Tag: wolfpack

Lawson Leads Pack To Win in Shootout


The Wolfpack improved to 3-0 on the young season in a 13-9 victory over the Canadians Thursday night. The game was shortened to six innings due to a darkness suspension in the top of the seventh inning.

Trent Lawson was the story tonight as he got his season started off to a roaring start by rattling off four hits, including two doubles and a home run, in his first game action of 2019. Filling in for the recently injured Carlos Charmell at shortstop, Lawson wasted no time in spuring the Wolfpack offense by knocking in four runs and scoring three himself. Lawson worked hard in the off season to add some power to his frame and the resuls are already showing on the field, at 20 years old it remains to be seen what his ceiling could ultimately be.

Christian Lapointe (1-0) was deployed as an opener to start this game as the Wolfpack brass tried to keep arms fresh for the upcoming tournament in Westlock, AB this weekend. Lapointe spun two quality innings allowing two hits while striking out two batters and walking none. He left the game as the pitcher of record before the Wolfpack offense came to life in the third inning and put up ten runs, giving them a lead the wouldn’t relinquish. Pat Kelley followed Lapointe by getting an inning of work in with a lopsided score. Kelley threw well but continued to experience tough luck behind him as two of the Pack’s three errors were committed during his inning. The Wolfpack has now committed four errors during Kelley’s 4.2 innings on the mound this season.

Another Wolfpack rookie made his debut on Wednesday night in outfielder Brandon Billesberger. Brandon collected two hits and drew a walk in four plate appearances in his first taste of the FMBA, and looks like he could be a force at the plate once he settles in a gets comfortable. The Wolfpack seem to have found a quality young player to help bolster an outfield that is still suffering from the loss of Blake Carruthers for at least the 2019 season.

The Wolfpack are back in action this weekend at the John Golinowski Memorial Tournament in Westlock, AB where they will take on the Red Deer Razorbacks, Westlock Red Lions, and St. Albert 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.

Another Postponement To Start The Year

Thursday night’s game against the White Sox has been cancelled due to the expectation of even more precipitation and anticipated poor field conditions. The league is also working through some sprinkler system issues that came from the recent cold snap.

The Pack are now looking towards their Sunday morning doubleheader against the Cardinals as their season opener.

No Cooperation From Mother Nature To Start Season

The 2019 season was supposed to start with the Wolfpack taking on the Diamondbacks on Saturday May 4th, but Mother Nature had other ideas. A string of cold snowy days has set the league opening schedule back at least a few days, and the Pack’s opening doubleheader has been tentatively rescheduled for July 27th.

The Pack’s next scheduled game, and their new defacto season opener (if they are able to play it) will be Thursday May 9th against the White Sox.

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.

Wolfpack Swept In Final Weekend Series

The Wolfpack dropped their final two games of the regular season at the hands of the Longhorns Saturday evening to finish the season with a 13-9 record, good for a 5th place finish in the standings. 

After a red-hot start to the season that saw the Wolfpack jump out to an 8-1 record and average close to ten runs per game offensively, the second half of the season proved to not be as kind. The Pack stumbled to the tune of a 5-8 record down the stretch as the bats cooled off and were no longer able to dig them out of holes that walks and errors were putting them in.

The team has a week to tighten things up before taking on the defending champion Calgary Cardinals in the first round of the postseason at 9am and 12pm on Saturday August 18th.

Another Ugly Defensive Showing Drops Pack to 10-5 Record

The Wolfpack have struggled to find their form from earlier in the season that saw them rattle off two separate winning streaks of four games. They have now committed seventeen errors over their last three games, dropping the team fielding percentage from .924 to .900 on the season in the process.

This game was back and forth until walks and defensive miscues caught up with the Wolfpack in the late innings, giving the Dukes a lead that they wouldn’t relinquish. The final score was 13-9.

Jaret Loran (0-1) made the start for the Wolfpack and impressed yet again as he pounded the strike zone throwing eleven out of sixteen first-pitch strikes to the batters he faced. He finally gave up his first three earned runs of the year in this, his third appeareance of 2018, while striking out two and walking one through two and two thirds on the mound, he allowed five hits. Michael Goldade (1-1) was saddled with his first loss of the year as he struggled to consistently find the strike zone after entering the game in relief of Loran.

Offensively the bats stayed hot for the Pack but just weren’t able to overcome the walks and unearned runs provided to the Dukes. Blake Carruthers and Fraser Amrstrong both recorded multiple hits as their perrennial battle for the Silver Slugger award continues to heat up. Roly Diaz provided a bases loaded triple that tied him with Carruthers and Carlos Charmell for second on the club in RBI (13). The Wolfpack Rookie of The Year vote is going to come down to the wire this year as Brendan Roworth and Roly Diaz have been jockeying for position offensively all year, but with the emergence of Jaret Loran on the mound, there is now another name to keep an eye on as the 2018 playoffs approach.

The annual Longhorns Stampede Invitational tournament kicks off for the Wolfpack this Saturday, July 14th at 9am.