By Lethbridge Herald on July 2, 2015.
Trace Hansen had the intention, as well as the right moment, to steal third base.
The game was tied 5-5 in the bottom of the ninth. It was game one of a Canada Day doubleheader at home against Swift Current.
“I got a pretty good jump and just decided to go for it,” said Hansen, the Lethbridge Bulls’ infielder.
On the play, he slid into third. But the throw by Indians catcher Jake Garcia sailed into left field and Hansen came in to score, lifting the Bulls to a 6-5 comeback win Wednesday afternoon at Spitz Stadium.
“I guess we got lucky. We’ll take it, though,” Hansen said.
The Bulls improved their WMBL-best record to 19-5 with the victory, then collected their 20th win of the season by scoring twice in the eighth inning to snap a 1-1 tie in the second game of the day.
In the opener, Travis Steinke, Bretton Gouthro, and Mitch Dornblut each had two hits, while Hansen finished with three RBIs, two hits, and two runs scored. Pat Kelley started on the mound for Lethbridge, with relief efforts by Clark Grisbrook and Reno Dupuis.
Swift Current staked out a four-run lead in the second inning, and carried a 5-2 lead into the bottom of the seventh. That’s when Hansen hit a two-run double and Steinke added an RBI-single to tie the game for the Bulls.
“It’s a lot of fun, just the special stuff (for Canada Day), the extra crowd and the energy,” Hansen said. “We didn’t have the energy that we needed to come and get a win, but we finally found it.”
“We came out a little flat after having a couple days off,” said Bulls head coach Ryan MacDonald.
“Guys were expecting to roll through one, and didn’t come out swinging it right away. Later in the innings, we got to their bullpen a little bit and found a way to cash some guys in.”
Another rally was needed in the second game, after Swift Current’s Darren Kolk hit a home run on the first pitch of the night. That lead held into the seventh, when Ryan Pidhaichuk doubled in Mason Shiflett to even the score. Dornblut then stroked a two-run single in the bottom of the eighth for a 3-1 lead.
“With this team, offensively we can break out at anytime,” MacDonald said. “It’s never over with this team. We find a way to be scrappy baseball players and find a way to win ball games.”
Tyler Gibson started for the Bulls, pitching 7 2/3 innings before leaving with the bases loaded in the top of the eighth. Chris Stodolka came on in relief, and on his second pitch the threat ended when Steinke, the Bulls’ catcher, picked off the Swift Current baserunner at first.
About 2,000 fans were in attendance Wednesday night, after 800 attended the opener.
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