By Lethbridge Herald on June 29, 2015.
The Lethbridge Bulls are not on a 10-game winning streak.
A 9-1 win over the Melville Millionaires Sunday afternoon at Spitz Stadium gave the Bulls their ninth win in 10 Western Major Baseball League games — one win in a row.
The Bulls lost 7-6 to the WMBL-worst Millionaires on Saturday night, snapping an eight-game winning streak that began on June 14. The loss stung a bit, and the Bulls scored six runs in the second inning on Sunday, effectively ending things there.
“The guys were a little upset after that game last night, they wanted to keep the streak going,” said Bulls coach Ryan McDonald. “They wanted to come out today fired up and put some runs up and they did that.”
McDonald’s team is a WMBL-best 18-5 but after blowing a lead in the ninth inning Saturday night, they got refocused Sunday. Luc Hebert continued his dominant form. The Bulls’ starting pitcher is 4-1 this season and hasn’t given up an earned run in 22 innings — three starts and three wins.
“Luc was great today. It’s been a tough stretch, lot of innings this weekend so we were low on arms and we needed him to go at least seven and he did,” said McDonald.
The Bulls played what essentially became a doubleheader on Saturday. They opened in the afternoon with the final innings of a suspended game from June 19 against the Millionaires. That game went 11 innings before the two teams played again in the evening, the Bulls’ 7-6 loss.
Add in a Friday night game against the Medicine Hat Mavericks, and it was a long long weekend for the Bulls.
“To play that much in the heat, it sucks, but the schedule is what it is and with the rain-delay game, we didn’t have much choice,” said McDonald. “Still, we came out of it with three wins in four so I’m not complaining.”
On Sunday, the Bulls took half an hour to finish the second inning after Trace Hansen, Taylor Hutchison and Mitch Grisbrook all got to bat twice. The Bulls got six hits and six runs and still stranded three runners.
Brandon Bufton continued a torrid pace at the plate, as the right fielder’s only hit was a triple but he added a walk in an at-bat that included Cody Stewart scoring on what was scored a stolen base.
Centrefielder Stewart finished the game with three hits, two RBIs and a run to go with the stolen base. The game quieted down after the marathon second inning, and the Bulls added to their lead with a run in the seventh and two more in the eighth.
Hebert made way for Andrew Grieder for an inning before Clark Grisbrook finished off the ninth.
Grisbrook is the brother of catcher Mitch Grisbrook, a familiar battery as they’ve not only pitched together for years of Little League but also as members of the Prairie Baseball Academy Dawgs.
“I like it, it’s always fun to be out there with your brother,” said Mitch. “In the PBA, when he was pitching, I’d usually catch him.
“People like to think we can read each other’s minds, but we can’t, we just sort of know what we’re thinking because we’ve played together so much.”
You might think there’s telepathy involved given they tend to just nod at each other a lot out on the diamond but Mitch said it’s just brothers. They also have been known to disagree like brothers.
“There was one year in high school where we weren’t allowed to be out there at the same time, we’d fight so much,” he said. “But that was just one year. We get along, we just disagree sometimes because we are different people.”
Their family bond works well, too, because no matter what passes between them, they’re closer than teammates.
“I usually know what he’s doing, when things are working, what he likes to throw so we can usually just look at each other and nod and know what’s going on,” said Mitch. “He’s sometimes pretty hard on himself and gets worked up, and I try to let him know it’s OK,” he said. “At the end of the day, we’re brothers no matter what.”
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