July 16th, 2024

Mavericks enjoy first look at Saskatoon’s new field in split with Berries

By JAMES TUBB on June 15, 2024.


The Medicine Hat Mavericks made their debut at the Berry Patch this week.

The Mavs played two games at Cairns Field, home of the Saskatoon Berries on Wednesday and Thursday, the first time Medicine Hat has played a WCBL game in the city since June 8, 2014 when they faced the then Saskatoon Yellow Jackets.

Medicine Hat lost 14-8 Wednesday and bounced back with a 6-4 win Thursday, snapping a two-game losing streak that started with a 5-1 loss to the Weyburn Beavers on June 9.

The Mavs faced the Regina Red Sox on Friday ahead of a two-game home stand Saturday and Sunday at Athletic Park against the Moose Jaw Miller Express.

Head coach Kevin Mitchell spoke with the News on Friday while on the bus to Regina and says he liked how they responded in the series against Saskatoon.

“The first night was a tough one, we didn’t really do much of anything very well,” Mitchell said. “We swung it alright, but the defence and pitching was not our best effort. They scored their first 10 runs without the ball leaving the infield. The guys were definitely upset after the game and realized that we’re better than that.”

Medicine Hat recorded four errors, walked eight batters and hit another three en route to the 14-8 loss Wednesday. They also left eight runners on base, two fewer than the Berries tally of 10.

It was a reversal Thursday, with 4.2 innings of shutout baseball pitched by the Mavs relief arms of Jack Novak and Josh Landry. Nick Thibodeau had two RBIs and Jordan Phillips tallied two hits with two RBIs and two runs scored.

Mitchell says their focus coming out of the series is limiting the extremes they’ve been playing at.

“We’re trying to find some kind of homeostasis, a middle ground, it seems we’ve been way up and way down through the early part of the season,” Mitchell said. “Nothing’s ever as good as it seems, but nothing’s ever as bad as it seems. So I thought that was a good reminder for them after (Thursday) night. To be able to come back yesterday, after playing poorly the night before, was great to see.”

Before the game Thursday, the Mavs visited Warman, Sask., the hometown of infielder Tyler Vanneste that is 17 minutes outside of Saskatoon. It was a well-needed trip, Mitchell says, and one he enjoyed sharing with the team.

“Tyler’s family was so hospitable, and for them to open their doors was really cool, the guys had a blast,” Mitchell said. “It was a great team building experience for us, some great weather, great foods, guys were playing lawn games, it was special.

“On the way over there, I was thinking about how Tyler is a guy I’ve gotten to know for a year and a half, and I love him as a kid and as a baseball player. To get to see a piece of his life that I wouldn’t be able to see otherwise, it was pretty special.”

The Mavs’ game Friday at Regina was not complete by press time, visit medicinehatnews.com/sports for a full game story.

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