SPBL northern playoffs set stage for league championship

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WATCH: The Sask-5 Giants are off to the SPBL finals after consecutive playoff games in which they had eight-run innings – Aug 22, 2020

A trio of playoff games to conclude the northern portion of the U-18 AAA Saskatchewan Premiere Baseball League season took place Friday afternoon, and evening at Hugh Cairns field in Saskatoon.

The first contest, the one versus four match-up pitted the top-ranked Saskatoon Diamondbacks against the fourth-ranked Prairie Pirates out of Lloydminster.

After going up 2-0 in the bottom of the second inning the D-Backs offense exploded for a staggering nine run inning.  Including Rhett Krysak’s two run blast that cleared the wall in left field.

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Krysak finished the afternoon going 2-for-3 adding a single.

Tyson Wouters had a dominant performance on the mound, pitching five innings, striking out five while giving up only five hits, en route to an 11-1 victory.

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Friday’s second semi-final featured the number two Sask-5 Giants based out of Warman, and Martensville taking on the number three seeded Saskatoon Cubs.

The Cubs jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the top of the first which was kicked off by Trent Marien’s RBI double which scored a pair, he later touched home plate after tagging up on a sac fly.

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However, for the second straight game, the bottom of the third proved to be a crucial inning.

The Giants pounded out eight runs in the inning, including the play of the game, which resulted in their opening run. Sitting on a full count second baseman Tyler Vanneste walloped an RBI triple to centre field, using his speed to just beat out the play at the bag flopping into the shale.

The inning proved to be the difference maker as Sask-5 cruised to a 14-5 victory.

With the two semi-finals in the books, the Diamondbacks and Giants met for the northern final in the evening game.

The Giants got on the board first, again by another monster hit off of the bat of Vanneste.  With one man on base, Vanneste smacked his second triple in as many games earning the opening RBI, Sask-5 would put up two in the inning.

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The teams each traded runs in their respective halves of the second, and third, which was followed by a scoreless fourth.

But, in the fifth the the Giants bats came alive for the second straight contest, putting up eight runs in the inning, which led them to a 12-2 victory and a berth in Sunday’s league finals in Regina against the winner’s of the south, the Regina Athletics.