The Weyburn Beavers started their 2012 baseball season with games against Melville and Regina, both played on the road.
“From the looks of the team, I think we have a pretty good team,” said Angelo Nicolosi, the Beavers head coach. “All I have asked is for them to play hard, play smart and play together.”
“I am loving (this team),” said Joseph Taylor, who currently is the batting average leader of the Western Major Baseball League. “We are swinging the bats right now, the pitchers are coming around, and I think we will be a very good challenge for the playoffs, maybe for it all.”
Their home opener, against Swift Current on May 31, had to be suspended after five innings due to rain. The Beavers had a home run to tie their game against Swift Current 2-2, before the game was called because of rain. The rest of this game will be held the next time Weyburn meets the Indians.
Then the Beavers traveled to Melville on June 2, where they split a doubleheader with the Millionaires. They lost game one 8-3, and won game two 12-10.
During game one action, DeMontez Jones hit a home run during the first inning, to score the first run of the game. The Millionaires came back to tie up the game in the bottom of the second inning. Another run was scored by the Beavers at the top of the third inning, but then the Millionaires scored two runs during the bottom of the inning to take an early lead.
The Millionaires continued to score runs, taking one run in both the fourth and fifth inning, and then three runs in the sixth. The Beavers capped off with one run at the top of the seventh.
Robbie Rocamora started on the mound and pitched five innings, and there was five runs scored off 10 hits. Brad Weisgerber pitched the clean up inning, with three runs off two hits.
“Unfortunately, we got on the wrong end of the stick (for game one),” said Nicolosi. “The team battled very well and it was a hard-fought loss.”
Then during the second game, the game was much tighter between the Beavers and the Millionaires, with the game going into 10 innings. The game started with a 1-1 after the second inning, but then in the third inning the Beavers scored once and the Millionaires earned two runs.
Melville notched five more runs in the fifth inning. Then during the sixth inning, a home run by Jon Neuberger scored three runs, and one more run was earned by the Beaver offense. Then during the bottom of the sixth, the Millionaires earned one more run to make it a 7-6.
Three more runs were scored by the Beavers in the seventh and the Millionaires tied up the game by scoring two runs. The game continued to be tied, with both teams scoring one run each during the ninth inning.
During the tenth inning, a home run hit by Dustin Silva scored the two runs that the Beavers needed to secure the win. There was six pitchers sharing responsibilities on the mound during this game. Luke Hawkins started on the mound and pitched four innings, and had six runs scored off six hits.
Phil Curtis pitched one inning, with one run scored off one hit. Tommy Hanks and Kris Keating each pitched part of an inning, with a run scored off Hanks. Riley Schaad pitched one inning, and Dustin Silva closed, he went two innings, and had one run earned off one hit.
“This game was a Canadian version of a slugfest because every time we scored, they scored,” said Nicolosi. “It went back and forth for a while.”
The Beavers were in Regina for a game against the Red Sox on June 3, which they lost 8-7. This was another close game that required extra innings.
Regina started the game off with two runs in the bottom of the first inning. The Beavers scored one run in the third inning, but then the Red Sox scored five runs in the fourth.
It wasn’t until later in the game when the Beavers were able to gain more runs, by scoring three runs in both the seventh and the eighth innings.
During the seventh inning, a double by Joseph Taylor brought in two runs, and a single by Neuberger scored one run. Then during the eighth inning, Chris Van Keulen and Jean Rodriguez scored off wild pitches, and then a single by Taylor scored a run.
These runs by the Beavers tied up the game, and the game went into a tenth inning. A Regina run scored off a wild pitch earned them the game. Stuart Springer started on the mound; he pitched for three innings, and had six runs scored off five hits. Keating pitched for four innings, with one run scored off five hits. Brad Weisgerber and Tommy Hanks cleaned up on the mound, there was one hit scored off Weisgerber.
“The pieces of the puzzle are starting to fit in well, both offensively and defensively,” said Nicolosi. He noted that this was a highlight of what was going to come for the Beavers this year.
The Beavers were in Yorkton on Monday night, and played a against Moose Jaw on Tuesday night. The Beavers play a doubleheader against the Yorkton Cardinals on Thursday, June 7. Both games will be hosted at Tom Laing Park.