Around The PBL: May 13 - May 16
Posted May 14, 2019
The first full week of Powerline Baseball League action started off with a Monday night game in Edmonton between the Expos and the Roadrunners. This week a total of nine games are scheduled before the league takes the Victoria Day Long Weekend off.
Three games are highlighted this week with the Rosalind Athletics taking on the Leduc Milleteers on Tuesday May 14 as the two teams renew hostilities after their semi-final series last season. We get our first Camrose vs Camrose game of the season on Thursday May 16 as the two crosstown rivals square off at Harry Andreassen Field. Finally, perhaps the most anticipated game of the early part of the season sees the defending champion Armena Royals take on the Leduc Milleteers on Thursday night at Anniversary Park. The last time these teams were on a field together the Royals were hosting the PBL Championship trophy after beating the Milleteers 2-1 in the series. Both teams are expected to be atop the standings at the end of the season, Thursday's game will give us our first glimpse of what could be the best two teams in the league.
MONDAY MAY 13
Camrose Roadrunners - 0
Edmonton Expos - 10
The Expos would make easy work of the Roadrunners on Monday night at Empire Park, needing only six innings to get their first win of the season. Costly errors by the Roadrunners and a couple of home field bounces for the Expos quickly took the game from a 4-0 Expos lead to 10-0. It was reported that Gavin Tyrinek got the start for the Expos setting the tone for the Expos as they would make it tough for the Roadrunners to get enough offence together to threaten the lead with good pitching and defence. For the Roadrunners Aaron Hayes threw well but a few too many free passes and some costly errors overshadowed a decent showing on the mound. The Expos pick up their first win of the season after losing 5-2 to the Rosalind Athletics in Rosalind on Saturday afternoon. The win now gives home teams a 5-0 record through the first five games of the season.
(Above: The umpire gets a good look at the play as Expos' Gavin Tyrinek successfuly completes the straight steal of home)
TUESDAY MAY 14
Rosalind Athletics - 13
Leduc Milleteers - 7
The Rosalind Athletics rolled into Fred Johns Park on what became a dark and cool Tuesday night and came away with a big win against the team that eliminated them from the playoffs in 2018. The win moves the A's into first place with a 2-0 record while the Milleteers find themselves in the PBL basement early in the season with a 0-2 record. The A's would start the game off with the first four hitters reaching base, with Chase Leslie leading off the game with a single. Leslie, Matt Enright and Sheldon Pederson would all cross the plate for the A's to give them an early 3-0 lead. The Milleteers would score two in the bottom half of the inning with RBI singles from Alex McIntosh and Dallas Woodman. In the top of the third inning the A's would capitalize on some sloppy Milleters play in the field to score two more and start the trend of two or three runs per inning for the rest of the game. The top of the A's order (Leslie, M.Enright and Pederson) would combine to score nine runs on the evening with Kobe Charchun going 1 for 3 with a pair of runs scored in the eight spot of the lineup. The Milleteers offence would show life in the bottom of the fifth when they would score five runs as seven of the ten batters in the inning would reach base. The big hit came off the bat of Alex McIntosh who would hit a two RBI double. McIntosh would finish 4 for 4 with three singles, a double and three RBIs on the night. The game would end up being called in the sixth due to the playing conditions.
Edmonton Expos - 9
Tofield Braves - 3
Playing with eight players and down to their final three outs, the Edmonton Expos managed to score seven runs in the top of the seventh inning to turn a 3-2 game into a 9-3 win on the road. The win is the Expos second in as many nights as the team was anchored by an impressive start on the hill for 2018 PBL All-Star Gary LeBlanc. Corey Epp would throw an impressive 5.0 innings for the Braves, holding the Expos to only two runs. However the veteran Edmonton team would hang in and with the help of some seeing eye singles, hit batters and bloop hits they would eventually get to the Braves pitcher Dustin Huebert who came in for the top of the sixth inning. The Braves narrowly escaped the inning with a 3-3 tie, when a race to first base resulted in a very close safe call. Instead of the auto out coming up next to be the third and final out, the Expos would continue the inning with only two out. The rest is history as the Expos completed the impressive comeback.
Sherwood Park Athletics - 5
Holden Blue Jays - 5
Tonight's 5-5 draw in Vegreville between the Holden Blue Jays and Sherwood Park Athetics was the first tie in the PBL since the Rosalind Athletics and Bardo Athletics tied 9-9 on June 4, 2015. Grayson Suprovich got the start for the Jays holding the Athletics to only a pair of unearned runs and striking out 6 in his 4.0 innings of work. Clay Giebelhaus, 2.1 innngs pitched, 2 earned runs, 2 strikeouts was relief for manager Stephen Hrabec and the Jays before Randall Zielger closed out the game with 0.2 innings pitched and 0 earned runs allowed. Offensively the Jays were led by Zak Lang and Stephen Hrabec. Lang finished the night 2-3 with a RBI, a double and two runs scored and Hrabec was on base twice and scored twice by going 1-3 with a double and a walk. The Athletics would twice climb back into the game showing great resilience, first down 3-0 after the first inning and again down 5-2 heading into the sixth inning before eventually stealing a point on the road in the darkness shortened game.
WEDNESDAY MAY 15
Armena Royals (1-0) at Camrose Axemen (0-1)
Wednesday night's game between the Royals and Axemen was the first victim of the weather in the 2019 season. With the dimaond holding water the teams were forced to cancel the game and will re-schedule the game for a late date in the season. With the amount of water of the field on Wednesday night, there is concern that if the weather doesn't clear up overnight and turn into sun on Thursday, the Axemen vs Roadrunners game at Harry Andreassen Field may also be in jeopardy.
THURSDAY MAY 16
Camrose Axemen - 9
Camrose Roadrunners - 11
The first Battle of Camrose game in 2019 goes to the Roadrunners as they hang on to win after a late surge by the Axemen. The Roadrunners offence was supported by a massive home run to right field off the bat of an unknown hitter while the Axemen continued to make some costly errors and mental miscues in their first PBL action of the season.
Rosalind Athletics - 10
Sherwood Park Athletics - 3
Griff Lornez made his debut with the Rosalind Athletics on Thursday night and was dominant through four innings of work as he would leave with a 7-0 lead for his first career win with the A's. The 19-year old has Rosalind fans excited and there is a Vladimir Guerrero Jr like excitement around the potential of the flame throwing lefty and how he could put the A's over the top this season. Sherwood Park was able to get on the board with a late 328' solo home run off the bat of Kyle Breisbois before scoring two more runs on an infield single in the top of the seventh. The win moves Rosalind into a 3-0 record with a battle against the defending champions on Tuesday night as the Armena Royals visit the 'Homer Dome'.
Leduc Milleteers - 3
Armena Royals - 13
It has been a tough start to the season for the Milleteers, who for the second time in three games were on the losing end of a mercy rule evoked game as the Royals managed to walk them off in the sixth inning. Details about the game were not available.
Holden Blue Jays - 2
Tofield Braves - 1
In what may have been the game of the night in the PBL, the Holden Blue Jays won in traditional Blue Jays style with a low scoring, complete game gem from ace Kyle Muzechka. Clay Gielbelhaus was all the offence the Jays needed as a two RBI single in the top of the second inning from the youngster proved to be all Holden needed to come away with a road win. The Braves found themselves in a position to win the game with two runners on base, includign the winning run at second, in the bottom of the seventh but could not send the fans home happy with a win.
At the end of the first week in the Powerline Baseball League the fans have gotten to see a little of everying from forfeits to close games to blow outs to rainouts and even a tie game. Three teams remain undefeated atop the PBL standings with Rosalind, Armena and Holden yet to be defeated while the Axemen, Sherwood Park Athletics and the Milleteers all have yet to find the win column. Will we see more separation in the standings or will teams begin to clump together with more parity in games? Fans will have to wait and see as the league will resume after the May Long Weekend on Tuesday May 21 with three games.