After a difficult 2012 WMBL season, the Yorkton Cardinals close out their campaign on a high note, defeating the defending champion Regina Red Sox to wrap up the season at Jubilee Park. With a 14-32 season the Cardinals had few bright spots in their summer, but with one last chance to give the home crowd something to cheer about, the Cardinals did not disappoint.
Thursday saw the Cardinals lose 3-0 to the Moose Jaw Miller Express in what was an insignificant contest for the Cardinals who were already out of playoff contention. Two runs in the third and another in the ninth proved the difference in the ballgame as the Express took the shutout win. Logan Hershenow was the losing pitcher despite having a quality start for the Cardinals. Hershenow allowed just two runs despite giving up eleven hits, getting out of tough jams for the majority of the ballgame and keeping the Cards in a position to win the game. Scott Jones provided the winning bat for the Express, knocking in the two RBI’s that provided the difference for the Miller Express. Drew Evans earned a complete game shutout for the Express adding three strikeouts while allowing just five hits and no walks, lowering his season ERA to an impressive 3.52.
After the loss to the Express the stage was set for a season finale against the Cardinals Eastern Division rivals and defending champion Regina Red Sox,. The matchup gave the Cardinals an opportunity to end their season on a high note and give the hometown Jubilee Park crowd one last thing to cheer about before turning off the lights and waiting for hockey season to kick off. And the young Cardinals in a rare occasion, did not disappoint.
Jamie Whitehead gave the Cardinals six solid innings as the starting pitcher, allowing just one run and keeping the Cardinals within striking distance going into the games final innings. In the bottom of the eighth all of the Cardinals bad luck turned around in one final moment as a three run surge gave the Cardinals a three-one lead an the closing win on the season’s final day.
Brayon Colley, one of the few bright spots on the Cardinals roster all season, fittingly provided the heroics with a RBI single to start off the scoring in the eighth. Colley also stole a base in the eighth leading to the games winning run, before scoring himself to make it a 3-1 lead for the Cardinals heading into the Red Sox final at bat in the top of the ninth. Francisco Rodriguez also added to the baserunning punch with Colley as he did all season with a stolen base of his own. Colley and Rodriguez impressed all season on the basepaths. Particularly Colley who notched 28 stolen bases and was one of the most entertaining players in the entire WMBL in centerfield this season, using his speed to notch an impressive 28 stolen bases despite not being an everyday starter for the Cards.
In the top of the ninth Corey Thompson shut the door wrapping up his three inning win in relief for the Cardinals in his final pitching performance of the season. Whitehead and Thompson shined in the win, just allowing four hits combined from the mound in their outings, giving Colley and the Cardinals bats a chance to win the game for the home crowd fans.
Despite going 14-32 the Cardinals still gave the vibe of a talented young baseball team that just could not piece together the winning formula in what is a difficult and short WMBL schedule, a shame given the effort the team did display every night.
After a disappointing season, the Cardinals will now be watching the WMBL playoffs from the sidelines as their players head back to their respective hometowns and college ballclubs throughout Canada and the United States as the Cardinals will now look to regroup and retool with a fresh crop of ballplayers in hopes of a turnaround 2013 campaign with eyes set on a return to the WMBL playoffs.. Baseball action is not yet over at Jubilee Park as it hosts the Saskatchewan Senior Baseball Championships this weekend before hosting the Yankees home games in the 2012 SESBL Championship Series between the Yorkton Yankees and Willowbrook Royals. That series is TBD and will be a best of five series to determine the SESBL champions.
The Yorkton Cardinals would like to thank the players and all of their fans for their support and efforts during the 2012 season