The Sylvan Lake Gulls advance to the West Division Finals after beating the Lethbridge Bulls 12-7 on Tuesday.
The Gulls move on to the second round after sweeping the best-of-three West Division semi-final series over the Bulls.
Sylvan Lake will take on the Okotoks Dawgs in a rematch of the 2022 West Division Finals beginning on Friday in Okotoks. Game 2 will be in Sylvan Lake on Saturday and if needed, Game 3 will be back in Okotoks.
The Gulls began the game on a high note taking a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Shortstop Jonah Weisner opened the scoring with a solo home run and later in the inning catcher Hank Dodson cashed in two runs off a double.
The Bulls answered in the second and third innings scoring four runs to take their first lead of the game in Lethbridge.
Sylvan Lake reclaimed the lead in the fifth inning scoring four runs to go up 7-4 on the road. Cleary Simpson knocked in a run off a single and Easton Jones followed up with a two-run single. Dodson scored the Gulls’ fourth run of the inning off a wild pitch.
Lethbridge tied the game 7-7 after adding three runs in the sixth and seventh innings but the Gulls responded in the top of the eighth.
A two-run single by Nick Groves followed by a hit by Carson Coffield gave the away team a 10-7 lead. In the ninth Gulls added to their lead when Chase Rodriguez sent a pitch over the fence on a two-run home run to lead 12-7.
Gulls starting pitcher Caden Cline gave up four runs on six hits but was solid through four innings with four strikeouts.
Hunter Jones replaced Cline in the fifth inning and allowed three runs on three hits. He also struck out two batters and appeared in just two innings.
Gulls Tyler Boudreau pitched three innings to close the game for the Gulls. He allowed just four hits but struck out four batters in the process to hold on for the victory.