For the first time in team history, the Weyburn Beavers have won nine games in a row. They edged past the Fort McMurray 2-1 Tuesday night in a game which can best be described as a defensive battle. Neither pitcher gave a lot of opportunities for their opponents to get an edge, and it came down to the final two innings to determine the winner.
Weyburn starting pitcher Ken Williams went 7 ⅓ innings, striking out five, and giving up just a single run. His counterpart, Nicklas Cardinal, went seven innings himself and struck out five as well.
“He kept us in until our bat s got hot at the end, and I thought we put together a really good team effort tonight,” Beavers head coach Phil Curtis said after the game.
In the end, it would be how well the bullpens performed to determine the outcome of the game, and it was the strong bullpen of the Weyburn Beavers which was the difference. Dalton Ross finished the eighth inning and was credited with the win. Eric Evans, the team’s all-time save leader, closed the game, earning his third save of the season.
The Giants got on the board in the top of the eighth, with a single to right field by pinch-hitter Joshua Iannetti bringing in a run. The Beavers, who had come from behind to win their previous four games, looked to do it again when they had their turn at the plate in the bottom of the inning.
Corey Wheaton bunted to get onto first base, using his speed to outrun the throw from the catcher. Keaton Greenwalt then brought him home with a single to right field, with an error by the third baseman helping out.
Four batters later, with bases loaded, Drake Pilat hit a sacrifice fly to centre, allowing Greenwalt to cross home plate.
The Beavers, who are now 9-0 on the season, and a game and a half up on Moose Jaw in the East Division, will host the Giants again Wednesday night. The game will be played at Tom Laing Park, and starts at 7:05 p.m.