Tribe ready for fi­nal week of reg­u­lar sea­son

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The Swift Cur­rent In­di­ans may have ended the week with a three­game los­ing streak, but the pre­ced­ing eight-game winning streak left the team in a good spot head­ing into the fi­nal week of the Western Ma­jor Base­ball League reg­u­lar sea­son.

In­di­ans catcher Taylor Steen got the tag down on Moose Jaw’s Derek Cor­nell in the third in­ning dur­ing a 2-0 win af­ter a per­fect throw from left fielder Josh John­son.

The Tribe fin­ished the weekend with a 23-16 record with a 3.5-game lead over Moose Jaw in the Cen­tral Di­vi­sion with the third best record in the 11team WMBL.

“Shoot we have played some­thing like 32 games in 33 days or vice versa,” said coach Joe Car­na­han. “We have a bunch of guys banged up and stuff and dur­ing that stretch we have had an out­stand­ing record, prob­a­bly about a .700 winning per­cent­age or high .600’s. These guys are bat­tling and that is what you look for as a coach is guys com­pet­ing ev­ery day and that’s what these guys are do­ing and it is nice to have some days off here,” he said as the team was en­joy­ing a rare stretch of three days off.

“Well we have to get a cou­ple of guys healthy here, cou­ple of po­si­tion guys and a cou­ple of pitch­ers healthy. Now with these three days off we will be able to get ev­ery­thing set up and start do­ing some things that we are go­ing to be do­ing in the play­offs as far as the back end of our game,” ex­plained Car­na­han.

The In­di­ans will play six games over the fi­nal seven days with a num­ber of play­off sce­nar­ios still possible.

“Winning is al­ways im­por­tant, that’s why we play the game is to win. But at the same sense, we have to get that play­off spot se­cured but we are not go­ing to sac­ri­fice any­body’s health be­fore the play­offs just to move up a spot or two,” cau­tioned Car­na­han.

The In­di­ans lead the WMBL with a .297 team bat­ting av­er­age and also lead the league with 88 stolen bases. Out­fielder Josh John­son cur­rently leads the league with a .392 av­er­age and 27 stolen bases in 33 games.

“We have a pretty good line-up. We have a lot of speed and we have some guys that can hit the ball in the gaps and out of the park. We have a lot of pretty good of­fen­sive play­ers,” said Car­na­han.

The pitch­ing staff is now fourth in the league with a 4.25 earned run av­er­age and a .257 op­po­nents bat­ting av­er­age.

“Pitch­ing-wise we have had a lot of mov­ing parts through­out the sea­son. It is nice now to fi­nally have a cou­ple days off to get guys set up in the roles up­com­ing in the rest of the sea­son and in the play­offs.”

Wed­nes­day, an in­no­cent look­ing bloop sin­gle off the bat of Matt Spill­man turned out to be the dif­fer­ence as the In­di­ans ex­tended their winning streak to seven games.

Spill­man cashed in the only two runs in the game with a sec­ond-in­ning sin­gle that fell be­tween the cen­tre fielder, sec­ond base­man, and short­stop in a 20 win over the vis­it­ing Moose Jaw Miller Ex­press.

Fer­nando Pena took care of busi­ness on the mound with 8 2/3 in­nings of score­less base­ball, al­low­ing only six hits and two walks while strik­ing out three to earn the win. Zach Man­ley got the fi­nal two outs to pick up the save.

Left fielder Josh John­son had the play of the game when he gunned down Derek Cor­nell at home plate to end the top of the third in­ning.

The In­di­ans lost Thurs­day in Wey­burn but not be­fore their winning streak reached eight games dur­ing a double header against the Beavers.

Sean Cal­le­gari tossed a seven-in­ning shutout to lead the Tribe to a 6-0 win in the opener. Cal­le­gari scat­tered five hits over seven in­nings while strik­ing out seven as he threw 59 of his 76 pitches for strikes to lower his earned run av­er­age to 2.64 while im­prov­ing to 5-0 on the sea­son.

The In­di­ans knocked out 13 hits and scored in three of the first four in­nings to take con­trol of the game. Dar­ren Kolk led the way with three hits, one run scored, and a run bat­ted in out of the two-hole.

Catcher Taylor Steen was also three-for-four with a RBI. Eric Sams had two hits and two RBI as well. Lead­off man Josh John­son failed to get a hit but came around to score two runs and stole two bases, his league lead­ing 26th and 27th of the sea­son.

The In­di­ans lost the sec­ond game 10-6 af­ter the hosts re­bounded with 13 hits. Starter Peter Irvin was shelled for five hits, three walks, and six runs over 1.1 in­nings in the loss.

The In­di­ans hung around to trail 6-5 af­ter two in­nings but the Beavers added three more runs in the third in­ning and an­other in the fourth on their way to the win. Hunter Owen led the of­fense with a triple and a sin­gle, knock­ing home three runs and scor­ing once. Liam Goodall also tripled and sin­gled and came around to score two runs. Eros Mo­dena sin­gled, scored, had an RBI, and stole two bases.

The In­di­ans lost their sec­ond con­sec­u­tive game Fri­day, al­low­ing two runs in the bot­tom of the ninth in­ning to fall 4-3 to the host Regina Red Sox in a meet­ing be­tween two of the WMBL’s top teams.

Regina scored twice off of Man­ley in the ninth, in­clud­ing a two-out, walk-off sin­gle from Rob Ho­genkamp to score Ge­ordie McDougall.

Juan Pizarro made a strong start for the Tribe, al­low­ing only three hits, three walks, and two runs, one that was earned, over six in­nings.

Mo­dena and Owen had runs bat­ted in, while John­son, Spill­man, and Kolk came around to score.

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