By Jensen, Randy on June 13, 2018.
The Lethbridge Bulls made some early contact, but miscues on the other side ball proved to be the difference-maker.
The Bulls were defeated 9-7 by the Medicine Hat Mavericks in Western Major Baseball League play Tuesday night at Spitz Stadium.
Lethbridge had early 2-0 and 4-2 leads on a pair of two-run home runs, but a trio of errors, including two in the fifth inning, gave the Mavericks a lead they never gave back, dropping the Bulls to 2-8 on the season.
“We jumped out early in the offence did a pretty good job all night,” said Bulls head coach Jesse Sawyer. “We battled pretty much every time up there. It’s just the little things, we’re not doing the little things well right now.”
But on a chilly night at Spitz Stadium, the Bulls bats provided a little spark.
The hosts led 2-0 in the bottom of the first on a two-run homer off the scoreboard by Lachlan Mayo which brought in Brett Mercier.
Medicine Hat got on the board in the top of the third when Carson Johnson singled in Nolan Rattai to make it 2-1.
The visitors loaded the bases with one out and evened the score at 2-2 on a Jaxson Hooge sacrifice fly.
Lethbridge retook the lead on another two-run home run as Mayo hit a two-out double before Jesse Hilyard drove a shot to deep centre for a 4-2 lead.
The Mavericks replied with one in the top of the fourth when Louie Canjura reached first on an error to Bulls first baseman Brett Semeniuk and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly from Zack Gray to right field to cut Lethbridge’s lead to 4-3.
The Mavericks tied it in the fifth when Carson Johnson scored on a passed ball to make it 4-4 with none out.
Medicine Hat took a 5-4 lead when Michael Conn singled in Rodriguez, ending reliever Kale Penner’s night.
The Mavericks added another when David Salgueiro’s bunt resulted in an error to pitcher Kyle Poapst, scoring Jaxson Hooge from third for a 6-4 lead.
It didn’t get any better for the Bulls when Rattai sent what looked like a inning-ending double play to Bulls second baseman Darius Carter, only to have the ball go through his legs and score Conn from third for a 7-4 lead.
“We had a couple of errors at bad times that killed us,” said Sawyer. “We probably had another eight or nine walks tonight and it’s just killing us, giving them free bases.”
The Bulls trimmed the lead to 7-5 in their half of the fifth thanks to some aggressive base running from Mayo, who took advantage of an error in right field to take second. He then took third on a passed ball and scored on another passed ball.
The Mavericks loaded the bases with two out in the top of the eighth and added two more runs when Hooge sent a dribbler to centre field for a 9-5 lead.
But Lethbridge added their second triple of the game as Dylan Borman sent a triple to centre field and scored on a sacrifice fly from Ashton Roy to put the Bulls within three.
Hank Forrest led off the ninth with a double – his fourth this season – and advanced to third on a shot from Brett Mercier.
He then scored on a passed ball to make it 9-7 to complete the scoring.
Mayo went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and two RBI and is now batting .389. His home run was his second of the season and gives him seven RBI.
He’s been really good in the middle of our order” said Sawyer of Mayo. “He’s been giving us good at bats almost every time. We just need to keep him going and get some other guys going with him.”
Semeniuk hit the other Bulls triple.
On a night when the Bulls had 12 hits, Borman had the other mulit-hit night, going 2-for-4 with one run scored.
Penner was tagged for the loss in relief for the Bulls. He went two-thirds innings, giving up four runs on two hits and walking one.
Liam Sabiston went three and one-third innings in his start, surrendering three runs on five hits, walking five and striking out one.
The Bulls look return to Spitz Stadium Thursday when they host the Brooks Bombers at 7 p.m.
“We just have to be ready to go on Thursday and just find a way to get out of this rut,” said Sawyer. “I still have confidence in this team.”
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