June 18th, 2024

Bottom of Bulls order gets it done

By Dale Woodard on July 24, 2021.

The Lethbridge Bulls offence got back on track and a small losing skid went off the rails as a result.

In a rematch with the Okotoks Dawgs Red, the Bulls posted an 11-6 victory in Western Canadian Baseball League play Friday night at Spitz Stadium to snap a two-game losing skid.

After falling behind 2-0 after two-and-a-half to the Dawgs, the Bulls sounded off with three runs in the third and fifth innings and four in the fourth on their way to the win as the bottom half of the lineup did the majority of the damage. Left fielder Evan Symons went 3-for-4 with one run scored and catcher and Lethbridge native Ty Wevers hit 2-for-4 with two runs scored.

Meanwhile, fellow local product Torrin Vaselenak turned in a two-RBI performance and batted 2-for-5 with two runs scored.

The good vibes continued off the field on a night that produced the biggest 50-50 draw of the year of $2,235 with the winners donating half of their $1,118 earnings to the YMCA, someone winning a free round of golf thanks to a double in the eighth inning and a mid-innings proposal at field level (she said yes).

Back in the dugout, the bottom part of the order doing the majority of the damage was a proposal Bulls head coach Chance Wheatley wasn’t going to say ‘no’ to.

“Ty had a great had great game and Symons is really starting to hit,” said Wheatley. “We’re getting some production from the bottom of the order. The middle of the order has done so much damage all year, it’s great to get some production down there.”

The Bulls kicked off the night’s production in the third when Noah Or and Logan King scored on an error to shortstop and Kalem Haney singled to score Brad Goodwin.

The runs kept coming in the fourth.

Vaselenak singled with one out and scored on a Mike Fitzsimmons single.

Carlin Dick then doubled to score Fitzsimmons and King and scored on a wild pitch to make it 7-2 after four innings.

Lethbridge added three more in the fifth as Wevers singled to third base and eventually scored on a Vaselenak single to left field.

Symons scored on a sacrifice fly from Fitzsimmons and Vaselenak came in on a passed ball.

“I think it just all came down to seeing the ball well and taking advantage of good pitches all over the plate, ultimately that’s how we got things rolling for the boys,” said Wevers, who is now batting .325 on the season. “I just feel more comfortable being aggressive in the box and seeing pitches better with a plan, going up there with an approach has really helped me a lot and helped the team win.”

The Bulls comeback bid against the Dawgs Red fell just short Thursday night when Okotoks held off a ninth inning rally to post a 9-8 win.

“After last night I hoped we would bounce back and come out fired up and the guys put up some runs,” said Wheatley. “As they say, hitting is contagious and I think for the most part of the year it’s been very contagious.”

Bulls starter Flynn Ridley earned the win, going seven innings and allowing four runs on 10 hits. He walked one and struck out six.

Dawgs Red starter Adam Sarafinchen was tagged for the loss, throwing four innings and giving up seven runs on six hits, walking five and striking out one.

With the win, the Bulls sit tied for second with the Edmonton Prospects and two games back of the Okotoks Dawgs Black, who beat the Prospects 8-4 in the other game Friday night in Edmonton.

The race remains tight in the second half and Wevers said that leaves little room for error.

“It’s great,” he said. “But with the league being this close, there’s no room for error. We have to keep playing the way we can. We have to eliminate errors, pitch on the mound, hit and do all those things right.”

The Bulls and Dawgs hammered out 12 hits each.

Dick had two RBI to increase his total to 20 this season. Fitzsimmons also had two RBI and 19 this year.

For the Dawgs Red, Tucker Zdunich was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI, while Nash Crowell was 2-for-4 with one run scored.

Cole Tucker hit 2-for-4 for Okotoks.

The Bulls head to Okotoks this afternoon for a rematch with the Dawgs Red at 1:05 p.m. and take on the Dawgs Black Sunday at 2:05 p.m.

Lethbridge returns home Wednesday when the Dawgs Red return to Spitz Stadium at 7:05 p.m.

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