The Swift Current Indians made seven errors but persevered to earn a 1-0 lead in the WMBL championship series over the Medicine Hat Mavericks
The Swift Current Indians overcame an ugly defensive performance and got another walk-off hit in an 11-inning victory over the visiting Medicine Hat Mavericks to open the Western Major Baseball League best-of-five championship series Wednesday.
The Indians made seven errors and left 16 runners on base but all will be forgotten after Liam Goodall's bases loaded single with one out in the bottom of the 11th inning.
The Tribe had trailed nearly the entire game before tying it 5-5 in the bottom of the ninth inning when Eric Sams singled home Matt Spillman and Kevin Bettencourt to force extra innings.
The 10th inning was spectacular in many ways. Andy Scott led off the inning and reached third base with none out on two errors and a passed ball before Zach Manley picked him off at third base.
"That was a big one. That is something that can change a game and that did. That was a big one there with nobody out to be able to get that out," said Indians' coach Joe Carnahan.
The Tribe loaded the bases in the bottom of the 10th and Eros Modena drove the ball deep to left field only to see Devin Johnson catch the ball on the warning track and crash face first into the wall. Manley eventually got the win after pitching two scoreless innings
"That was two teams that just flat out battled," said Carnahan after a second consecutive walk-off win in the playoffs. "There was a lot of big plays. That catch their left-fielder made was absolutely outstanding, a great play there. Both teams battled the entire way and it was a good game."
Goodall, batting eighth in the order, had three hits and scored two runs in the game.
"That is the thing, one through nine, you can't depend on one person and one person isn't going to do it. It has to be a collective unit doing it. Right now we are getting some good production one through nine," said Carnahan.
Matt Spillman had a pair of doubles, two walks, was hit by a pitch, and brought home three runs to help lead the Tribe to victory.
Game two will be played Thursday back in Swift Current at Mitchell Field beginning at 7:05 p.m.
"It is the playoffs right now. Once we leave the park we have to wash this one clean and get ready for tomorrow. It is going to be another battle again tomorrow. It is two great clubs going at it right now," cautioned Carnahan.
Carnahan said Sean Callegari would get the ball for game two. Callegari is 2-0 with a 1.28 earned run average in the playoffs so far.