Provincial champs set for league finals

Steve Mullin crosses home plate after a Mohawks home run against Killarney. (THOMAS FRIESEN, Morden Times)

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The Morden Mohawks are three wins away from capping off a dream season.

The Mohawks open the Border Baseball League championship series with the Baldur Regals Wednesday, August 15 in Morden.

The series comes after the club captured a historic first provincial championship at the Senior AA Provincials in Neepawa last weekend.

“We’re really excited,” said Mohawks first baseman Steve Mullin.

“When we played Baldur in Morden, we let the lead slip away from us but walked off in extra innings to win the game.”

Mullin noted that the first two playoff series’ saw the Mohawks display different strengths.

Ryan Steppler gets on base with a single to open the second inning against Pilot Mound in Morden. (THOMAS FRIESEN, Morden Times)

“Our bats carried us through the first round quite easily.”

The Mohawks swept Killarney, scoring 40 runs in three games. Then, they faced Pilot Mound.

“We didn’t score as many runs, but when we needed it our pitching came through.”

“We’ve done it both ways getting to the finals, so hopefully we can put it all together.”

Matt Mutcheson rips a line drive in Mohawks playoff action against Pilot Mound. (THOMAS FRIESEN, Morden Times)

Mullin said that won’t be an easy task against the talented Baldur side.

“Their pitching has been really good all year long. We’ll need to find a way to string things together, move runners around, whatever it takes.”

On the other side, the Regals are stacked at the top of the order.

“They’re really, really dangerous,” Mullin said. “It’ll be a challenge for our pitchers to find a way to get some outs.”

A league series win would be a storybook ending, after claiming their first provincial championship.

Provincial champs

The Mohawks rolled through pool play in Neepawa, taking first spot and a trip to the semi finals.

Defeating Boissevain 2-1 to reach the final, the Mohawks were up 2-1 heading to the seventh inning.

“Somebody called it the Mohawks way, where nothing’s ever easy.”

Hamiota got the tying run on base early in the inning.

“Suddenly the tying run’s on and the go ahead (run) is at the plate,” said Mullin “Any hitter at that tournament can turn a game around real quick.”

As it turns out, the only thing the next hitter turned around was a ground ball back to pitcher Anthony Friesen of Pilot Mound, who the Mohawks brought out for the weekend.

Mullin was the recipient of an easy toss to first base for the final out.

As he felt the ball touch his glove, Mullin said it was, “relief. Finally all that work has paid off.”

“To be able to come out on top of a weekend like that was pretty special.”

“It’s the first provincial championship for me, ever.”

That baseball has yet to leave Steve Mullin’s glove.

“The ball is at my house, and it’s not going anywhere.”

So the Mohawks have one job left. One best-of-five that starts at Buhler Park in Morden, where the team has not lost all year.

Game one is Wednesday, August 15. The first pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.