M.L. Sox headed for playoffs
By Derek Cornet
The Meadow Lake Milltown White Sox have been guaranteed a spot in this year’s playoffs after one away and two at-home wins in North Saskatchewan River Baseball League (NSRBL) action last weekend.
It was all Meadow Lake on Friday night as the Sox downed the St. Walburg Reds 7-0 on the road.
On June 21, the Sox faced the Mervin Flyers and North Battleford Beavers during a double-header at Lions Park. The team emerged victorious in both contests with scores of 3-0 and 3-2 respectively. Sox coach and player Kevin Gerwing was pleased with the outcome and the wins set the team up in a good position moving forward.
“It safely puts us in a playoff spot and gives us a great shot at earning second place in our division,” he remarked. “We have four regular season games left and we’d like to sneak in a couple more wins.”
The 3-0 win against Mervin also marked the third shutout in a row for the Sox. The team has also only allowed five runs during the previous five games. Gerwing said the Mervin team lacks the depth of other league teams and the Sox were expecting to do well against them.
He went on to say the second game with the Beavers was more of a struggle. Gerwing noted they weren’t batting as well as they should and the team overall was lacking strong defensive plays.
“Jordan Oystrick was hitting the ball well,” he said.
Since the Sox have secured a playoff spot, they’ll be focusing to close out the regular season as best as they can. Veteran player Craig Weran said the team has done quite well in the last couple weeks, but the roster isn’t completing as many runs as they expected.
He added it’s frustrating when they don’t make timely hits and it’s an issue the team is aware of as they head into their last four games.
“The goal is to secure a high ranking going into the playoffs, which is quite different this year,” he said.
For the 2015 playoffs, eight teams will be selected to compete. Three teams each from the Smithson and Colliar divisions will advance while two from Smith will also move on. Weran said there are a lot of possibilities that exist with the playoff structure.
Last year, the Sox finished the the regular season in second place and played the Wilkie Brewers who were ranked seventh. Wilkie, however, drew enough strength from its usually shorthanded roster to send the Sox packing in the first round.
Meanwhile, the away-game scheduled in Wilkie June 20 was postponed due to rain and will be played on another date. The Sox play next in Lloydminster in a double-header with the Border City Blue Jays and Lloydminster Twins.