road to Brooks to take on the Bombers (10-25) tonight at 7:05 p.m.

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