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Sylvan Lake Gulls roll to open WCBL playoffs

The Sylvan Lake Gulls opened the Western Canadian Baseball League playoffs with a bang.
Gulls pitcher Josh Tucker struck out 11 batters through seven innings during Game 1 of the west division semi-finals on Monday. (Photo by Ian Gustafson/ Advocate staff)

The Sylvan Lake Gulls opened the Western Canadian Baseball League playoffs with a bang.

A record-setting crowd of over 2,000 fans packed Gulls Stadium Monday night and also participated in a white-out (where the majority of the crowd sported white to support the home side).

While the fans did their job, on the field the Gulls gave them plenty to cheer about with a decisive 13-4 victory over the Lethbridge Bulls.

Tyler McWillie started the action off in the bottom of the first with a two-run home run and the Gulls led 2-0 until the top of the fourth.

Lethbridge pushed across four runs in the frame, the only four they would score on Josh Tucker, who was brilliant beyond that. The Gulls ace struck out 11 batters and only allowed six hits and two walks over seven innings.

Chase Rodriguez scored on a balk to get the Gulls within one in the bottom of the fourth before the home side broke the game open in the sixth.

The Gulls scored seven runs in the bottom of the sixth.

A double from Easton Jones scored one, then with the bases loaded, Nick Groves chased in Jones with a single. Jonah Weisner doubled home another run after the Gulls scored on a wild pitch, then Clearly Simpson singled in McWillie to add to the damage. Simpson finished the night four-for-four with an RBI and two runs scored.

Rodriguez had three hits on the night, all singles along with one run scored and one RBI.

Eight of nine of the Gulls’ hitters cashed in at least one RBI, with McWillie and Prediger each notching two. Overall, the Gulls had 18 hits in the win.

Steven Hospital pitched an inning in relief for the Gulls and struck out two, while Hagen Barcello closed out the night on the mound with one strikeout in one inning.

Game 2 of the series goes Tuesday night, with Game 3 Wednesday back in Sylvan Lake if necessary.

About the Author: Black Press Media Staff

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