It was another all-Moose Jaw battle between 11U AA Canucks and the Moose Jaw Prairie Dogs, but this one was a 13-12 battle marked with a walk-off double for the Canucks.
The teams were in first and second place in the Baseball Saskatchewan AA league heading into the weekend.
Prairie Dogs head coach Craig Flanagan is happy with the way his team has grown in the last couple of weeks
“I think both teams maybe could clean the defense up a little bit, but that’s youth baseball,” Flanagan said. “I was super proud of our Prairie Dogs team. We were down in the game twice and our boys battled back against some really good pitchers and came back in the game twice.”
Despite the loss, Flanagan's team improved on a lot of things since the teams' last meeting.
“I think our pitching was a little more consistent and we were throwing more strikes this game,” he said. “They have some strong pitchers, so I think our hitters and our kids got a little more acclimatized to their pitching. And I think we hung in there and had stronger, better at-bats tonight, too.”
Canucks head coach Shane Sowden felt even with the win, his team will turn their attention to hitting and focus.
“The big thing is gearing up for playoffs,” Sowden said. “We know they’ve got some guys that can throw harder. The Blue Jays, the one team that beat us, they’ve got two guys that can throw pretty hard. At this level, if you’ve got teams who can throw strikes and throw hard like you saw (Sunday), it’s tough to hit.”
Sowden's team remains in first place in the league, and he didn't mind that the game was closer.
“This was the best thing for it. We needed a tight game,” he said. “They’re coached well and they play well, so that was fun to see. Almost every inning there was pressure. We haven’t had that and it was nice to have that. So that was good. We needed a game like that.”
Their league's regular season ends Sept. 2 with the playoffs starting Sept. 7. It would surprise no one to see the Canucks and Prairie Dogs meet at some point in the playoffs, and perhaps even the final.