07/14/2015 11:00 AM -
We are headed down the home stretch in the 2015 WMBL Season. Teams have about 15 games left to make a final push before the playoffs. In the Alberta Division Lethbridge still leads the way with a comfortable 6.5 game lead over second place Okotoks. The Bulls lead the WMBL with a 26-8 record. The rest of the Alberta division is up for grabs. Okotoks sits at 19-15, Medicine Hat 18-14 and Edmonton at 16-17 after a 6 game losing streak has set the Prospects back.
In the Saskatchewan Division, Weyburn is still on top. The Beavers have posted a 22-12 record to this point. Yorkton is now in second place with a 16-19 record, and battling for third are the Regina Red Sox and Melville Miller Express who sit with identical records of 14-20. A lot can change in two and a half weeks. It is sure to be an exciting finish to the season.
With beautiful July weather around the WMBL attendance has been fantastic. Over 115, 000 fans have made it out to games across the WMBL, and a staggering 45,000 out to Seamen Stadium alone. Last year’s league wide mark of 156, 000 is surely within reach.
On the offensive side of the ball Lethbridge leads the league with a team batting average of .296. The Okotoks Dawgs and Weyburn Beavers follow closely with averages of .289 and .287 respectively. Swift Current has hit the most home runs as a team so far this season with 22 long balls. Medicine Hat and Moose Jaw are tied for second with 18 homers as a team each. Lethbridge has also been stealing bases at a very high rate. The Bulls have swiped 75 bags while only being caught 15 times. The Okotoks Dawgs have stolen the second most with 46.
On the mound the Bulls are continuing their early season success. Through 34 games the Bulls are the only team in the league to have given up less than 100 ER, with 97. The Okotoks Dawgs have given up 109 in 33 games in second place. The Bulls 2.88 team ERA is tops in the league. The Medicine Hat Mavericks have fanned the most batters this season with 250 K’s, Okotoks and Weyburn striking out 223 and 220 K’s each at second and third in the league.
Individually there are some performers who must be recognized. Saturday, two of the top pitchers in the league battled head to head at Seamen Stadium. Dylan Nelson and Luc Hebert clashed in a very close contest. The Dawgs came out on top and Nelson joined Hebert at the top of the league with 5 wins. Codi Scanlon from the Yorkton Cardinals leads the league with 52 strikeouts so far this season, including 24 over his last three starts. J.J Santa-Cruz sits second in strikeouts with 48.
Trace Hansen and Brandon Bufton sit at one and two in the league in batting average. Hansen is hitting .376 so far this season, and Sunday afternoon in Medicine Hat, Hansen became the second player this season to hit for the cycle. Hansen joined Darren Kolk of the Swift Current Indians in the elite club. Congratulations to Trace. Bufton’s league record hitting streak ended at 28 last Friday.
The League home run race is completely up for grabs. Seven players are tied with 4 apiece. Ten more players sit behind with 3 home runs each. A hot stretch to end the season could propel one of these hitters to the coveted home run crown. Swift Current currently has four players with 4 HR. Nate Ackerman, Jose Rojas, Drew Brooks, and Nick Day will battle to see who can come out on top come seasons end.
Good luck to teams as they head down the home stretch. It is sure to be an exciting finish to the season moving towards the 2015 Playoffs.