Yurkowski smacks in Bardo clincher

Posted July 24, 2009

Yurkowski smacks in Bardo clincher

It was a new chapter in the rivalry between the Bardo Athletics and Camrose Roadrunners, and likely not the last.

But in the end, much like the pages and stories we’ve read before, the ol’ guard found a way to chip at, come back, get under the skin and complete the sweep of this year’s regular season champions in back-to-back extra-inning games, including Thursday night’s 3-2 thriller.

After four innings of almost flawless baseball, things got hairy in the fifth. Camrose striking first on a Hans Haugen double to drive in one, then an infield ground ball with two outs led to the second run – although it didn’t appear that way at first until umpires Peter Rogers and Doug Bowie came together and declared that while Bardo’s Ken Braget looked to apply the tag to Haugen between second and third, the run scored.

“That was a real smart play by Hans,” said Bardo’s Ray Lehman, forced to become permanent coach and cheerleader after what the team is only calling a “lower body injury.” “He’s a great ball player that kid.”

And he was also pitching great. But his defence began to shake and the Bardo offence got to Haugen in their bottom half with a two-run single by Bardo all-star Rob Berrecloth, a stealthy opposite field poke between short and third.

Then, as forecasted in the series preview, things got stupid.

Haugen and Pete Neufield exchanged verbal jousts and words that made Kevin Reinholdt in the crowd blush were spoken. The umpires intervened and warned both squads, which ended up being ignored. Haugen worked his way out of the inning with a double play ball and then got another huge double play on a deep fly ball to send the game to extra innings.

But on a pick-off play in the seventh that led to a run-down and subsequent out, Camrose catcher Luke Haugen took exception to a hard slide, and pushed the Bardo baserunner. Bardo’s Ryan Stauffer, who was coaching first, lightly pushed back and it appeared the benches could clear. Umpire Bowie had seen enough. He tossed Haugen and things finally settled down for the rest of the night.

In the top of the eighth, Bardo’s Ken Braget knocked down a ball that took a bad hop at third base and threw out the runner to end the inning. This fired up the defending champs and their dozen or so fans. Berrecloth then singled and was moved over into scoring position before long-time Bardoite Gary Yurkowski singled home the game- and series-winning run.

“He was just sitting there and he was the only one that looked at me and said, ‘So when do you want me to get a hit,'” Lehman said of Yurkowski, who made up for his statue-like mishap on a ball hit to left field in the seventh inning.

Bardo now takes on Leduc in a re-match of last years semi-final series. The series reportedly begins Wednesday night in the “Black Gold” city.

Posted on July 24, 2009 by Jason Buzzell

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