Ziegler’s diving catch helps Jays sweep Royals

Posted June 10, 2011

Ziegler’s diving catch helps Jays sweep Royals

In a pivotal week for the Holden Blue Jays and Armena Royals, it was Holden that bounced back from a slow start to the season and took over the hammer, winning both games of the home-and-home series with a 3-1 win Thursday night in Armena.

Ian Sherbaniuk didn’t disappoint as he vied for his third victory of the season for the Royals. Sherbaniuk worked unscathed for the first three innings until an odd play where a ball spun fair at the last second on an infield dribbler to first.

The Blue Jays chipped away and fired a ground ball through shortstop Clark Banack’s legs to go up 3-0 midway through the contest.

Holden starter Stephen Hrabec found his way out of trouble and pitched a solid game. Three times getting out of jams, including one where runners were on second and third with one out where Hrabec got Jason Buzzell to ground out and struck out Cody Sroka to end the side.

He then received the defensive play of the year possibly in the sixth inning, when with two outs and runners on first and second, Buzzell looked to get revenge for the fourth inning failure as he finally ripped a ball to left centre field that looked destined for extra bases. Centre fielder Alan Ziegler however covered ground like a gazelle, flung himself high and hard and snagged the line drive to keep the Royals off the scoreboard on what would have surely have closed the lead down to 3-2.

Buzzell trotted confusedly and stopped for a good minute between first and second upon seeing the catch, as his 0-for-last-11 slump continued.

“I don’t understand how he makes that catch or where he’s playing me on that,” Buzzell said angrily after the game.

“I was just listening to Pat (Kawaliak) on where to (position myself),” Ziegler said.

It ended up being a huge play as the Royals loaded the bases in the final frame, scored a run, and had their all-star Clark Banack up at the plate, who was sporting a hefty .470 average going into the game.

He popped out to third to end the night 0-for-4.

“I cost us the game,” Banack said, too hard on himself given other opportunities for Armena. “I made the error that cost us a run and I sucked at the plate tonight.”

That’s going to haunt me to my grave.”

It was Holden’s first road win of the season, and a huge win given the short staff they had. Given the hard charging Camrose Roadrunners, the Jays season sweep of the Armena Royals could end up being crucial to them making the playoffs.

The Royals on the other hand, are once again on the brink after another heartbreaking loss.
“It’s getting old being so close, but finding ways to lose instead of winning,” Buzzell said. “We’ll keep working hard and doing our best to overcome this curse we seem to find ourselves in.”

Posted on June 10, 2011 by Jason Buzzell

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