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Macklin Lakers looking to lock up NSRBL semi-final spot

Macklin Lakers look to advance to NSRBL semi-finals while remaining competitive before they play host to senior men's provincial championships Aug. 5-7.

MACKLIN--The top three teams in the North Saskatchewan Baseball League were within a whisper in the standings, with Macklin tying for first in the league with a 10-3 record with North Battleford Beavers. The Lakers led the league in batting average and earned run average.

The Macklin Lakers were positioned against Mervin Flyers for quarterfinals that began July 12 in Macklin with the Lakers earning a decisive win. The team will return to Mervin July 14 for game two of a best of three series and, if a game three is necessary, it will be back in Macklin on July 19.

The Lakers' manager, Derrick Lantz, credits starting pitching all season long. “Cody Gartner, did a lot of offseason throwing up in Lloydminster all winter and has improved immensely since last year. All of our pitchers have stepped up and that resulted in our ten wins at the end of regular season.”

Lantz acknowledges the Lakers' lineup saying all of their players are decent hitters, with Jared Hillis, leading the charge and up for top batter in the league.

“It is playoffs, anything can happen. We just have to be ready and have our starting nine on the field, with our pitchers ready to go and hopefully we can do our job,” adds Lantz.

The 2022 Macklin Lakers roster includes: Chandler Klein, Hunter Steinhubel, Adam Gerling, Curtis Fleck, Tyler Baier, Tanner Fleck, Ethan Scheck, Dawson Krieger, Cody Weinkauf, Raegan Feser, Jared Hillis, Ian Hillis. Ashton Feser, Cody Gartner, Tye Scherger, Tyler Tryhuba,and Cort Shapka, The team is managed by Derrick Lantz assisted by Alvin Weinkauf.

Continual play in competitive setting will keep the Lakers in peak form as they will also play host to upcoming senior baseball provincial championships taking place Aug. 5-7.

Other NSRBL playoff news

The Unity Junior Cardinals surprised top seed, North Battleford Beavers, in game one of their three-game quarter final series of the NSRBL playoff series. The Cards came out swinging, and after falling behind seven runs, came back to win the game 13-9. Cardinal’s pitcher, Zenon Orobko, pulled off five strong innings on the bump while adding a two-run bomb to his game stats. The Cards return to action July 14 at home and, if a game three is necessary, it will be played back in the Battlefords on July 19.

Keeping the competitive games ongoing is the goal for the Junior Cardinals so as to not only play deep in NSRBL league finals but to keep them finetuned as they are hosting 22U provincial championships July 22-24.

The Wilkie Brewers kick off their best of three series July 13 on home diamonds facing last year’s league semi finals rivals, Kindersley Stallions. Team manager and league top batter nominee, Rob Cey, knows this will make for an incredibly competitive series. Game two will return to Kindersley and if a game three is necessary, it will be back in Wilkie July 19.

The Brew Crew are also looking to levelling up their game to not only continue a deep league playoff run, but to be in tip top shape for upcoming senior provincials taking place in Kindersley, Aug. 5-7. The Brewers are the 2021 reigning provincial champions.