MEDICINE HAT, AB - After a marathon day that began with a 23-3 stomping at the hands of the Bulls in Lethbridge, the Yorkton Cardinals seemed destined for another blowout loss in Medicine Hat.
But a late rally pushed the Mavericks to the brink, holding on for a 7-5 victory over the road weary Cardinals on Saturday night.
Kicking off a Canada Day long weekend set against Yorkton, the Mavericks jumped out to an early 5-0 lead in the second inning after a grand slam from Austin Sojka sent the Athletic Park crowd into hysterics.
Medicine Hat increased its lead to two more runs in the bottom of the sixth, as Sal Rodriguez drove in his 15th run of the season with a double to make it a 7-0 contest.
Mavericks starting pitcher Owen Steele was sitting pretty with zero earned runs given up on three hits before being replaced after the sixth inning.
Yorkton began to gain momentum late however, starting with a sacrifice-fly from Phil Whelan in the eighth inning to get the Cardinals on the board.
Medicine Hat skipper Tom Vessella turned to newcomer Zach McDermott for the save in the ninth inning up 7-1, making just his second appearance in a Mavericks uniform.
His night would be short however as two walks and a Cardinal hit by a pitch loaded up the bases for the visitors.
Yorkton first baseman Jason Wallace then drew another walk from McDermott, bringing in a run and bringing Mavericks relief pitcher Austin Oulds into the game with the bases juiced.
With one out in the ninth and the bases still loaded, Oulds plunked Whelan to score another run for the Cardinals to cut the gap to four runs.
After Oulds was able to get Trenton Lee striking out for the second out of the inning, he allowed an RBI-single from Shawn Munro to score two more Yorkton runs to make it a 7-5 game.
However on the hit, Sojka was able to launch a throw from left field to catch Munro in time trying for second base to end the game for the Mavericks.
Despite the scare, Steele was still able to pick up his second win of the season thanks in part to a four-RBI performance from Sojka back in the second inning.
Getting their 10th win of the 2019 WCBL season, the Mavericks also broke a three-game winless streak and moved to a 10-16 record for fifth place in the west.
Medicine Hat continues their weekend set with Yorkton on Sunday afternoon at 2:05 pm, following the ‘Battle of the Badges’ charity softball game between the Medicine Hat Police Service and Medicine Hat Fire Department.
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