08/07/2017 2:18 PM -
The Lethbridge Bulls finished off the 2017 WMBL season on a disappointing note, losing 4-1 to Medicine Hat on Saturday evening at Spitz Stadium in the fifth and deciding game of their playoff series. Even though it was not the way the team wanted to end their year, a lot of positive can come from this season looking forward to the 2018 WMBL season.
The Bulls grinded one out for the ages on Friday night in Medicine Hat to even have a chance to play a 5th game in this series. The Bulls were down to their final 5 outs of the season with a 2-0 deficit and not much going offensively. Nolan Handley started the top of the 8th inning with a solo shot to centre field and Brett Semeniuk followed two batters later with a two run blast to right field to give the team a 3-2 lead. Chris Stodolka locked down a 6 out save to force Saturday’s deciding 5th game. It was an incredible high after losing a big lead in Medicine Hat in game 3. Unfortunately the boys could not muster up any more magic in game 5. Jared Libke threw an incredible ball game for the Mavericks, allowing only 1 Lethbridge hit on the night. The Medicine Hat Mavericks advanced to the 2nd round of the playoffs to take on the Edmonton Prospects who defeated the Okotoks Dawgs in 5 games.
Looking into next year the Bulls look to be in great shape. Lethbridge has always had a great track record of returning players from year to year. With the Prairie Baseball Academy located in Lethbridge the Bulls always have a steady supply of great college players already in town. Only two players from Coach Sawyer’s 2017 roster will not be eligible to return in 2018. Outfielders, Brock Frentzel and Nolan Handley were the team's two senior players. From everyone in the Bulls organization we would like to thank you for your two years of service and we wish these two boys the best of luck in their future endeavours. With another year of college baseball experience many of the players on the 2017 roster can be back a little bit stronger, and a little bit more mature in 2018. It won’t be long before the Bulls will be recruiting for next year, and trying to find that special group of guys who can get the team back to the WMBL Championship Series.
2017 was a difficult year at times at Spitz Stadium. Between phase one of the stadium’s major renovation completed just days before the season started, and a flood taking out the main concession the Bulls still had just shy of 24,000 fans walk through the gates this summer. We cannot thank our great fans enough for all of the support they provide. Without you there would be no Bulls baseball in Lethbridge. Looking forward to 2018, Phase 2 of the renovation will be done before next summer’s season, and the completed new grandstand should be incredible. Thank you again, and stay tuned for updates on the Bulls throughout the fall and winter!