1944 Game Reports      

 

The 1944 Southern League was just nicely underway when the Allied forces in Europe hit the beaches of Normandy in the operation labelled as D-Day. The perpetual losers from Missouri, the St. Louis Browns, were surprising everyone in that they were headed for their first-ever and only American League pennant. After a season of anonymity as a so-called Regina City League, the circuit formed in 1931 was once again being labelled as the Southern League just as quickly and mysteriously as it had been stripped of its title a year previous. Nothing had really changed. There were still four teams participating in 1944 just as there had been in 1943, three from Regina and the always refreshing and hustling group of students plus a few of their alumni from Wilcox's Notre Dame College. A second Regina-based military team, the Provost Corps, replaced the Commandos from the previous season but that was the only adjustment in operations. 

As the season got underway, it became apparent that the two military teams were overmatched by the Notre Dame Hounds and the Regina Red Sox. In late July, when about two-thirds of the schedule had been wrapped up, one of the Army entrants, the Provost Corps, unexpectedly withdrew because of current and impending transfers of personnel, making a stable roster of players impossible. Then, out of the blue stepped George Drew, a veteran of many baseball campaigns in southern Saskatchewan, mostly with the Wilcox Cardinals, dating back to the early 1930's. Drew, who had been umpiring Southern League games in Regina, made an eleventh hour proposal to the league moguls. He had organized a number of former players who still had an itch for the game. Rather than re-adjust the remaining schedule, why not let his group of exiles simply take over for the Provost Corps but under a new name, the Regina Capitals? His pitch worked and, the very next evening, the Caps were on the diamond, taking it on the chin in their first league encounter. They eventually split the eight league games in which they played and went into the playoffs only as an afterthought.

Lo and behold, after losing the first two games of their semi-final series against the champions of 1942 and 1943, the Regina Red Sox, the Caps responded to the threat of elimination by roaring back to win three in a row, moving on to face the Notre Dame Hounds who had the Southern League's best regular-season record. As a decided underdog, no one gave them much of a chance to upset the pennant-winners but, after seven hard-fought games, this rag-tag group of faded veterans, rejects from other teams and untested newcomers including a 16 year old third baseman out of the high school ranks, prevailed as 1944 Southern League titlists, a Cinderella finish if there ever was one.

(May 22)  Getting their punch at the plate from a pair of old standbys, the Regina Red Sox went on a one inning rampage and wound up with a 6 to 0 shutout over the Army Garrison in the opening game of the 1944 Southern League season. Peppery little Steve Petryna and George Cullen powered the Red Sox in a fifth inning that produced five runs. Petryna started it off with a double and Cullen followed up with a triple off losing pitcher Wilf Leader and the momentum carried on. Of the seven Sox hits, four were four extra-bases with Petryna having a pair of two-baggers in support of winner Keith McLeod. Shortstop Jimmy Wenz of the Garrison brigade and McLeod's batterymate Les Johnson each singled twice. 

Leader (L) and Elwood
McLeod (W) and Johnson 

(May 25)  Tall George Cullen wielded a wicked bat in the clutches and saw to it personally that the Regina Red Sox made it two straight wins in the new Southern League season. It was Cullen's stickwork that propelled the Sox to a 5 to 2 triumph over the Provost Corps at Park de Young. He had two ringing blows that drove in four runs. His first inning double put the Sox in the lead and his seventh inning single added a couple of insurance tallies. The three-run edge that the Sox established early was all that Art "Lefty" Straub needed as the portsider was impressive with a three-hit show. Johnny Skyworth gave the Provost effective pitching as well as he fanned twelve while giving up seven hits. Steve Petryna of the Redlegs was the only other player in the game to come up with two hits, both of his being singles.

Straub (W) and Sanderson
Skyworth (L) and Halko

(May 29)  The Notre Dame Hounds, behind the solid three-hit pitching of Aubrey Downton, blanked the Regina Army Provost Corps 7 to 0 at Lane Field in Wilcox. Downton registered eleven strikeouts in recording the win. First baseman Ernie Downton had a home run and single in support of his brother.

Skyworth (L) and Gryba
A. Downton (W) and McCann

(May 30)  The Regina Army Provost dropped their second game in a row to the Notre Dame Hounds, taking it on the chin 9 to 3. Ernie Franks pitched for the Hounds, coming though with a three-hitter while slashing out three safeties from within the batters' box. Chuck McCullough and second baseman Savers both picked up a pair of base hits for Notre Dame with one of McCullough's going for three bases.

Frank (W) and Weisshaar
Brown (L) and Gryba

(June 8)  Still looking like the best team in the Southern League, the Notre Dame Hounds made their 1944 Park de Young debut a successful one as they crushed the Army Garrison squad 8 to 1. "Happy" Edwards of the Dogs twirled a six-hitter in setting down the Garrison group. He also picked up three hits including a double. Hounds' outfielder Elliott and teammate Frank Germann both singled twice as did the Garrison's Swain.

Edwards (W) and McCann
Leader (L), Selness (6) and Swyryda, McConnell (6)

(June 9)  In the first all-Soldier clash of the Southern League campaign, the Army Provost took out the Army Garrison 6 to 2 at Park de Young. Provost shortstop Zabolotney picked up a double and single to lead all batters. Cliff Hogg added a triple and single for the winners.

Walters (W) and Gryba
Fellner (L), Dobsky (7) and McConnell

(June 10)  Staging a two-hour picnic for themselves, the Regina Red Sox coasted to a whopping 20 to 1 blowout of the Army Provost Corps. The Army Police were never in the game as the Sox shelled two hurlers for 16 hits and scored in every inning. Steve Petryna, Regina third baseman, picked up three singles while outfielder "Red" Dyker contributed two doubles as Keith McLeod earned his second mound win of the campaign.

McLeod (W) and Mitten
Skyworth (L), Brown (5) and Gryba

(June 11)  Aubrey Downton struck out eleven in tossing no-hit baseball as the Notre Dame Hounds crushed the Regina Army Garrison 11 to 3 at Wilcox. The Hounds clicked for 15 hits on the afternoon's play with Ernie Franks leading the way offensively by slugging a homer, two doubles and a single for a total of six RBI's.

Fellner (L), Selness (3) and Hanson
A. Downton (W) and McCann 

Southern League standings (as of end of June 11)
                           W     L     Pct.
Notre Dame Hounds          4     0     1.000
Regina Red Sox             3     0     1.000
Regina Army Provost        1     4      .200
Regina Army Garrison       0     4      .000

(June 15)  A sharply improved Regina Army Provost unit held tough for 4 1/2 innings at Park de Young before weakening in the stretch and falling to the Regina Red Sox 9 to 3. "Lefty" Straub tossed six-hit ball to get the win for the Sox. Dave Walters went the route on the hill for the losers and was rung up for 13 base blows. Richy Eisler's three singles led the offensive production of the Crimson Hose. Straub and George Cullen both ripped a double and single, an output equalled by Provost catcher Jake Germaine.

Walters (L) and Germaine
Straub (W) and Mitten 

(June 17)  Keith "Mac" McLeod turned in a one-hit pitching job, fanning eleven, as the Regina Red Sox continued to run wild in the Southern League, blasting the Regina Army Garrison 13 to 0. The only hit surrendered by McLeod was a single to Spooner, the Garrison first sacker. In the meantime, the Sox were lambasting the offerings of losing hurler Leader for 19 safeties including four doubles, two by George Cullen who wound up with four hits in total. Infielder George Beach of the Redlegs was close behind with a two-bagger plus a brace of singles.

McLeod (W) and Johnson
Leader (L) and Swyryda 

(June 18)  The Regina Army Provost bowed 4 to 1 to the Notre Dame Hounds in a Southern League encounter played in Wilcox. Frank Germann threw a two-hitter at the Military Police, whiffing eleven along the way. He rounded out his performance with a perfect two for two at bat which included a double, the net result being 3 RBI's. Carl Weisshaar led the Dogs with the hickory, slamming a triple and a pair of one-baggers.

Brown (L) and Gryba
Germann (W) and McCann

(June 22)  Stealing everything but the Army Garrison's newly acquired uniforms, the Notre Dame Hounds bagged themselves an easy 15 to 0 victory at Park de Young. The Hounds ran the bases with abandon, pilfering 14 bases during the evening. Frank Germann struck out seven in breezing to a three-hit mound win. He also led all batters with a double and two singles.

Germann (W) and McCann
Fellner (L) and Beaudry

(June 24)  In the first meeting of the season between the league's two unbeaten teams, the Notre Dame Hounds edged past the Regina Red Sox 3 to 2. Aubrey Downton and Keith McLeod hooked up in a real mound joust with both hurlers giving up just four base hits. The Hounds scored a two spot in the eighth to forge ahead and Frank Germann took over the chores on the hill for the Hounds from that point on to preserve the win. Germann was the only player in the game to register two hits, both of his being singles. 

A. Downton (W), Germann (9) and McCann
McLeod (L) and L. Johnson 

(June 25) The second half of the weekend showdown between the Southern League's front-runners took place in Wilcox where the Notre Dame Hounds took control of things early and hammered the Regina Red Sox 8 to 0. Frank Germann came back from his relief effort of the night previous to blank the Reginans on three hits. Shortstop Norm Brown and outfielder Carl Weisshaar both singled twice for the Hounds off loser "Lefty" Straub.

Straub (L) and L. Johnson
Germann (W) and McCann

(June 27)  Bill "Smokey " Johnson made his 1944 debut on the hill, pitching the Regina Red Sox to an easy 4 to 0 triumph over the Army Garrison, the Southern League's winless cellar-dwellers. En route to the triumph, Johnson fanned 13 while issuing three hits. Third sacker Roy Dean, Gord Brooks and Steve Petryna all had two hits for the winners.

Goodwill (L) and Beaudry
B. Johnson (W) and L. Johnson

(June 28)  Runners from both dugouts were in perpetual motion in a showdown between the two military entrants in the 1944 Southern League. In the end, a total of 16 bases were stolen as the Army Garrison were being pushed deeper into the cellar when they lost to the Army Provost Corps by a final count of 10 to 8. Gryba, catcher for the Provost Corps, showed the most power of any hitter, drilling a triple and double. Outfielder Swain of the Garrison had the most hits, swatting out three singles.

Fellner (L), Goodwill (5) and Love
McNichol (W) and Gryba

(June 29)  In a game featuring a drama-packed ninth inning, the Regina Red Sox snatched a 4 to 3 thriller from the previously unbeaten Notre Dame Hounds. Keith McLeod pitched magnificent four-hit ball for the Red Sox to earn the win. Notre Dame had just tied the game 3 - 3 in the top of the ninth and went to their pitching ace, Frank Germann, to handle to bottom of the frame, expecting nothing worse than a tie. The move backfired as Jackie Fulton teed off with a double to begin things. He moved to third when Steve Petryna was safe on an error and, after two were retired, scored the winner when "Red" Dyker, sharp-hitting Regina outfielder, drilled a clean single. Dyker wound up with three hits, including a two-bagger. Fulton and Chuck McCullough of the Hounds both had a double and single. 

Frank, Germann (9) (L) and McCann
McLeod (W) and L. Johnson

(July 3)  The Regina Army Garrison nine, with starting pitcher Dobsky and reliever Cherneshenko in fine form, upset the high-flying Notre Dame Hounds 5 to 3 in Wilcox to earn their first victory of the campaign. The Hounds were only able to collect three base hits in this game, all from the offerings of winning pitcher Dobsky. Wally Cherneshenko pitched the last three innings, blanking the Dogs without a hit, to save the victory. He also had the game's only extra-base blow, a double.  

Dobsky (W), Cherneshenko (7) and Love, Beaudry (8)
Edwards (L) and McCann

(July 4)  It was a cakewalk for the Regina Red Sox at Park de Young as they zoomed back into a tie with Notre Dame for the Southern League leadership by pulverizing the Regina Army Provost team 13 to 3. The Provost Corps gave pitcher Dave "Bucky" Walters poor quality defensive support, booting the ball around for nine errors which kept him in continual trouble. On the other hand, the Sox were faultless behind Bill "Smokey" Johnson. Gord Brooks picked up three singles for the winners while George Cullen chimed in with a pair of two-baggers. Catcher Halko had a double and single to top the offensive contributors for the Provost.

Walters (L) and Halko
B. Johnson (W) and L. Johnson

Southern League standings (as of end of July 4)
                              W     L     Pct.
Notre Dame Hounds             8     2     .800
Regina Red Sox                8     2     .800
Regina Army Provost Corps     2     7     .222
Regina Army Garrison          1     8     .111

(July 6)  The Army Garrison baseballers stomped out of Park de Young before their game with the Provosts Corps was finished, leaving the Military Police a Southern League win by default. The Provost nine were leading the contest 5 to 3 in the last of the seventh when the Garrison management pulled the team from the field after losing out in a protest on an umpire's judgement call at second base. The game's leading hitter was outfielder Isberg of the Provost who had three singles.

McNichol (W) and Vaness
Fellner (L) and Johnson 

(July 9)  A pair of errors after two were out helped the Regina Red Sox score four runs in the sixth inning and go on to defeat the Regina Army Garrison 4 to 3. The loss was a heartbreaker for Garrison pitcher Wilf Leader who had his best game of the season on the mound, setting the Sox down with four hits. "Lefty" Straub, with a five-hitter and six strikeouts, got the win. Steve Petryna picked up two singles for the winners to pace all batters in this game. 

Straub (W) and L. Johnson
Leader (L) and Johnson

(July 11)  The Army Provost Corps of Regina made certain that the Regina Army Garrison remained in the Southern League cellar, hanging an 8 to 5 setback on their Soldier rivals. The Provost Corps ran off a comfortable lead early in the game and the added on some late insurance runs after the Garrison had chipped away at the lead during the middle innings. Dave Walters got the pitching win with a five-hitter. The only player in the game able to come up with two hits was Halko of the Provost who had a double and single. 

Leader (L), Fellner (5) and Johnson
Walters (W) and Howard

(July 13)  Left fielder "Rosy" Roseborsky smacked an eighth inning homer, which turned out to be the game's only run, to give the Regina Army Garrisom a 1 to 0 win over the Regina Red Sox. It was only the second win of the year for the Garrison. The loss dropped the Red Sox a full game behind the idle Notre Dame Hounds. Both chuckers in this game sparkled with winning hurler Wally Cherneshenko having a slight edge. Swyryda of the Garrison picked up two hits, the only player to do so.

Cherneshenko (W) and Johnson
Straub (L) and L. Johnson 

(July 20)  A pair of ninth inning tallies made it possible for the Regina Red Sox to escape with a 3 - 3 tie with the lowly Regina Army Garrison team. The Redlegs' "Lefty" Straub and Fellner of the Garrison both pitched well.

Straub and L. Johnson
Fellner and Johnson

(July 25)  Playing in their first league game in two weeks, the Notre Dame Hounds came up with a 5 to 2 win over their closest pursuer, the Regina Red Sox. The Hounds out-hit the Sox 6 to 4 and, with four tallies in the first inning, kept the Sox on the defensive most of the night. Both pitchers were on the beam for the majority of the game except for Keith McLeod's lapse in the opening frame. Chuck McCullough of the Dogs and Richy Eisler of the Scarlet Hose both had a double and single.

McLeod (L) and L. Johnson
Germann (W) and McCann

Southern League standings (as of end of July 25)
                            W     L     Pct.
Notre Dame Hounds           9     2     .818
Regina Red Sox              9     4     .692
Regina Army Provost Corps   4     7     .364
Regina Army Garrison        2    11     .154

(July 26)  The Regina Leader-Post announced this date that the Regina Army Provost team, currently in third place in the Southern League, has been forced to withdraw their squad from the circuit for the balance of the 1944 schedule. Numerous service transfers which riddled their line-up forced the withdrawal.

In an unusual move, considering the amount of time remaining in the regular season schedule, the Southern League accepted a replacement entry, the Regina Caps, organized almost overnight by baseball veteran George Drew, to carry on and fulfill the remainder of the Provost Corps' scheduled games. The Caps will inherit the 4 win, 7 loss record that the Provost team had accumulated.

(July 27)  The neophyte Regina Caps hung in there for five innings before the roof began to cave in on them in the sixth and they wound up with a 13 to 5 headache administered by the Notre Dame Hounds. The Collegians battered three Cap twirlers for 15 hits which included three each by Chuck McCullough, Ernie Downton and "Corky" McCann. Two of McCann's blasts were doubles while the other two Hounds had a solo two-bagger each. Caps' catcher "Chick" Barber had the game's only home run. Teammate Johnny Helfrick belted a triple to go along with a single.

Edwards (W), Franks (6) and McCann
Devine (L), Helfrick (2), Drew (7) and Barber

(July 29)  The Notre Dame Hounds found their drive for more room at the top of the Southern League halted when they dropped a close 4 to 3 decision to the Regina Red Sox. Knotted at 1 - 1 entering the eighth and final inning, the Hounds took a two-run lead only to let it slip away in the bottom of the frame when the Red Sox scored three with the tying and winning runs being driven in by third baseman Roy Dean. In spite of tossing a four-hitter, Frank Germann got stuck with the loss. Bob Metz of the Hounds led all batters with a double and single.

Germann (L) and McCann
McLeod (W) and L. Johnson, Charlton (7)

(July 31)  Looking for another opportunity to increase their lead atop the Southern League, the Notre Dame Hounds visited Park de Young and came away with a well-deserved 6 to 2 victory over the Regina Army Garrison. The Hounds collected only six hits in the seven-inning tilt, but walks and Army errors added to the damage. Leading the Collegians with the bat was Chuck McCullough who banged out a triple and single. Frank Germann blasted a two-run homer for the winners.

Cherneshenko, Dobsky (2) (L), Hantuck (7) and Johnson
Germann (W), Edwards (5), Germann (6), Edwards (7) and McCann

(August 1)  Working steadily behind "Lefty" Straub's five-hit pitching, the Regina Red Sox spoiled the Regina Caps' second Southern League appearance when they set down their city cousins 5 to 2. Don Devine was touched for eight Red Sox' hits in absorbing the loss. Sox' outfielder George Reamer had a double and single in a winning cause. Caps' catcher "Chick" Barber singled twice.

Devine (L) and Barber
Straub (W) and L. Johnson

(August 3)  The Notre Dame Hounds had little trouble in forging further ahead of the pack in the Southern League chase by slapping a 16 to 5 crusher on the new entry Regina Caps. A crackling display at the plate netted the Hounds a robust 17 hits off a pair of Caps' twirlers. Ernie Franks banged out four hits, with a double included, to lead the way. Nick Metz and outfielder Heisler were next in line with three base blasts, one of Heisler's being a two-bagger. "Chick" Barber, the Caps' backstop, was their most dangerous batter, bagging a triple and single off winner Aubrey Downton.

A. Downton (W) and McCann
Helfrick (L), Drew (3) and Barber

(August 8)  The sharply improved Regina Caps battled to a 4 - 4 deadlock with the Regina Army Garrison. The Capitals out-hit the Army boys 8 to 5 and, for awhile, it looked as if they would walk off the diamond with their initial Southern League win. Al Beaudry's two-run single in the bottom of the seventh allowed the Garrison group to tie the game. Beaudry wound up with three base blasts to lead all hitters. Johnny Helfrick, "Red" Dyker and catcher "Chick" Barber all had a pair of hits for the Caps with Dyker's total including a double.

Devine and Barber
Cherneshenko and Johnson

(August 10)  The Notre Dame Hounds inched a little closer to clinching top spot in the Southern League as they picked up a 4 to 1 win over the Regina Army Garrison team at Park de Young. Both pitchers were stingy in allowing base hits. Winning chucker Frank Germann fanned four and gave up but four safeties while loser Ted Fellner whiffed nine in a five-hit performance.

Germann (W) and McCann
Fellner (L) and Beaudry

(August 13)  The Notre Dame Hounds clinched top spot in the 1944 Southern League when they defeated the Regina Red Sox 9 to 5. Frank Germann pitched victory ball for the Hounds with a seven-hitter. He also smacked a three-run homer off loser Art "Lefty" Straub in the second which propelled the Collegians into an early 3 to 0 lead. Red Sox' third baseman Roy Dean proved to be Germann's nemesis for the evening as he lit up the Hounds' righthander for a mammoth three-run homer, a double and a single, which produced the entire five-run output of the Reginans. Second sacker Ernie Franks of the Dogs pitched in with a triple and single.

Straub (L) and Gryba
Germann (W) and McCann 

(August 14)  The Regina Capitals picked up their first win in Southern League play when they trounced the Regina Army Garrison 7 to 2 at Park de Young. The Caps led all the way after plating three counters in the top of the first. Winner George Drew and losing pitcher Dobsky both surrendered five hits in going the seven-inning route. Johnny Helfrick had three hits for the first-time winners, a double and two singles. Third sacker Bill Gottselig of the Garrison responded with a triple and single.

Drew (W) and Barber
Dobsky (L) and Petryna

(August 15)  In the biggest shocker of the season, the newly-minted Regina Capitals handed an astonishing 11 to 0 trouncing on the second-place Regina Red Sox. Most of the damage inflicted on loser Vern Huggins occurred in the seventh and last inning of this encounter when the Caps plated nine runs. Don Devine limited the Sox to four safeties in earning the win. Johnny Helfrick, first baseman Lysack, outfielder Jack Slinn and third sacker Al Potter all singled twice for the winners.

Huggins (L) and L. Johnson
Devine (W) and Barber

(August 17)  The Regina Caps, the late-season, dark horse entry in the Southern League, did it again by hanging a 4 to 3 setback on the pennant-winning Notre Dame Hounds. It was the Caps' third successive victory in their season-ending charge. Don Devine laid a three-hitter on the Collegians as the Caps roared back from a 3 to 1 deficit with a three-run seventh inning output to grab the win. Johnny Helfrick with a double and single led the Caps' nine-hit offensive charge off loser Ernie Frank.

Devine (W) and Barber
Frank (L) and McCann

(August 19)  Backing up Vern Huggins' three-hit mound work with perfect defensive play, the Regina Red Sox ended their regular-season schedule with a 6 to 4 win over the hapless Regina Army Garrison club at Park de Young. "Bucky" Walters, on the hill for the Garrison Gang for the first five frames, struck out nine but was behind the eight-ball all the way as his mates faltered at crucial moments, allowing the Sox to pick up runs the easy way. Redlegs' outfielder George Reamer with a pair of singles, was the only batter on either side to collect more than one hit.

Huggins (W) and L. Johnson
Walters (L), Cherneshenko (6) and Petryna

(August 21)  In the season's last league game, the suddenly-hot Regina Caps were cooled off by the Regina Army Garrison team 8 to 6 in a darkness-shortened six-inning affair at Park de Young. The win was only the third of the campaign for the Garrison Gang, recently strengthened with the addition of a few players from the defunct Army Provost squad. Both pitchers of record allowed seven base hits, all of which were singles. Five players, outfielders Halko and Vaness from the Military Men plus catcher "Chick" Barber, shortstop Bridgeman and George Drew of the Caps all had two hits.

Leader (W) and Petryna
Drew (L) and Barber

Final Standings
                        W     L     Pct.
Notre Dame Hounds      14     4     .778
Regina Red Sox         12     6     .667 
Regina Caps*            7    11     .389
Regina Army Garrison    3    15     .167

* Regina Caps' final totals include the 4 win, 7 loss record inherited from the Regina Army Provost Corps as well as their own 3 win, 4 loss record.  

LEAGUE  SEMI - FINALS

The Southern League semi-final rounds will have the pennant-winning Notre Dame Hounds facing the Regina Army Garrison in one bracket while the Regina Red Sox will hook up with the Regina Caps in the other. All semi-final series are slated to be best-three-out of-five.

(August 23)  It took the Notre Dame Hounds just one turn at bat to put the Regina Army Garrison in their place as the Wilcox Collegians piled up eight markers before three were retired en route to a 9 to 3 thumping of the Garrison Gang. Ernie Franks of the Hounds spun a four-hitter for the mound win. He also led all hitters, picking up a double and single off loser Wally Cherneshenko.

Frank (W) and McCann
Cherneshenko (L) and Gryba

(August  26)  The Regina Caps, who set a scorching pace in the stretch drive in the regular schedule, got set back on their heels when the Regina Red Sox carried off a pair of wins as the best-of-five semi-final series got underway at Park de Young. 

The Red Stockings scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to edge past the Capitals 8 to 7 in the matinee. Outblasted at the plate 13 to 11, the Sox made the most of their chances. Johnny Helfrick of the Caps led the hit parade with three singles off Ted Watson. Gord Mitten and Roy Dean of the Crimson Hose as well as first sacker Lysack of the Capitals each contributed a double and single in this free-hitting opener.

Drew (L) and Barber
Watson (W) and Mitten

With "Lefty" Straub hurling a four-hit game, the Red Sox eked out a 1 to 0 victory in the nightcap. Outfielder George Reamer's great catch with two on and none out in the ninth saved the game for the Sox who scored the game's only run in the second when Al "Red" Staley singled home Roy Dean. Both pitchers were in fine form, surrendering but four safeties, all singles.  

Straub (W) and Mitten
Devine (L) and Barber

(August 27)  The Regina Army Garrison came up with a near miss from elimination by holding the Notre Dame Hounds to a 4 - 4 draw in the nightcap of a playoff doubleheader after being snowed under 7 to 1 in the opener at Wilcox. 

The red-hot infield of the Hounds clicked for six double plays in the curtain-raiser to make things much easier for winner "Hap" Edwards who twirled a seven-hitter. 

Walters (L) and Gryba
Edwards (W) and McCann

Trying hard for a sweep which would send them into the league finals, the Hounds found themselves involved in a pitchers' duel and were able to make only limited headway off Wally Cherneshenko while Notre Dame pitcher Ernie Franks was holding forth in superb fashion on the hill for the Collegians. The Garrison Group out-hit the Hounds by a 7 to 6 margin. Cherneshenko wound up striking out eleven to Frank's ten.

Cherneshenko and Gryba
Frank and McCann

(August 30)  A disappointed crowd left Park de Young when the Regina Army Garrison team failed to turn up to meet the Notre Dame Hounds in the fourth game of their semi-final playoff series. The unexpected default sends the Hounds directly into the Southern League final series. 

(August 31)  A fifth-inning defensive meltdown by the Regina Red Sox opened the door for the Regina Caps to score three runs and go on to defeat their Queen city cousins 3 to 1 to stay alive in their semi-final series. Winning hurler Don Devine of the Caps out-pitched the Redlegs' Keith McLeod who was in trouble several times but was always good enough to wiggle out until his defensive support collapsed in the fifth. Devine held the Crimson Hose to only a brace of base knocks and was productive with the bat as well, drilling a double plus a pair of one-baggers.

Devine (W) and Barber
McLeod (L) and Charlton

(September 2)  The roof fell in on the Regina Red Sox at Park de Young as they took a stunning exit from the Southern League playoffs. The Regina Caps were the culprits, notching 4 to 1 and 3 to 2 decisions in a double-bill that hoisted them into the league finals with the Notre Dame Hounds.

Don Devine, with a six-hitter, outlasted the Sox' Keith McLeod in the opener to even the series. Johnny Helfrick with a triple and single led all hitters in this contest.

McLeod (L) and Charlton
Devine (W) and Barber

The Caps scored all thier runs in the third inning of the nightcap. The Red Sox got two back in the fifth and the potential tying run was left stranded at second base in the bottom of the last inning as the Sox were unable to bring Roy Dean, who had doubled, around to score. Recently recruited Don Metz had a two-hitter, striking out eight, for the Caps in earning the series-clinching win. Third baseman W. Smith, shortstop Bridgeman and Johnny Helfrick all singled twice for the victorious Caps.

Metz (W) and Barber
Straub (L) and Murray

SOUTHERN  LEAGUE  FINAL  SERIES

The Southern League final series was to be a best-four-out-of seven affair with the winner taking home the title plus the championship trophy.

(September 9)  The Notre Dame Hounds opened the Southern League final series with a 6 to 3 win over the underdog Regina Caps at Park de Young. Errors broke up a 3 - 3 deadlock in the sixth as the Hounds plated a pair of unearned runs. They took advantage of another error to count again in the seventh. Ernie Franks pitched a five-hitter in earning the win and also came through with three base blows, all singles, off loser Don Devine.

Frank (W) and Brown
Devine (L) and Barber

(September 10)  The Notre Dame Hounds dropped the first game of a playoff twin-bill 9 to 1 to the Regina Caps but then roared back to snatch a 5 to 3 decision in the twilight affair.

A newcomer to the Caps' pitching rotation, Betts, went to the hill in Wilcox and came away with an easy decision in the opener, tossing a six-hitter to oust the Hounds' Aubrey Downton.

Betts (W) and xxxx
A. Downton (L) and xxxx

Betts came back to play an ironman role by going the distance with a six-hitter in the second affair, only to be bested by the Hounds' Ernie Franks who  gave up only five base blows.

Betts (L) and xxxx
Frank (W) and xxxx

(September 14)  The Regina Caps exploded for seven runs in the fourth inning which provided them with enough of a cushion to blast the stunned Notre Dame Hounds 7 to 3 and square their final series at two games each. Ernie Franks was coasting along, pitching hitless ball, until two were down in the fourth inning. Then the wheels fell off and, before the Dogs knew what hit them, the Caps had soared into the lead. Don Devine, with a six-hitter, got the complete-game win. Frank and teammate Phil Heisler were the only two players in the game with two hits, both stroking a brace of singles.

Frank (L) and Clements
D. Devine (W) and Barber

(September 16)  The upstart Regina Caps, the orphans adopted late in the season by the Southern League, moved ahead in their Southern League final series when they whipped the Notre Dame Hounds 6 to 3. George Drew, who came on in the second frame in a relief role after the Caps had fallen behind, got the piching win over Notre Dame's Ernie Franks. Both teams had seven base hits. The Caps won it by scoring three runs in the seventh. Johnny Helfrick of the Caps was the game's top hitter with a triple and double.

Bridgeman, Drew (2) (W) and Barber
Frank (L) and McCann  

(September 17)  Nick Metz came up with an impressive three-hitter that earned the Notre Dame Hounds a 5 to 3 win over the Regina Caps and a tie in the league final series. Taking the hill for his first Southern League start in the playoffs, Metz silenced the Regina batters with nine strikeouts while giving them only three paltry singles. The red-headed righthander also had the game's only extra-base hit, a double. Ernie Downton and Chuck McCullough both slashed a pair of singles in his support.

N. Metz (W) and McCann
Devine (L) and Barber 

(September 20)  A bunch of guys who decided in mid-season to have another fling at baseball, the Regina Caps, completed a story-book march to the Southern League championship by edging the Notre Dame Hounds 6 to 5 in the seventh game of their series. The Caps just won by a whisker but it was good enough for them to end the season on such a high note. The Hounds had an edge in base hits, 13 to 11 and had an opportunity to at least tie it in the final frame but a poor base-running decision cost them a run at the plate. Caps' trio of outfielder Jack Slinn, shortstop Bridgeman and second baseman Johnny Helfrick all connected for a double and single. Nick Metz, who handled the pitching chores for the Hounds on a relief basis, had a double and a pair of one-baggers.  

Devine, Drew (3) (W) and Barber
Frank (L), N. Metz (3) Weisshaar, Clements (2)

EPILOGUE  TO  1944  SEASON

The exciting and unexpected finish to the 1944 Southern League season has to rank right up there amongst the highlights that have occurred since the circuit was formed in 1931.