After a seven-game winning streak to round out the Western Canadian Baseball League season, it all unraveled rather quickly for the Sylvan Lake Gulls.
Through the grind of a truncated inaugural season, everything seemed to be breaking the Gulls way late in the year until the playoffs arrived Monday evening.
They lost a 4-2 nail-bitter in the opening of a three-game semifinal against the Lethbridge Bulls Monday at home, their fifth game against the Bulls in as many days. That loss came after the Gulls posted a no-hit shutout against the Bulls Sunday afternoon and knocked them off 12-1 a night earlier.
In Monday’s playoff opener at Pogadl Park, the Gulls had a 2-1 lead heading into the seventh. Two errors in the frame by Sylvan Lake led to a three-run inning for the visitors and they shut the door on the way to the victory.
After a rainout in Lethbridge Tuesday, Game 2 finally went ahead Wednesday. The Gulls got seven strong innings from Ty Boudreau, who only allowed one run and struck out five. Bulls starter Brad Goodwin went eight innings, allowing two Gulls runners to cross the plate, while striking out six.
Again, Sylvan Lake carried a 2-1 lead late in the game. Lethbridge pushed across the tying run in the eighth, on a double by Dalton Demers.
In the bottom of the ninth, Josh Kabayama walked and after a fielder’s choice, Ty Penner hit a single to score the game-winning run and close out the series.
With the loss, the Gulls special run during their first season of WCBL baseball came to an end. With another sellout crowd in Monday’s series opener, Sylvan Lake had 21 consecutive sellouts at Gulls Stadium this season.
“We can hold our heads high on how we played this season – finished 2nd in the league, had 21 consecutive sold-out crowds, and met a lot of new Gulls fans and great baseball players along the way,” read a post on the Gulls Facebook page.
“Thank you for standing behind the lake boys, and we will be on the hunt for the WCBL Championship next season.”