The Weyburn Beavers had their winning streak halted Sunday afternoon at Tom Laing Park, as they dropped a 10-4 decision to the Regina Red Sox. The Beavers found themselves stymied at the plate, only collecting four hits, while the Red Sox were able to navigate their way around the strike zone to get 14 hits off the pitching staff.
The strike zone would be an issue of contention for fans and players alike. While the fans were deriding home plate umpire Huck Craig for his calling of balls and strikes, it came to a head in the 7th inning. The Beavers would load the bases, and had no outs when Nolan Machibroda came to the plate.
Machibroda took a called strike, which appeared to be outside the conventional strike zone. He would foul off the next pitch, and then a pitch to the same location as the first pitch of the at-bat was swung at and missed, just outside of his reach.
As he left the plate, Machibroda appeared to say something to the umpire, but nothing else happened.
The next batter, Koby Kropf, would also take issue with how the strike zone was addressed. He would see his first pitch called a ball, just off the plate, and the second pitch, to the same spot, called a strike. He would end up striking out, and as he left the batter's box, said something to the home plate ump to get himself tossed from the game.
Beavers' assistant coach Cam Williams then got into the face of the umpire himself and was subsequently ejected as well.
The score was 7-3 for Regina at that point, and with two innings left to play, it looked like the Beavers would be able to close the gap, however, three more runs in the top of the ninth for Regina would seal the deal.
Jace Wessels was tagged with the loss for the Beavers, going five innings, striking out three and allowing five runs, four earned, and walking two. Simon Virostek and Carter Sorensen would pitch two innings each in relief.
The Beavers will be back in action Monday night, as they travel to Swift Current to take on the 57s. The two teams will then be back in Weyburn on Tuesday night for a doubleheader at Tom Laing Park, with the first pitch at 6:00 p.m.