A few key plays drastically changed the fortunes of the Moose Jaw Canucks Saturday.
© Times-Herald photo by Matthew Gourlie
Kagan Meier from the Moose Jaw Canucks hits a single Saturday.
Unfortunately for the Canucks, their errors — and some plain bad luck — proved costly in an 8-3 loss to the Yorkton Cardinals in Sask. Premier Midget AA Baseball League action at Ross Wells Park.
"I think we're still moving in the right direction. We had some small mental errors at the beginning of the game and unfortunately the sun came into play on a couple of plays and they got four or five runs out of that," said Canucks coach Kevin Smith. "There wasn't many errors either, but they were costly. But that's baseball."
The Cardinals scored four unearned runs and the Canucks weren't able to cash in often enough when they had opportunities to score.
The Canucks fell behind 3-0 early as mistakes got them into a hole.
"The couple of things that did hurt are things we can work on — fly balls, dealing with the sun. It's still early in the year," said Smith. "We'll practice on Wednesday with lots of fly balls and ground balls and work on things. It doesn't get any easier we're headed up to Melfort and Muenster on the weekend."
The Canucks stranded a runner on third in the second inning and had runners on second and third with one out in the third and failed to score.
"We just couldn't string any hits together either to get our runs back," said Smith.
They finally broke the goose egg in the fifth inning when they hit three of their six hits on the night. Xyrus Smith lead off the inning with a walk and Jordan Logan and Kaleb Wilson both singled to load the bases. Cody Robbins and Kagan Meier both hit a sacrifice flies and Wyatt Riendeau hit an RBI single to cut the Yorkton lead to 5-3.
"One thing we talked about before the game was being aggressive on the base paths and I thought we were really good there. We probably created our three runs with excellent base running," said Smith.
The Cardinals put the game away in the top of the seventh with a three-run triple.
"They load the bases in the top of the seventh and they clear them with one good hit," said Smith.
Meier pitched three innings and gave up six hits and three unearned runs. Kyle Wilson came in and pitched 2 2/3 innings and allowed a hit, an earned run and an unearned run. Riendeau pitched the final 1 1/3 and gave up the three runs in the seventh.
"I thought our pitching did well," said Smith.
Wilson was 2-for-4 at the plate and Riendeau was 2-for-3.
The Cardinals are hosting Midget AA provincials and are expected to be one of the better teams at that level this year.
"That's encouraging. We can play with that team. The used their top two pitchers (against us). We're right there," said Smith. "It's a tough loss, but it's a good loss to have this time of year because you can learn from it and build off of it."