Playoffs, Saskatchewan League 1954     

Semi-final series:

Aug 24.  Ted Wills shutout Indian Head on just two hits and struck out twelve as the Gems battered Sergio Fabre to win their semi-final opener 6-0.  Fabre, 10-0 during the regular season, went just three innings as Saskatoon built up a 5-0 lead.  Leopoldo Reyes had three hits for the winners.  Bob Bennett's triple was the only extra base hit.

Fabre, Rodriguez (4) and Miranda
Wills and Bennett

A five-run fifth inning carried the Beavers to a 7-2 win over Rosetown in their opener.  Chico O'Farrill's first inning, two-run homer got the Beavers out front.  Ed Kapp held the Phillies to five hits. He fanned twelve.  Felton Morrison had a double and a homer for Rosetown.

Brown, Hill (5) and Henderson
Kapp and Green

Aug 28.  Percy Trimont drove in two runs with a eighth inning double to give the Gems a 5-3 win over Indian Head and a 2-0 lead in their semi-final series.  

White and Johnson
Kirk and Bennett

Aug 29.  Ted Wills lost a no-hitter with two out in the bottom of the ninth as Saskatoon beat Indian Head 3-0 in the first game of a playoff double-header.  Tony Iglesias poked a single up the middle to spoil Wills' no-hit bid.  Gems had 12 hits of Francisco Pilato, including a triple by Bob Bennett and doubles by Percy Trimont and Jose Valladares.

Wills and Bennett
Pilato and Miranda, Yzquierdo (5), Johnson (8)

Sergio Fabre was back in form holding Saskatoon Gems to six hits in fashioning a 4-0 shutout for Indian Head. 5-thousand fans watched the action at Cairns Field.

MacEwen, Morrow (5) and Bennett
Fabre and Johnson

At North Battleford, Ed Kapp won his second game of the series as the Beavers won 4-3.  

Coleman, Hill (6) and Henderson
Kapp and Green

Aug 30.  A seventh inning single by Percy Trimont scored Jose Valladares with the only run as Saskatoon shutout Indian Head 1-0.  On the hill, Bennie Griggs held the Rockets to just three hits. The win should have given the Gems the semi-final series 4 games to 1, but the Rockets protested the game contending third-base coach Reg Pendleton was ineligible to be in uniform.  

Griggs and Bennett
Arango, Rodriguez (9) and Johnson

North Battleford pounded out sixteen hits to take an 11-4 decision from Rosetown and a 3-0 game lead in their semi-final series.  Jesse Blackman had four hits and Curtis Tate chipped in with three.

Holdaway, Stites (4) and Green
Bessicks, Brown (1) and Henderson

Aug 31.  Saskatoon won a berth in the final with an 8-6 win over Indian Head.  Gems won the best-of-seven semi-final in five games.  Don Kirk went six innings to get credit for the victory. Gems thought they had wrapped up the series the day before when they beat the Rockets 1-0.  However, the Rockets protested the game as Reg Pendleton, a part-owner of the Saskatoon club, handled the Gems' coaching duties.  Pendleton was not properly registered with the league.  Gems had seven stolen bases in the game and engineered a bases-loaded triple steal. 

Rodriguez, Pilato (6), Arango (9) and Johnson
Kirk, Morrow (7) and Bennett

September 01.  SBL president Buck Crawford announced that Indian Head outfielder Mario Penalver had been suspended for a year for taking a swing at umpire Ace Corbin during the Rockets' loss to Saskatoon.

September 01.  The league's final series would feature two familiar combatants -- North Battleford and Saskatoon final.  The Beavers trounced Rosetown 11-4 to with the semi-final series in four straight games.  North Battleford got a first inning homer from second baseman Art Stone and never looked back. Bill Stites pitched into the sixth inning and picked up the victory. 

Stites, Blackman (6) and Green
Hill, Coleman (4) and Price

Final series:

September 02.  There was a thrilling beginning to the SBL championship series.  Jesse Blackman's 13th inning single plated Art Stone with the winner as the Beavers beat Saskatoon 5-4 in the opening game of the best-of-seven final. 

Kapp, Holdaway (9) and Green
Wills and Bennett

September 03.  The Gems beat North Battleford 3-2 behind a brilliant pitching performance from veteran Bennie Griggs.  The right-hander gave up two hits and a run in the first inning then pitched no-hit ball the rest of the way.  Griggs finished with 10 strikeouts and one walk. Gems scored the winning run in the eighth on a Len Breckner double and a run-scoring single by Leopoldo Reyes. North Battleford, however, protested the Saskatoon victory. In was based on the presence of an unregistered played on the Saskatoon bench.

Holdaway, L Dean (4) and Green
Griggs and Bennett

September 04.  Curtis Tate and Roy Dean had homers as the Beavers scored a 6-3 win in North Battleford.  Pitcher Jim Morrow and Mario Herrera had homers for the Gems.

Morrow and Bennett
Stites and Green

September 05. North Battleford won the first game of a playoff double-header 4-3 as four Saskatoon errors accounted for all of the Beavers' runs.  Ed Kapp pitched a six-hitter for the Beavers, while Don Kirk allowed just five hits in taking the loss for the Gems.

Kirk and Bennett, Trimont
Kapp and Green

September 05.  Six-hit pitching by Ted Wills led the Gems to a 4-3 win in the second game of the twin-bill.  Gems scored three times in the second inning off Beavers' starter Les Dean.  First baseman Len Breckner had three hits for Saskatoon.  Roy Dean of North Battleford had the only homer.

Wills and Bennett
L Dean, Holdaway (2) and Green

September 07.  A crowd of more than 3,000 at Cairns Field saw the Gems force a deciding game in the Saskatchewan Baseball League final series.  Bennie Griggs allowed five hits and eight walks but held on for a 2-1 win.  Gems took the lead in the second inning as catcher Bob Bennett drove in Jose with a single to centre.  They scored again in the fifth as a double by Leopoldo Reyes easily scored Max Bentley.  The Beavers only run came on a sacrifice fly in the eighth.

Stites and Green
Griggs and Bennett

The Gems lost two star pitchers.  Ted Wills and Don Kirk both had to leave the club to return to university studies -- Wills at Fresno State, Kirk at the University of Alberta.

September 08.  Saskatoon's 3-2 victory in game two of the series was thrown out as the league upheld a protest by North Battleford. 

September 08.  Jim Morrow had a no-hitter into the eighth inning as he led Saskatoon to a 5-1 victory and set up a deciding game in the SBL championship final.  North Battleford catcher Lou Green singled with two out in the eighth for the first hit off Morrow.  The right-hander fanned 10 and walked four.  Leopoldo Reyes had three hits for the winners.

Kapp and Green
Morrow and Bennett

September 09.  The manager the Beavers fired in July was the team's hero as North Battleford won the SBL title with a 3-2 victory in the deciding game of the best-of-seven final.  Jackie McLeod allowed Saskatoon just seven hits and fanned 10 in going the distance.  Don Kirk, flown in from Edmonton for the game, was the loser.  McLeod had rejoined the team for the final three games of the series.

McLeod and Green
Kirk and Bennett

Saskatoon filed a protest over the use of McLeod, but it was rejected by league officials.  The Gems' general manager, Ralph Mabee, threatened to leave the league: "They've done everything they possibly could have done to prove they don't want us in the league, so I wonder how far they will get without us next year."  He suggested the Gems might play elsewhere, "The league has made it quite obvious that we should seek our baseball elsewhere.  This I intend doing when I attend the annual meeting of the ManDak League in October."

The league president, Buck Crawford, said he'd be turning in his resignation "They'll never get me in another mess like this."

And with that, the 1954 season went into the books.