With their first-round playoff match-up against the Lethbridge Bulls already locked up, the Swift Current Indians dropped their final game of the regular season 6-1 to the Saskatoon Yellow Jackets.
One night after scoring 17 runs against Saskatoon, their only run came on a sacrifice fly from Alex Mortensen to score David Greenstein.
Four different pitchers took the mound for the Tribe as they prepared for the playoffs. Myles Etheir suffered the loss, allowing three hits and two runs, only one of which was earned.
The Tribe won the Central Division with a 28-18 record and the third best winning percentage (.609) in the Western Major Baseball League.
They will meet the Lethbridge Bulls (27-18) in the first round of the playoffs. The best-of-five series will begin Tuesday and Wednesday at Mitchell Field in Swift Current at 7:05 p.m. each night.
Games three and four will be played Thursday and Friday in Lethbridge. Game five, if necessary, would be played Saturday back in Swift Current.
The Indians won all four games agianst Lethbridge this season so they should be able to take confidence from those relatively recent wins.
“I mean you would like to be," said outfielder Aaron Dunsmore, who finished two-for-three Sunday to leave his average at .403 this season. "We played well against them in the regular season, but they are a good team. They have a bunch of good starters, a couple of good relievers, and they have a good closer too. As well as they have guys like Sawyer and Blake who hit well every single year they are in the league. So when you have a couple guys like that who can put the ball out of the ballpark any time you definitely have to get ready to play.”
Indians coach Joe Carnahan expects to start Brian Ranta in game one in Swift Current.
“It is going to be a battle,” added Carnahan as he looked towards a playoff showdown with the Bulls. “They are an outstanding team and we were just fortunate a couple of times this year, we were playing probably our best baseball against them and we caught them on days when they weren’t playing their best baseball. They are an absolutely outstanding team. They have pitching, they can hit, and they play good defense. It is going to be a battle from game number one.”
Ranta finished with a 4-3 record this season, his most recent win was July 23 when he allowed four hits and two earned runs over 5-1/3 innings in a 7-3 win over the Bulls.