June 21st, 2024

Shot at redemption awaits Mavericks in Western Division final

By Ryan McCracken on August 4, 2018.


rmccracken@medicinehatnews.com
@MHNMcCracken

The Medicine Hat Mavericks will have a shot at redemption when the Western Major Baseball League’s Western Division final kicks off Monday.

After collecting a series-deciding 17-4 victory over the Lethbridge Bulls in Game 4 of the Western Major Baseball League’s Western Division semifinal Friday at Spitz Stadium, the Mavs will once again cross paths with the underdog Edmonton Prospects in the second round.

The Prospects (23-23) overcame a lower record to end Medicine Hat’s run in each of the past two post-seasons and are coming off a four-game upset series victory over the 35-12 Okotoks Dawgs.

While Medicine Hat finished with a WMBL-best 38-9 record this season —15 more victories than their upcoming opponents — the Mavericks went 27-21 last year and 30-17 the year before that before meeting their end at the hands of the lower-seeded Prospects in the Western Division final.

The Mavericks split their six-game season series against Edmonton this summer with back-to-back wins over the Prospects in their final home games before playoffs.

But the Mavs led the WMBLin runs scored and RBI, with 398 and 344, respectively — both at least 56 more than the rest of the league — while limiting their opponents to the second-lowest run total in the league at 172.

Edmonton entered the post-season with 286 runs scored, 239 batted in and 286 runs allowed.

The Prospects clinched their Western Division semifinal series over Okotoks with a narrow 2-1 win Friday in Edmonton. Rich Walker collected the victory after holding the Dawgs to just one run on two hits through seven complete innings of work, then Michael Gahan entered to pick up the save — limiting Okotoks to one hit over the final two frames.

Tyler Olson drove in the winning run on a sacrifice fly in the seventh after the teams traded runs in the fifth.

Dawgs starter Carter Robinson settled for the loss despite a six-hit effort through 7 and 2/3 innings.

The Mavericks and Prospects open the Western Division final Monday at Athletic Park. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m.

The series continues Tuesday in MedicineHat before shifting north to Edmonton for Games 3 and 4 on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively. If necessary, Game 5 will be played Friday night at Athletic Park.

Game 4 in both Eastern Division semifinals were delayed due to rain.

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