Moose Jaw 18U AAA Canucks struggled in the late innings during their first slate of games in the Saskatchewan Premier Baseball League season this past weekend, and it led to a couple of tough losses to open the 2022 campaign.
The Canucks took the field at Ross Wells Park for their season opener on Friday, May 6 and would see the Regina Athletics score eight runs over their final two at bats to take a 10-2 victory. They were back on the field at home against the South East Twins on Sunday afternoon, giving up seven runs in the final two innings to drop a 10-7 decision in the first game of a doubleheader.
Kaleb Waller got the start in both games for Moose Jaw and didn’t have a lot of luck on his side.
Going toe-to-toe with one of the top pitchers in the province in Carter Frei on Friday, Waller threw 50 pitches over two innings and allowed two earned runs on three hits and struck out four.
Regina scored both their runs in the second inning, and that would be all the offence until the top of the fifth when Moose Jaw got one back. A Regina four-spot in the bottom of the frame opened things up, though, and they’d tack on another four runs in the sixth.
Nathan Varjassy pitched two scoreless innings in relief of Waller, Caleb Newkirk allowed eight runs on five hits in an inning of work and Kaedyn Banilevic tossed a scoreless final inning.
Frei, meanwhile, went 4 ⅓ innings, struck out seven and allowed a single hit.
Tate Macdairmid was a bright spot offensively for Moose Jaw, as he hit a solo home in the fifth and knocked home Waller with a sacrifice fly in the seventh.
Waller’s defence let him down in the doubleheader opener against South East, as only two of the six runs he allowed over his five innings of work were earned. Kaedyn Banilevic tossed the final two frames and surrendered four runs on six hits.
Things were tied up 3-3 when Moose Jaw scored four runs in the bottom of the fourth, but the Twins got three of those back the next inning and added four more in the sixth.
Newkirk had a solid game at the plate, going 2-for-2 with two runs and two RBI, while Varjassy and Banilevic each crossed the plate twice. Kayden Hudson was 2-for-3 with a run, Ty Reid 3-for-4 with a run.
The Canucks were back on the field for game two of their doubleheader on Sunday afternoon, be sure to check back later for details from that game.