Razorbacks 4 Dodgers 3
The Red Deer Razorbacks couldn’t have picked a better time to play their best baseball of the season.
The Razorbacks put everything together during the Parkland Baseball League playoff tournament and carried that momentum into the championship final series against the Lacombe Dodgers.
They put a lid on the season with a 4-3 victory over the Dodgers Monday at Great Chief Park to win the best-of-three series 2-0.
“We jelled at the right time,” said Razorbacks manager Kevin Stelmaschuk. “We started hitting and our defence was there and we got good pitching.”
The pitching was stellar. Tim Wiebe worked into the seventh inning of a 5-4 win in the opening game of the final and Tom Radzinyak threw six solid innings Monday. Darcy Warawa closed out both games.
“We knew we had three good pitchers this season but how we could use them came down to the weather and their work schedules,” said Stelmaschuk.
“And it worked out that the guys took holidays or they got time off, so we had the depth.”
The Razorbacks had their hands full just to make the finals.
After finishing third in their pool they needed to down Carstairs in a cross-over game just to stay alive. They then lost to the Dodgers and beat Innisfail in their pool before downing the Rocky Mountain House Red Devils in the league semifinal.
On Monday Radzinyak allowed one run on six hits and four walks while fanning six. Warawa allowed a pair of runs on two hits and a walk.
“Tom is one of our veteran pitchers and he threw deuces (curves) to die for, and Darcy came on for the second game and closed out,” said Stelmaschuk.
Kale Wierenga went the distance for the Dodgers, allowing four runs on seven hits while striking out seven.
The Razorbacks scored twice in the first inning as Warawa singled and scored on Chad Gruntman’s double. Cody Huseby singled home Gruntman.
The game remained 2-1 until the fifth when Mike Reiman scored on Gruntman’s single. Stelmaschuk, drove in Huseby from second base with a single in the sixth. Gruntman and Curtis Welsh had two hits each.
The Razorbacks are only in their third season in the PBL, so winning the title came as a bit of a surprise.
“We were just happy to get to the championship final, never mind winning it,” said Stelmaschuk, who is one of the “six or seven” original players.
“We’ve added a few guys each year,” added Stelmaschuk. “My goal to keep building and getting a better program.”
It can’t get much better when it comes to the league and at present the Razorbacks aren’t looking at entering the provincials.
“We thought about it, but it’s pretty expensive,” Stelmaschuk concluded.