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Haulers stage back-to-back rallies against Indians

If the Estevan Sherritt Coal Haulers keep playing like this, people may start to call them the comeback kids.

If the Estevan Sherritt Coal Haulers keep playing like this, people may start to call them the comeback kids.
The Haulers rallied twice on Sunday to earn a 3-3 tie and a 7-6 victory against the Swift Current Indians in a doubleheader to open the Baseball Regina bantam AAA season.

Estevan trailed the morning game 3-0 and the afternoon game 5-0, but managed to come back in dramatic fashion in both contests.

"We were dead at the start, we couldn't bring (runners) around, but our fielding stayed strong out there. That played a big part," said Haulers coach Jordan Fieber.

Game 2: Haulers 7, Indians 6

The Indians used their speed to manufacture runs in the early going and built a 5-0 lead entering the bottom of the fifth inning.

That was when the Haulers came to life at the plate.

"When we started off the game, our bats were kind of dead, but then we saw a little bit faster pitching like we're used to having and the bats started picking up," said Fieber.

Matt Rohloff got the home side on the board with an infield single, which turned into two runs crossing the plate when the Swift Current shortstop threw wild to first.

Rohloff reached second on the play and later scored on a single up the middle by Preston Hutt.
The Haulers collected their fourth and final run of the inning when Kale Little got caught in a rundown between third base and home, but managed to escape and score.

The Indians tacked on a run in the sixth to take a 6-4 lead, but Estevan did them one better in the bottom of the inning with runs coming on an Austin Kuchinka sac grounder and a Colton Gingras single to left.
With the game tied, Rohloff took the mound in the top of the seventh and shut down the Swift Current bats. And he wasn't done.

With Colten Brokenshire on first after being hit by a pitch, Rohloff ripped a B.J. Moen offering down the right field line, just staying fair and carrying almost to the wall.

Brokenshire scored to give the Haulers a walk-off victory.

"We got some runners on base and then a big hit at the end to finish it, a single right down the line," Fieber said.

Rohloff earned the win, with starter Dustin Schill and long reliever Garrett Fitzpatrick pitching three innings apiece.

Game 1: Haulers 3, Indians 3

Swift Current scored three runs on passed balls in the first three innings, but the Haulers settled down in time to get back in the game.

Little cranked a two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth to bring Estevan within a run.

In the seventh, Fitzpatrick, Kuchinka and Gingras delivered consecutive singles to load the bases and Hutt drew a walk to tie the game. Brokenshire then struck out to end the game in a tie.

Kuchinka pitched the first three innings for the Haulers, with Gingras handling the last four.

Fieber credited his hurlers for keeping them in both games when they were whittling down the deficit.

"Pitching was so important. They all put in a great performance and that's what we need," he said.

"It's a promising season. It's a great way to start the season off, three points in the standings, so we can't complain about that."

The Haulers are back at Cactus Park on Saturday when they host the Regina Buffalos for another doubleheader. Game times are 1 and 4 p.m.