One bad inning cost the Moose Jaw Giants in the championship game of the 2017 Softball Saskatchewan Master Men’s Championship on Sunday.
The Giants lost 10-6 to the Saskatoon AGI Masters in the final at Memorial Field, finishing second at provincials here in Moose Jaw.
“The expectation was to come out on top, but anything can happen with these guys, they hit the ball pretty well,” said Giants pitcher Al Muhle. “I’m happy with the weekend, but not really satisfied.”
Moose Jaw led 4-1 heading into the bottom of the third inning, but Saskatoon exploded for five runs to take a 6-4 lead and they never looked back.
The Giants scored a pair of runs in the sixth inning, but couldn’t do any damage in the seventh to suffer the loss.
“It was one bad inning,” said Muhle.
A lead-off double by Jason Schoeider started the game off on a strong note for the Giants. He came around to score on a single from Pat Swallow and Moose Jaw put up three runs in the opening frame.
In the third inning, Chris Buros smacked a lead-off home run that made it 4-1, but that was where the Giants control ended.
Saskatoon had five hits in the bottom of the third, a walk and an error helped them put up five runs and take control. They would tack on two in the fourth and two more in the fifth for the win.
The AGI Masters’ win capped off a busy weekend of ball at Memorial Field with a ton of close games.
Muhle said there was a lot of parity in this year’s provincials.
“There was a lot of good teams here, these guys, the Canadians and even the Padres, they all can hit the ball and if you let up for even a second, they can make you pay,” he said.
Muhle is now playing in Regina with Silverscreen, but came back to his old stomping grounds for the weekend with the Giants.
“I really miss it here, I love this park,” he said. “It’s nice to have fans in the stands watching the games, it makes you want to come back here more often.”
The Moose Jaw Canadians were close to making it an all-Moose Jaw final as they lost 8-4 to Saskatoon in the semifinals on Sunday. The Canadians had beat the Padres, 8-4, in Sunday morning’s tiebreaker game.
The Giants went 2-1 in the round robin, including beating the Canadians 12-3 on Friday night. They won 7-4 over the AGI Masters and lost 15-10 to the Padres on Saturday.