Lions edge closer to first place
Westlock beats Edmonton Warriors 7-1
The Westlock Red Lions are one win closer to the top spot in the North Central Alberta Baseball League.
The local boys notched a dominate 7-1 win over the Warriors in Edmonton last Wednesday night, keeping them neck-in-neck with the first-place Camrose Axemen.
Lions’ manager Adam Sawatzky said Wednesday’s game was a perfect example when everything goes right.
“I felt very good. We played a complete game top to bottom. From our pitching and our defense to our hitting, everybody executed everything well,” he said. “There was nothing you could pick on to work on after that game.”
The Lions came out to an early lead over the Warriors, who were outmatched right from the start.
“We had a two-run triple from TJ Oliwa in the first, and a two-run triple from Ryan Teske in the second,” Sawatzky said. “They came back a little bit, but we scored three runs in the last two innings.”
If there was room for improvement after Wednesday’s game it was with the pitching, but there was not a whole lot lacking there, either.
“They did manage to get some runners on,” Sawatzky said. “Chris Johnson threw the first four innings to get the win, and he wasn’t as sharp as he has been but he battled and still only gave up the three hits.”
The win, combined with a loss from the first-place Axemen, puts the Lions within striking distance of the league’s top spot.
The Axemen, who ended their winning streak June 24 with a 9-8 loss to the Mayerthorpe Mets, now have a record of 8-1 and 0.889 percentage. The Lions are sitting on a 7-1-1 record, with a 0.833 percentage.
The two teams aren’t scheduled to go head-to-head, however, until a double header July 15 at Keller Field. That match will likely result in one of those two teams clinching first place.
The Lions have a busy week ahead of them, with a home game Tuesday, July 3, against the Legal Indians followed by a game Thursday, July 5, against the Blackhawks in Edmonton.
“They’re two very good teams,” Sawatzky said. “If we play the way we did (Wednesday), we’ll be giving ourselves a good chance, but it’s never easy.”
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