With the season on the line, the Winkler Whips left no doubt that it wouldn’t end at home.
The Whips scored early and often, hanging 11 in the first three innings to defeat the Pilot Mound Pilots 16-9 in Winkler Tuesday, July 24.
The win forces a deciding game five of their Border Baseball League quarter final. That will take place in Pilot Mound on Friday, July 27 at 7 p.m.
Josh Ginter gave the home side an early spark as he laid out to prevent an extra-bases hit in the first. In the next frame, he threw a strike to catcher Bobby Matuszewski to keep a run off the board and end the inning.
“This team has always responded with their back against the wall,” said Whips coach Jeremy Matuszewski. “Nobody wants this to be over yet.”
Matuszewski stepped in to play first base, as Pete Fehr was away.
And he delivered at the plate. He got on base on four of his five plate appearances, driving in three runs.
“It was fun to come in and play,” he said. “The guys played unbelievable. It was fun to be a part of it.”
The game winning run came as a result of Bill Fehr’s third inning three-run home run.
“That ball was hit hard, and it got out of here in a hurry,” said Matuszewski. “The ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ from the crowd said it all.”
Marv Quiring started the game, pitching five innings and giving up four runs.
“Marv threw a hell of a game, and Benny (Ben Wiebe) came in and mopped it up for us,” said Matuszewski.
Wiebe entered the game in the sixth with bases loaded, but did not give up any earned runs as Pilot Mound looked to be closing the gap.
“I know I’m not an overpowering pitcher,” said Wiebe. “I’m not going to blow a lot of guys away. So the idea is to throw strikes and let them hit it. We have a fantastic infield and a great outfield as well.”
So the Whips are a win away from a semi final with the defending champion Morden Mohawks. The Whips feel that will be a tough win to earn.
“Pilot Mound is a top four team in this league, every year,” said Wiebe. “You can’t take them lightly.”
“We know we’re going to get (Anthony Friesen), and he’s going to keep the ball down,” said Matuszewski of the Pilots pitcher. “We’re going to have to play solid defensively.”