June 19th, 2018

Elks establish contact in wins


By Woodard, Dale on June 11, 2018.

Dale Woodard

Lethbridge Herald

sports@lethbidgeherald.com

Some strong swings at the plate ultimately made for a quick and efficient afternoon at the ball park for the Lethbridge Elks.

Hosting the Butte Miners in American Legion double-header play Sunday afternoon at Spitz Stadium, the Elks ultilized the five-inning, 10-run rule in both games on their way to a pair of 11-1 wins to improve to 2-2 on the season.

Lethbridge’s Skylar Braun hit three doubles in the first game and teammate Liam Leech did the same in the second as the Elks enjoyed an afternoon of making contact under some cool, blustery Sunday afternoon conditions.

“It was good to see,” said Elks head coach Scott Oikawa, whose team lost 4-3 and 13-3 to the Great Falls Chargers Wednesday at Spitz Stadium. “We’ve been talking about having some quality at-bats one-through-nine and I think that’s one of the keys to our club. We have some veteran hitters and we always make sure we have some quality at-bats.”

In addition to Braun’s three doubles, Lukas Ankermann and Kyle Bloor chipped in with two hits each.

Levi Abbott struck out six for Lethbridge to earn the win.

In the second game, Abbott got it done at the plate with three hits. Kyle Bloor and Wyatt Tomalty added two each.

Ty Penner was the winning pitcher for the Elks, striking out six.

“It was a solid job on the bump today by both guys,” said Oikawa. “We threw strikes and hit spots and it was nice to see.”

Raleigh Ferby, one of the Elks captains, noted the good swings his teammates got in Sunday.

“We had a good day and had some good at-sbats. We weren’t too selfish, we were going the other way which is nice to see, timely hitting as well. It was nice to see, especially early in the season. The swings are coming together nicely.

“It’s great. It’s definitely good for the confidence, especially for the pitchers. They have some runs behind them and they can go out there and throw as much as they want.”

The Elks now take it to the road when they head to Medicine Hat Wednesday to take on the Monarchs.

“It’s early, but it’s always nice to play with a little bit of confidence,” said Oikawa. “I think we realize they are a lot more conference games to go and we have to see another seven teams before we find out where we’re sitting. But it’s always nice, especially here at home, to come out and get a couple of big wins.

“Our pitchers are fairly young and they’ve been doing a nice job for us to start the season off. Even some of the guys are coming off the bench with some big hits and things like that. So it’s starting to gel all right, but once again, it is early.”

In other American Legion play on the weekend, the Lethbridge Miners headed south of the border to Helena, winning the Cloninger Classic with a 9-2 win over host Helena Sunday afternoon.

Helena blanked the Miners 8-0 Friday in Lethbridge’s second game of the weekend.

They started the tournament with a 6-4 win over the Mountain View Toros.

After the loss to Helena, the Miners rolled off 11-3 and 7-6 wins over the Bozeman Bucks A and the Vauxhall Spurs, respectively, on Saturday to earn their spot in the gold medal game and the rematch with Helena.

The Miners return to conference play Wednesday when they host the Medicine Hat Knights in a double-header at Spitz Stadium starting at 6 p.m.

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