By Cole Parkinson
The Vauxhall Spurs saw their season end this past weekend where the team once again walked away with more wins than losses.
Heading to Medicine Hat on Saturday for their final road games, the Spurs were able to take both games.
The first game of the weekend was a nail biter as the Spurs held a 4-3 lead heading into the final inning but the Medicine Hat Monarchs did all they could to tie the game.
“That was a really good game. Bottom of seven they have a guy on third with no outs and he was the tying run,” explained Spurs head coach Ken Fuglerud. “The next guy hit a liner to centre field and (the runner on third) didn’t go. We intentionally walked the next guy, who then stole second so the winning run was on second. A fielders choice with a ground ball to second with the throw going home which got him and then another lineout to centre for the win. Pierce Dunsmore did a great job in relief and got the save. Adam Vulcano got the win that game.”
From a hitting point of view, the Spurs were stymied early and often in the first few innings but they were able to break out to secure the win.
“Hitting-wise, we had a tough go at it. Their pitcher, Brady Howg an ex-Spur, did a really good job shutting us down. Tyson Johnson had two hits and John Vulcano had two hits,” continued Fuglerud.
The second game against the Knights was also fairly close but this time both sides saw an explosion of offence that went in the Spurs favour 13-10.
“Johnson got the win in relief and Carson Cleland hit his first home run of the year,” said Fuglerud.
Back home at Jets Stadium with a doubleheader to wrap up the exhibition schedule, the Spurs were smacked in the face in the first game as they were handed a lopsided 17-6 loss against the Monarchs.
“Obviously not ideal. There’s not much to say, we still put together six runs but there were too many free passes up in the zone and they made us pay. Call it an off game but they just flat beat us,” stated Fuglerud.
They would rebound in the final game of the season and not without some dramatics as the Spurs came up in the final inning with a chance to win.
“It was a walk-off double by Simon Virostek and that’s a cool way to end the year. John Vulcano hit a two-run home run that game, and that was his last game as a Spur. He also ended up getting the last two innings on the bump and he got the win. That’s a cool way to go out,” said Fuglerud of the Spurs 7-6 win. With the season now in the books, the coaching staff was happy with how the Spurs played throughout the exhibition schedule.
“The 20 game exhibition schedule is now over and we finished 14-6 and we finished 6-5 against the AA team and 8-2 against the single-A team. A winning record against both, so you can’t be too upset,” added Fuglerud. “I was proud of the boys this summer. To have a winning record against a AA program, and it’s a quality AA program.”
While the season was under less than ideal circumstances, the Spurs had every right to be upset with the inability to defend their state title but Fuglerud says his team came to the field every day with a good mindset which resulted in the winning record.
“It was no one’s fault so I don’t feel people were directing anger or angst to anything or anyone but it wasn’t the same by any stretch. You are more likely to play down to a level or become complacent because there was no carrot, so it wasn’t quite the same,” he said. “But we did some great things and players had some growth.”