Tag: calgary cardinals

Pack Sweep Season Series With Cardinals, Injury Bug Bites Again

The Wolfpack kept the bats hot and the good times rolling in Game 2 of their season opening doubleheader with the Cardinals with a 10-5 victory to complete the sweep before some time off to regroup and rest.

Rookie Pat Kelley (1-0) made his first career start with the Wolfpack and impressed in his first FMBA action. His pitches showed life and he kept Cardinals hitters off balance for the duration of his start, which was shortened due to a self-imposed pitch count heading into the game. Kelley powered through 3.2 innings and didn’t allow an earned run as he consistently generated groundballs and whiffs with his movement. He struck out four and didn’t allow an extra base hit.

Wolfpack veteran Brent Suecroft provided 1.1 innings of quality relief, allowing no runs and only giving up a single hit while he bridged the gap to Game 2 closer Dirk Dembroski. Dembroski entered the game and did exaclt what a closer is asked to do, pound the strikezone, he three 67% of his pitches for strikes and allowed no earned runs while only giving up three singles over the two innings to close the game out and pick up his first save of the season.

Roly Diaz, Shaun Connor, and Curtis Smith contributed multiple hits in Game 2, but it was Diaz who showed the clutch gene by knocking in 3 more runs and jumping out to a team leading 6 RBI after only two games. Michael Goldade started in center field and struggled somewhat at the plate but was able to string together a couple of stolen bases to put him on pace to approach his franchise record of 23 steals in a season.

Unfortunately, the win did not come without a cost. Carlos Charmell exited early after coming up lame on a stolen base attempt in the 3rd inning. He left he field for further testing but early indications are that this will be an extended absence for the heavy hitting shortstop and will certainly leave a hole near the top of the Wolfpack lineup. The Pack are now likely moving forward without star centerfielder Blake Carruthers and Charmell for most if not all of the 2019 season.

The Wolfpack are back in action on May 23rd when they take on the Canadians before heading to Westlock, AB for their first cash tournament of the season May  25th-26th.

Pack Off On The Right Foot in 2019

The Wolfpack were finally able to start their 2019 season this weekend after a week’s worth of rain delays washed out their first 3 games. They took on the Cardinals in the morning doubleheader on Mother’s Day and were able to hit the ground running witha 7-5 victory in Game 1.

Curtis Smith (1-0) provided a quailty six-innings on the mound and had his swing and miss stuff on full display as he retired 16 batters by way of the strikeout. He allowed 3 runs (2 earned) on 5 hits while walking only 2 batters. The walk numbers were a pleasant surpise after he battled walks throughout 2018, but too many 3-ball counts and the resulting elevated pitch count still cost him a complete game in this one and he will have to work on his efficiency moving forward.

Axel Christoffersen made his first appearance with the Wolfpack since 2016 as he came in to relieve Smith and try to close out the game. The cobwebs from 3 years away from the game while serving his country seemed apparent, as he threw well but was unable to record an out before being pulled to turn the save opportunity to Christian Lapointe. Lapointe’s first relief appearance of the year delivered exactly what the doctor ordered, after walking his first batter to load the bases he recorded a strikeout, a foul pop out, and another strikeout to close the book on Game 1.

The Wolfpack offense was more than ready to swing the bat on opening day, and it only took them a couple innings to get the hits to start dropping. After Charmell and Armstrong were left stranded following singles in the first inning, the bottom of the order was able to set the table for the second time through the order in the second inning. Rookie Ray Tamayo led off with a hit-by-pitch, Jon Young drew a walk, and Austin Baran beat out an infield error to load the bases for Trevor Czernick who knocked in an RBI to tie the game and turn the lineup over with an infield single. Charmell singled home two more before 2018 Rookie of the Year Roly Diaz doubled home Czernick to take a 4-1 lead that the Pack would not look back from.

With a few new faces on the Wolfpack in 2019, it was going to be interesting to see how the new roster looked, and if Game 1 is any indication, the Pack have taken a step forward in terms of talent, despite already being a championship contender.

Wolfpack Move On To Semifinals With Game 3 Win

The Wolfpack clinched their quarterfinal series with the Cardinals with a 10-2 victory over the defending champions in Game 3 on Monday night, they now move onto the semifinals to face the Longhorns in a fight for the right to compete for a title.

Curtis Smith (9-1) held the Cardinals to two runs again in what was a slightly less crisp complete game performance than his outing in Game 1, but the Wolfpack offense started to heat up with the return of their 2017 MVP Blake Carruthers to the lineup and provided plenty of run support to earn the Pack the deciding victory in their opening series.

There were several offensive standouts in this game as Matt Zanutto and Carlos Charmell both collected multiple hits and scored multiple runs, Zanutto also provided the only extra base hit on the day when he smashed a triple into the right centerfield gap in the fifth inning. Shaun Connor provided his usual timely hits in the middle of the order and thus led the team in RBI by knocking in three runs on the night.

Michael Goldade continued to terrorize opposing batteries on the base paths as he swiped his twenty-second base of the FMBA season tonight, he continues to rewrite the Wolfpack (and probably FMBA) record book in the steals category despite being sideline with a quad injury for almost a month early in the season. He has yet to be thrown out.

The Pack kick off their semifinal series with the Longhorns on Saturday morning at 9am followed immediately by Game 2 with the third game to follow if necessary on Sunday at 12pm.

Cardinals Storm Back To Win Game 2 15-3

The Cardinals bats caught fire in Game 2 as they scored in each of the first four innings to grab an early 11-2 lead that they would not relinquish.

It was death by a thousand paper cuts for Jaret Loran (1-2) who took a tough loss against a Cardinals offense that exploited just about every hole they could find on the field en route to an eighteen (soft) hit ball game. Christian Lapointe and Brent Suecroft both provided some quality relief but this never quite had the feel of a game that the Wolfpack’s hearts were in.

Carlos Charmell stuck out offensively as the only player to collect multiple hits while also knocking in two of the Pack’s three runs in the game.

The Wolfpack will look to flush this game mentally and prepare for a deciding Game 3 coming up on Monday night.

Pack Start Postseason On Right Foot With 3-2 Win Over Cardinals

The Wolfpack took Game 1 of their playoff series with the Cardinals by a score of 3-2 on Saturday morning to kick off the 2018 FMBA Playoffs.

Curtis Smith (8-1) took the hill for the Wolfpack and spun a complete game against the defending champion Cardinals. He allowed two earned runs and seven hits while walking two and striking out ten. Smith’s strikeout of Kaleb Pratt in the fourth inning was his 100th of the season in league play, making him the first ever Wolfpack player to reach that plateau.

The hits were hard to come by in this game, as the Pack were outhit by the Cardinals 7 to 3, but the hits they did get were timely as three runs were all they would need to put this game away. Trent Lawson, Carlso Charmell, and Fraser Armstrong were the only ones to hit safely, while Jaret Loran also provided a key RBI as well, but the story of this game for the Wolfpack was the defense.

The Pack played error free baseball for just the sixth time in what was their twenty-seventh game of the season, and that defense proved to be the difference in a game that could have easily gone either way.

Game 2 of the three game series kicks off immediately following Game 1 as the Wolfpack look to sweep the Cardinals out of the playoffs and advance to the semifinals.

Tale Of Two Games: Shootout Erupts as Wolfpack Down Cardinals 21-17

It seemed the Wolfpack bats indeed only needed some time to shake off the rust from the time off, because they scored runs in all seven innings of this game en route to a shootout win to salvage a split in the season series with the Cardinals.

The defense was shaky yet again, as the Pack committed another five errors to go along with their six from Game 1. But, in true Wolfpack fashion, the offense hung twenty-one runs on the Cardinals to bail out the defense.

Wolfpack starter Brent Suecroft (0-0) struggled uncharecteristically with his command early and found himself forced into hitter’s counts which led to him allowing eight hits and seven walks through two and a third, he struck out one and gave up eight runs. Neil Robertson (0-0) came in for his second pitching appearance of the day and limited the walks for an inning but still gave up four runs of his own before Christian Lapointe (2-0) would enter the game and provide some stability on the mound for the next three innings. The defense faltered yet again behind Lapointe as he would surrender five more runs (all of which were unearned) but by limiting the damage long enough for the Wolfpack offense to continue firing, Lapointe would ultimately earn his second win of the season in a solid relief effort.

The Wolfpack offense exploded back to life in this game, and never gave the Cardinal pitching staff a chance to breathe after scoring five runs in the first inning. The only player to not record a hit was catcher Steve Selinger, and that was because they couldn’t throw him any strikes to swing at, he reached base via the free pass four times in five plate appeareances. Jon Young had one hit in four at-bats while drawing two walks of his own in his return to the Pack, and every other Wolfpack hitter chipped in multiple hits.

Blake Carruthers paced the offense with four hits, driving in four runs, and scoring three times himself. Although the power numbers are down from last year, his .500 batting average, 1.420 OPS, and 1.000 fielding percentage prove why he is an annual favourite for the Wolfpack’s annual MVP award as voted on by the players.

The Pack are back in action Wednesday, July 11th to wrap up their season series against the 11-4 Dukes.

Wolfpack Sluggish After Long Layoff, Lose Ugly To Cardinals

The Wolfpack came into their weekend series with the Cardinals shorthanded and rusty as they hadn’t played since June 19th entering Sunday aftenroon’s game, and it showed.

The Wolfpack bats took too long to heat up and squandered what opportunities they did have by stranding too many base runners early in this game. Cardinals starter Tom Sidorkewicz (3-2) held the Wolfpack to one run through five innings in a pitcher’s duel with Pack starter Curtis Smith (4-1) who had a 1-0 lead going into the bottom of the fifth before the wheels fell off defensively. The Wolfpack committed five errors in the inning to allow six unearned runs before they could escape and that damage would prove to be all the Cardinals needed to take the victory with a final score of 8-2.

A couple of offensive highlights include Carlos Charmell and Blake Carruthers both collecting multiple base hits, but apart from that there were not a lot of positive takeaways from this game.

This was an ugly effort in all phases of the game for the Pack, and the hope is that it was due to rust from the lengthy layoff, but the bodies will have to get back into game shape quickly as the Wolfpack could have as many as twelve games in the next twenty days, starting with Game 2 of this doubleheader with the Cardinals.