The North Battleford Beavers appeared to have things moving in the right direction Monday in Wilkie, as they played a make up game against the Wilkie Brewers.
The Beavers had two runners reach base in the first, second and third innings, but couldn’t score a run. Along with being on the verge of scoring, the Beavers’ pitcher Jared Inkster faced just 10 batters in the first three innings and was holding the Brewers at bay.
The Beavers struck first in the forth inning when Tyler Russell scored after a leadoff walk, but Wilkie responded with a five run fifth inning, which was capped off by a three-run home run by Jason Schell just inside the right field foul pole. Aaron Sittler and Brad Frehlich also drove in runs and scored on the home run in the fifth inning.
Wilkie scored two more in the sixth inning to take a 7-1 lead into the seventh and Russ Nielsen, who started the game, chose to finish it. With two runners on, there was a fly ball to centre field for the third out and Wilkie clinched second place with the win.
The Brewers improved to 10-2 on the season and have locked down second place while the Beavers dropped to 6-6 and cling to the eighth spot in the North Saskatchewan River Baseball League standings.
Inkster was impressive for the Beavers tossing all six innings giving up six singles, a home run and four walks while hitting one batter and striking out five.
Nielsen earned his third win of the season after allowing just one run on six hits, four walks and two hit batters. Nielsen also recorded two strikeouts.
The Beavers now need to win their final game of the regular season Wednesday at Beaver Lions Stadium against the Border City Blue Jays and need some help along the way to make the playoffs. The Beavers can still be caught by the 4-5 Lloydminster Midget Twins and the 5-6 Mervin Flyers for the final playoff spot.
Also Monday, the Lloydminster Junior Redhawks beat the Midget Twins 6-2 to improve to 8-3 on the season.
Saturday, Standard Hill fell 9-4 to the Kindersley Raiders and Thursday the Beavers won 8-7 over Standard Hill.
Meadow Lake edged Unity Thursday by a 5-1 score, as the Cardinals were the first team to complete their 13-game schedule and hold the seventh spot in the standings with a 7-6 mark.
Because of the wet summer many games were rained out and unfortunately most games were moved to this week meaning any more rain and there could be a major problem trying to finish the schedule. For now four teams have clinched a playoff spot – the Lloydminster Meridian Twins, Wilkie Brewers, Lloydminster Juniors Redhawks and Border City Blue Jays.
Teams in the playoff hunt such as Meadow Lake can still finish anywhere from 4-9 on the season to 10-3, meaning much is left to be determined in the extended final week of the season.