1978 Alberta Game Reports     

(May 31)   Edmonton Tigers kicked of the new season with a 7-6 victory over Red Deer at Great Chief Park. Tigers scored a pair in the top of the 9th for the win. Wayne Commodore singled to drive in Tim Young to tie the game and then Doug Drader, who had walked, scored on a slow bouncer to short. Randy Gregg recorded the win in a relief role. Commodore had given Edmonton an early lead with a two-run homer in the second inning. Al Price belted a homer for the Players.

Eramus, Gregg (W 1-0) (7) and Franchuk
Peterson (L 0-1) and Price

McLeod hits

Red Deer's Don McLeod strokes one of his two hits against Edmonton Wednesday. Tiger catcher
Orv Franchuk
awaits the throw from Tom Erasmus while umpire Neil Montgomery looks on. The
Advocate, Red Deer, June 1, 1978.

(May 31)   Barrhead Blue Jays got off to a good start walloping Stony Plain Dusters 13-2. Lorne Niven led the Jays' 15-hit attack with a homer and two singles. Steve McMannon also had three hits, while Burt Haas, Bob Meacham and pitcher John Osborne each contributed a pair.  Osborne allowed seven hits, including a two-run homer to Ken Wiebe. Bob Elliott took the loss.

Elliott (L) and xxx
Osborne (W) and xxx

(June 1)  Edmonton Tigers and Barrhead Blue Jays battled to an exciting 5-5, 11-inning, draw. The game was called because of darkness.  The contest featured a bench-clearing incident prompted by a fight between the Jays Lorne Niven and a couple of Edmonton players.  Clint Curtis went the route for the Blue Jays allowing ten hits. Randy Rasmussen got to Curtis early with a two-run homer in the second inning.  Barrhead scored with two out in the bottom of the 9th to force the extra frames. Bob Meacham beat out a slow roller to plate Ken Rutan with the tying marker. Barrhead appeared to have taken the win in the 10th as Niven walked and, on a hit-and-run play, Mike Teahen drove one to left field just inside the foul line. Niven scored easily from first.  But the Tigers appealed the play, claiming Niven had missed second base. The umpire agreed and Niven was called out.

xxx and xxx
Curtis and xxx

PunchesBob MeachamMcMannon scores

Left - Barrhead's Lorne Niven and Edmonton's Ray Brown exchange punches as the umpire arrives to break up the tussle. Centre - Bob Meacham fouls one off. Right - Steve McMannon scores as Edmonton catcher Orv Franchuk reaches for the throw.

(June 1)   Terry Hendley fired a five-hitter giving up just an unearned run to lead Red Deer by Stony Plain 5-1. Dusters took a 1-0 lead in the second inning but Blair Hanna tied it in the 5th with a solo homer, the first hit off Mark Lohius who allowed just six hits overall and rang up 14 strikeouts. Players got the winner in the 7th on consecutive singles by Mel Harvey, Wayne Schneider and Ron Blasetti. They added an insurance run on Ken Nelson's bases-loaded suicide squeeze and put two more on the scoreboard in the 8th.

Lohius (L 0-1) and G.Barrow
Hendley (W 1-0) and Price

Warzecka out

Stony Plain Dusters' playing manager Greg Warzecka is gunned down attempting to steal third.
Ken Nelson
of Red Deer takes the throw from catcher Al Price.  The Advocate, Red Deer, June 2, 1978

(June 2)   Lac La Biche Dodgers trounced Stony Plain 12-5.

(June 2)  Trailing 7-2 into the 9th, Barrhead Blue Jays exploded for seven runs and stopped a Red Deer rally in the bottom of the 9th for a 9-8 victory at Great Chief Park.  Lorne Niven, Gerry Hollett and John Osborne each drove in two runs in the wild 9th frame. Ken Rutan scored what proved to be the winning run as he reached on a base on balls, advanced on a single, stole third and scored on a throwing error. Brian Hamagami survived 159 pitches to go the distance for the win. Five of the runs against him were unearned. He allowed eight hits, including homers to Pete Duncan and Blair Hanna, walked nine and fanned ten. He fanned the side in the 9th. Dennis McAusland took the loss in his first start for the Players.

Hamagami (W 1-0) and Teahen
McAusland (L 0-1), Peterson (9) and Price

(June 3)   Reinforcements from Washington State University helped Red Deer Players to a 7-2 win over the Dusters at Stony Plain.  Tom Niedenfuer went the distance for the win, with a six-hitter, and Dan Wodrich impressed at shortstop.  Niedenfuer, who was injured for much of the season after breaking his wrist, had control problems walking ten batters. Both runs against him came on a homer by Dennis Rathjen in the second inning. Red Deer put the game away in the 5th with a four-run rally highlighted by homers from Al Price and Pete DuncanDon McLeod led the Players with three hits.

Niedenfuer (W 1-0) and Price
Elliott (L 0-2). Kowalishen (7) and Holt

Edmonton stopped Lac La Biche 6-2.

Bob Meacham(June 4)  Barrhead split a twin-bill with the Dodgers at Lac La Biche. Blue Jays won the opener 6-2 on a five-hit pitching performance by 17-year-old Barry Kusminski of Wasketanau but dropped the second game by default when Lorne Niven was ejected from the contest and Barrhead had no-one to replace him.  The score was tied 13-13 at the time.

Bob Meacham (left) and Mike Teahen each belted a pair of homers during the doubleheader. Ron Chrenek also had a four-bagger. Steve McMannon and Teahen each collected five hits on the day.

xxx and xxx
Kusminski (W) and xxx

xxx and xxx
xxx and xxx

(June 6)   A five-run 5th inning wasn't enough for the Red Deer Players as that's all they could muster and dropped a 6-5 decision to the Edmonton Tigers.  Outside of the 5th, Tom Erasmus checked the Players on five hits to register the win. Tigers got 11 hits off two Red Deer hurlers.  Mel Harvey had the game's big blow, a three-run, inside-the-park homer.

Hendley (L 1-1), Niedenfuer (4) and Price
Erasmus (W) and Gerlach

Al Price(June 8)   Red Deer's five-run outburst in the third inning, featuring home runs by Pete Duncan and Al Price (right), helped carry the Players to an 8-6 win over Stony Plain Dusters.  It was the third win in six starts for the Players with all the wins coming against the Dusters, who are 0-8.  Ken Nelson led a 10-hit attack with a three-for-four night. Dennis McAusland was the winning pitcher in relief of starter Jim Peterson. Ken Wiebe belted a homer for Stony Plain.

Lohius (L) and Holt
Peterson, McAusland (W 1-1) (6) and Price

Hendley scores

Players' Terry Hendley scores Red Deer's first run following a double error. Dan Wodrich,
with the bat, is jumping for joy while Edmonton Dusters' catcher Dave Holt tries to find the ball.

Edmonton Tigers remained unbeaten with a 5-4 win over Lac La Biche.

(June 9)   Barrhead topped Lac La Biche 9-4 Friday. Clint Curtis registered the pitching win.

(June 10)   Players and Dodgers split a twin-bill at Lac La Biche.  The home club took the opener with three unearned runs in the second inning and a 3-1 victory. Nye Akchurin drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single. Dennis King held the Players to four hits. Terry Hendley allowed just six safeties in taking the loss.

Hendley (L 1-2) and Harvey
King (W) and McDonald

Big Tom Niedenfuer pitched the Players to a 4-2 win in the second game. The 6'5" right-hander held the Dodgers to six hits in winning his second straight and running, to 20, his string of scoreless innings before giving up a pair in the 9th. Catcher Al Price slammed his 4th homer of the season in the second inning to give Red Deer a 1-0 lead. They added three more in the 6th as Terry Hendley singled in Don McLeod, who had walked, and Price drove in Dan Wodrich with a sacrifice fly. Mel Harvey's squeeze bunt scored Hendley.  Jeff Milne tripled in the 9th to score Barney Malpass with the Dodgers first run and Zen Chaba singled to plate Milne.

Niedenfuer (W 2-0) and Price
Durrant (L), Akchurin (6) and Malpass

(June 10)  Edmonton Tigers rallied to down Barrhead 11-9. Gord Graves drilled a two-run single for the winning blow. Randy Rasmussen bashed a homer for Edmonton. Chet Gray was the winning pitcher, in relief. Blue Jays lost shortstop Bob Meacham with an ankle injury and his departure hurt the club as seven of the Tigers' runs were unearned.

Hamagami (L) and xxx
xxx, Gray (W) and xxx

(June 11)  Edmonton Tigers erupted for seven runs in the 6th inning and added another three in the 7th to post a 10-7 decision over Lac La Biche for their 6th straight victory. Tom Erasmus allowed nine hits in gaining the mound decision.

xxx and xxx
Erasmus (W) and xxx

Barrhead and Stony Plain split a double-header with the Blue Jays winning 10-9 and the Dusters gaining their first win, 8-7. Blue Jays took the first game as Lorne Niven homered and Steve McMannon doubled in the winning run in the 10th inning.  The Dusters bounced back to capture the second game on Gary Zunino's circuit blow.

Edmonton Tigers        7-0
Barrhead Blue Jays     6-3
Red Deer Players       4-4
Lac La Biche Dodgers   4-6
Stony Plain Dusters    1-9

Hendley & GravesTim Young(June 13)   Edmonton Tigers won their 8th straight, without a loss, downing Red Deer 5-3 at Great Chief Park.  Tim Young (right) led an 11-hit Edmonton attack with four safeties.  Wayne Commodore clouted a homer for the Tigers and Pete Duncan belted one for the Players.  Ray Brown pitched into the 9th to pick up the win. He needed help from Randy Gregg who came on with the bases loaded an two out.

Brown (W), Gregg (9) and Drader
McAusland (L) and Harvey

(Photo - Players' Terry Hendley reaches first on an errant throw. Tigers Gord Graves watches the ball roll down the base line. The Advocate, Red Deer, June 14, 1978

At Barrhead, Lorne Niven and Ron Chrenek belted homers as the Blue Jays downed Lac La Biche Dodgers 9-5. Jim McDonald and Zen Chaba had circuit blows for the Dodgers. John Osborne was the winning pitcher, Steve Wallace took the loss.

Wallace (L) and xxx
Osborne (W) and xxx

(June 15)    Barrhead Blue Jays crushed Edmonton 9-1 Thursday to snap the Tigers unbeaten streak at nine. The Jays cracked 14 hits, three from Gerry Hollett who had a homer, double and single. Mike Teahen and Steve McMannon also had four-baggers for the winners. Clint Curtis fired a three-hitter for the win. Losing hurler Ron Wiebe allowed five runs before giving way to Chet Gray in the 4th inning.

Wiebe (L), Gray (4) and xxx
Curtis (W) and xxx

Pete Duncan(June 17)   Pete Duncan (right) slammed a bases-loaded double in the 7th inning to give Red Deer a 5-4 victory over Stony Plain.  The three-run blast made a winner of reliever Brian McAuslandAl Price had a solo homer for the Players and Bob Elliott had one for the Dusters. Dan Wodrich, for Red Deer, and Gary Zunino, for Stony Plain, each had three hits.

Conroy (L) and Holt
Peterson, McAusland (W 2-2) (5) and Price

Lac La Biche upset the Edmonton Tigers 5-3

Mike FosterScott Hergott(June 18)   Barrhead Blue Jays took a pair from Red Deer, using shutout pitching to take the seven-inning opener 3-0, and bringing out the heavy lumber to crush the Players 15-3 with a 19-hit, five homer, assault in the second.

Scott Hergott (left) in his AMBL debut, blanked the Players on six hits, all singles, in the first game while catcher Mike Teahen took care of the scoring with a three-run homer in the first inning.  Mike Foster (right) fired a five-hitter with eight strikeouts in taking the loss.

Foster (L 0-1) and Price
Hergott (W) and Teahen

Dale TillemanBlue Jays jumped on Red Deer starter Tom Niedenfuer for five runs in the first inning of the second game, three coming on back-to-back-to-back home runs by Lorne Niven, Mike Teahen and Steve McMannon.

Ron Chrenek and Dale Tilleman (left) also had four-baggers.  McMannon, Tilleman, Gerry Hollett and Ken Rutan each had three hits. Keith Van de Keere was the winner in his initial start of the season.

Niedenfuer (L 2-1), McAusland (2), Hendley (5), Johnson (7) and Price
Van de Keere (W), Paiement (6) and Teahen

(June 18)  Randy Gregg belted a grand slam homer to pace Edmonton Tigers to a 7-1 victory over Stony Plain in the opener of a double-header at Renfrew Park. Orv Franchuk had a two-run double in the second inning. Ray Brown hurled a four-hitter for the win and maintained his perfect, 0.00, earned run average as the only run against him was unearned.

xxx and xxx
Brown (W) and xxx

In the second game, Larry Kowalishen pitched the Dusters to a 2-1 triumph over Edmonton but needed an outstanding throw to the plate by left fielder Greg Barrow in the bottom of the 9th to nab Randy Gregg and preserve the win. Gregg, who drew walks his first three times to the plate, led off the 9th with a double off the centre field wall and was trying to score on a two-out single by Tim Young.

Kowalishen (W) and xxx
xxx and xxx

Ron Blasetti(June 20)   Second baseman Ron Blasetti (left) had four hits and knocked in three to lead a 17-hit Red Deer offensive in a 16-7 triumph over Edmonton Tigers. 

Harold Johnson added three hits, two of which came in the Players' nine-run 4th inning. He led off the inning with a homer and later pounded a two-run single. Shortstop Dan Wodrich reached base five times on two hits and three walks. Wayne Commodore clouted a homer for the Tigers.

Gray (L), Wiebe (4), Brown (6) and Franchuk
Niedenfuer (W 3-1) and Price

(June 20)  Lac La Biche Dodgers topped Barrhead 7-4 Tuesday.  Home runs by former Barrhead star Jim McDonald and Barney Malpass led to the victory.  Jays out-hit the Dodgers 15-9 but were hampered by poor base running and defensive lapses. Lac La Biche took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on a homer by Malpass only to see Barrhead storm back with three runs in the third.  McDonald's homer narrowed the lead to 3-2 in the 4th.  The Dodgers ran away with the win with a pair of runs in the 7th plus three more in the 8th.  Dennis King survived the Jays' 15-hit assault to go the distance for the win.  He fanned three and walked five.  John Osborne took the loss.  Ken Rutan went 4-for-4. McDonald was on base four times with his homer, a double and two walks.

Osborne (L), Lane, Hamagami and xxx
King (W) and xxx

Wodrich & Baker

Red Deer shortstop Dan Wodrich puts the tag on Edmonton's Ken Baker on a steal attempt
to end the second inning.  Players took a 16-7 victory. The Advocate, Red Deer, June 21, 1978

Edmonton Tigers       10-4
Barrhead Blue Jays     9-4
Red Deer Players       6-7
Lac La Biche Dodgers   6-7
Stony Plain Dusters    2-11

(June 22)   Edmonton Tigers 2 Red Deer 1 (Hendley L) At Edmonton

(June 23-24-25)   Barrhead Tournament 

(June 27)   Stony Plain Dusters 8 Red Deer 7 (Foster L) At Stony Plain

(June 28)  Edmonton Tigers 18 Red Deer 9 (McAusland L) At Red Deer

(July 1) At Lac La Biche, Dodgers 3 Red Deer 2 (Peterson L)

(July 1)  At Lac La Biche, Red Deer 7 Dodgers 4 (McAusland W)

(July 2)  At Stony Plain, Red Deer 8 Dusters 6 (Duncan W)

(July 3) At Red Deer, Dodgers 4 Players 3 (Peterson L)

(July 4)  Mike Teahen of Barrhead slugged five home runs in a double-header with Stony Plain.

(July 3)  At Red Deer, Players 8 Dodgers 6 (McAusland W)

(July 5)  At Edmonton, Red Deer 4 Tigers 2 (Foster W)

(July 6)  At Red Deer, Stony Plain 9 Players 5 (McAusland L)

(July 7)  At Edmonton, Red Deer 4 Tigers 0 (Peterson W)

(July 8)  At Stony Plain, Dusters 13 Red Deer 9 (McAusland L)

(July 8)  At Barrhead, Red Deer not only beat the Blue Jays 6-2 they stopped Mike Teahen's hitting streak at 28 games. Chet Gray, recently traded by the Edmonton Tigers to Red Deer, held the Jays to just three hits in posting the win.  The Jays lead atop the standings was reduced to 4 1/2 games. Teahen has had an amazing string, batting above .500 while hitting 13 home runs. Last Tuesday, Teahen crushed five home runs in a double-header against Stony Plain.  Coach Gary Picone had high praise for his catcher, "Mike's been just super, he's the best all-around player in the Alberta Major Baseball League."

Gray (W) and xxx
xxx and xxx

(July 9)  At Red Deer, Players 21 Lac La Biche 1 (Foster W)

(July 9)  At Red Deer, Players 8 Lac La Biche 3 (Becker W)

(July 13)  At Barrhead, Red Deer 10 Barrhead 1 (Vaughn W)

(July 13)  An auto accident resulted in serious injuries to Barrhead's Lorne Niven and Gary Picone. Niven suffered a fractured vertebrae in his lower back and is likely to be confined to hospital for at least two weeks.  Picone received facial injuries after hitting the windshield of the car he was driving.  The pair were returning to Barrhead for a Thursday game when a severe rainstorm near the Devon overpass slowed traffic to a crawl. Picone's vehicle hit the rear of a gravel truck and went out of control crossing the median and eastbound lanes of Highway 16.

(July 15)  At Red Deer, the Barrhead Blue Jays clinched the Alberta Major Baseball League pennant for the second straight year with a 10-6 victory over Red Deer.

xxx and xxx
McAusland (L) and xxx

(July 16)  At Red Deer, Red Deer 12 Barrhead 6 (Vaughn W)

(July 16)  At Red Deer, Red Deer 9 Barrhead 8 (Peterson W)

(July 20)  At Barrhead, the Jays whipped Edmonton Tigers 13-2 to take a 1-0 game lead in the AMBL semi-final. Ray Paiement went the route for the win.  The Jays scored six runs in the first inning and cruised to the win.

xxx and xxx
Paiement (W) and xxx

(July 22-23)  Edmonton Tournament 

(July 26-27)   Lacombe Tournament 

(July 30)  Edmonton Tigers will be Alberta's representative at the Canadian championships in Regina. Tigers dumped Barrhead 10-3 and 11-0 in a Sunday double-header.  The Tigers downed Red Deer 4-1 and 4-3 Saturday to force Barrhead to win both Sunday games to stay in contention.  Tigers belted four homers in Sunday's opener, two by right-fielder Wayne Commodore. Randy Rasmussen and Orv Franchuk added four-baggers. Gerry Hollett hit one for the Jays while Dale Tilleman had three hits. Ray Brown was the pitching winner for Edmonton. John Osborne took the loss.

Commodore homerRay PaiementPicone & Teahen

Left - Wayne Commodore touches home after his second homer of the day. Centre - Barrhead's Ray Paiement. Right - Gary Picone (left) and Mike Teahen of the Jays.

(August 5)   Barrhead Blue Jays capped a superb season winning the AMBL title with two straight wins over Stony Plain. One of the victories came by default as the Dusters couldn't field a full team as some of their players were at a tournament at Kamloops. The Jays ended up with the league pennant, playoff title and three big tournament victories at Barrhead, Edmonton and Lacombe. AMBL Commissioner announced the selection of Mike Teahen as the Most Valuable Player and Jays' playing coach Gary Picone as winner of the Hustle Award.