1977 Game Reports     


The expected return of the Swift Current Indians to the SMBL wars of 1977 did not materialize. A subsequent attempt to add a sixth team to the circuit temporarily brought into the fold the Kindersley Klippers but that development ended almost as quickly as it was proposed as it became evident that the Kindersley franchise simply did not have ample homebrew talent to field a competitive team.

Last season’s team representing the city of Saskatoon, the Cals, was replaced by another known as the Patrick Liners, a direct reference to their sponsor, although the nucleus of the Cals’ roster made the switch and simply changed uniforms.

In order to eliminate the necessity of replaying games that ended in ties, the SMBL adopted a points system whereby a win earned two points and a tie was worth one for each of the combatants. 

(May 29)  Following three consecutive rainouts which would have pitted the arch rivals from Moose Jaw and Regina against each other, the 1977 SMBL season finally got underway with the Unity Cardinals venturing into Saskatoon to face the newly-christened Patrick Liners. The evening opener under the lights at Cairns Field saw the visiting Cards downing the Liners 8 to 4. Unity starting pitcher, Rod Gehring, tossed the compete game to earn the hill decision. Gehring gave up five hits, struck out six and didn’t allow any walks. The Hub City’s Lloyd Guenther, given the gas pipe in the second frame, was drubbed with the defeat. Guenther and two relievers gave up nine hits and issued six bases on balls. Randy Munch and Glen Miller each collected a double and single for the U-Birds while Dan Arndt replied with a double and single for the Liners.

Gehring (W) and Brown
Guenther (L), Bauer (2), Wek (6) and Dziadyk, D. Hanson (2) 

(May 30)  Effective pitching was a huge problem for both squads as two trans-Canada rivals were finally able to get the season underway at Red Sox Field, renamed from Currie Field. While three Moose Jaw hurlers were surrendering 12 safeties and five bases on balls, five Regina tossers were even more generous, giving up 15 hits and 13 walks. In the end, the Moose Jaw Devons came out victorious with a lengthy 14 to 8 drubbing of the hometown Regina Red Sox. Three home runs were hit during the course of the game. Brad Hennenfent had one for the Devons while Doug Simon and Brad Gyug each had one for the Red Stockings. Ned Andreoni hit two singles and a double for the winners. Hennenfent had a brace of one-baggers to go along with his homer. Winning chucker Paul Nelson contributed a pair of doubles.

Nelson (W), Pearson (6), Heisler (8) and Devine
Hengen, Kivela (L) (4), Sawa (6), Wanner (7), Deighton (9) and Logan, Perkin (8)

(June 1)  After dropping their first SMBL start, the Saskatoon Patrick Liners redeemed themselves with an impressive 7 to 2 victory over the Regina Red Sox at Cairns Field. Although the Reginans were only able to collect three singles from the offerings of complete game winner Eric Bauer, they held a 2 to 1 lead until the fourth inning when the Liners came to life, plating three markers. They increased their lead in the fifth with another trio of counters. Bauer struck out seven and retired the Red Stockings in order in five of the last six innings. Loser Wade Wanner fanned six and was lit up for nine Saskatoon hits including a first frame bases-empty dinger and a single by Dan Arndt. Bauer aided his own cause by rapping a pair of singles.
Wanner (L) and Logan
Bauer (W) and Dziadyk, Woronuik (4)                                                                 

(June 1)  The hometown Unity Cardinals edged the Eston Ramblers 2 to 1 in a SMBL game that was called after six innings because of darkness. Winning chucker Dave Sandoval of the Cards tossed a five-hitter. Hard-luck loser Robert Murphy of Eston limited the Redbirds to but two safeties and was responsible for the Ramblers’ lone run, blasting a fifth-inning solo home run.

Murphy (L) and xxx
Sandoval (W) and Wilburn                                                                                   

(June 4)  The Moose Jaw Devons doubled the Unity Cardinals 10 to 5 in Unity. Lanky southpaw Rod Heisler picked up the mound win for the Devons as he went all the way, giving up six hits to the Redbirds. The Devons slammed 16 base blows. Providing the offensive thrust for the winners was Moose Jaw player-manager Paul Nelson who went four-for-five at the plate. Bob Brown was the leading Unity batter, going two-for-four at the dish. Dave Sandoval was nailed with the mound loss.            

Heisler (W) and Devine
xxx, Sandoval (L) and Wilburn                                                                                                 

(June 4)  The Regina Red Sox and Eston Ramblers battled to a 4 – 4 draw in a game played in Eston that was called after nine complete innings because of darkness. The Red Sox held a 4 to 1 lead after six frames but the Ramblers knotted the count in the bottom of the seventh, plating a trio. Andy Logan and Ross Mahoney both hit home runs for Regina and Eston pitcher Robert Murphy blasted one for the hosts. 

Hengen, Wanner (7) and Logan
Murphy and xxx                                                                                             

(June 5)  The visiting Moose Jaw Devons took both ends of a SMBL doubleheader from the Eston Ramblers, edging the Nomads 3 to 2 to start the day’s proceedings and then completing the sweep with a 16 to 7 pasting of the Wanderers in the finale. Duane Pearson earned his first SMBL pitching win in the tightly contested first match. Brad Hennenfent led Moose Jaw’s six-hit offense with a home run and a single off the slants of loser Ted Brennecke.

Pearson (W) and xxx
Brennecke (L) and xxx                                                                                    

The Friendly City gang drilled 15 base blows in overwhelming the Ramblers in the follow-up contest. Playing-manager Paul Nelson picked up the hurling victory although he exited the hill after six frames with a healthy lead. Eston’s Neil McMillan was hammered with the loss. Craig Bacheller went deep with a tater for the Meat Packers and also laced a couple of singles. Brad Chalmers also had a trio of raps for the winners while Brad Hennenfent, Jim Baba, Ned Andreoni and Nelson all had a brace of base knocks. Randy Arthur had two safeties for Eston.

Nelson (W), Andreoni (7), Devine (9) and xxx
McMillan (L) and xxx                                                                                      

(June 5)  The first meeting of the season between last year’s league finalists resulted in a double-dip split as the Regina Red Sox wrapped up their northern weekend swing in Unity. The Cardinals dumped the Capital City crew 5 to 2 in the initial match while the Sox overpowered the Redbirds 11 to 2 in the nightcap. Each team used a big inning for its victory. In the first game, Unity jumped in front with four runs in the second inning. Winning pitcher Rod Gehring of the U-Birds did the rest, limiting the Queen City visitors to five scattered safeties. Regina’s Al Kivela, getting his initial SMBL starting assignment on the hill, was saddled with the defeat. Gary Wilburn and Randy Munch had doubles to pace Unity at the dish. Outfielder Warren Kivell had two hits for the Red Sox.

Kivela (L) and xxx
Gehring (W) and xxx                                                                                        

The Red Sox exploded for seven runs in the fourth inning of the second contest and made things easy for mound winner Wade Wanner. Leading the Crimson Hose 15-hit firepower from the batters’ box was Ross Mahoney who hit for the cycle, crushing a homer, triple, double and single. Catcher Andy Logan contributed a four-bagger and two singles and playing-manager Doug Simon hit a pair of doubles plus a single.

Wanner (W) and Logan
Mello (L) and xxx                                                                                             

(June 7)  The Saskatoon Patrick Liners scored three runs in the fourth inning and that was all they needed to blank the Eston Ramblers 3 to 0 in SMBL action. Jerry Wek scattered seven hits in chalking up the shutout win for the Liners. He fanned eight and issued one free pass. Losing hurler Robert Murphy whiffed ten and walked one while surrendering five hits in a route-going performance. Catcher Rick Morrice of the Wanderers cracked a double and single while Ted Brennecke and Murphy both singled twice. No one in the line-up of the Liners was able to produce more than one hit.

Murphy (L) and Morrice
Wek (W) and Woronuik                                                                                  

(June 7)  In a one-sided, brutal rout, the Regina Red Sox annihilated the Moose Jaw Devons 19 to 2. In the process of handing the Devons their first defeat in five league games, the Red Stockings stroked seven home runs, eight singles and three doubles. Playing-manager Doug Simon of the Sox connected for three of the seven dingers while Jim Paisley added two more. Bill Bell and Andy Logan each had one. Losing portsider Rod Heisler started on the hill for the Mill City Packers but was driven from the hill in the sixth frame after the Devons fell behind 9 to 0. Rich Gergley added to Regina’s assault with three doubles and a single while Warren Kivell added three singles. On the mound for the Scarlet Hose, southpaw Randy Sawa scattered nine hits and didn’t allow a walk in picking up the win. Ned Andreoni, with a three-hit output, was the only Devon who showed much at the platter.

Heisler (L), Andrie (6), Andreoni (7) and Devine, McLelland (8)
Sawa (W) and Logan, Perkin (8)

(June 8)   Unruffled by the thrashing they absorbed the previous evening, the Moose Jaw Devons took to the diamond and turned the tables on their tormenters, besting the Regina Red Sox by a 4 to 1 margin. With the victory, the Devons remained atop the SMBL standings, two points ahead of their nearest pursuers, the Unity Cardinals. In the game that was called due to darkness after Regina had completed their turn batting in the top of the seventh inning, playing-manager Paul Nelson, on the mound for this encounter, played a significant role in the Moose Jaw win. He held the hard-hitting Sox to just three base blows, one of which was a four-bagger by Jim Paisley. Former Devon Tim Hengen gave up nine hits and was nailed with the Red Sox mound defeat. Nelson and third baseman Brad Hennenfent both ripped a pair of hits for the winners.

Hengen (L) and Logan
Nelson (W) and Devine

(June 8)  The Unity Cardinals got home runs from four players as they blasted the Eston Ramblers 19 to 2 in a SMBL game in Eston. Gary Wilburn, Monte Mello, Glen Miller and Rod Gehring of the Redbirds all connected for circuit-clouts in support of winning twirler Dave Sandoval. Bob Brown chipped in with a double and two singles. Sandoval allowed only three Eston hits while striking out seven. Ted Brennecke, who was driven from the hill after 2 2/3 frames, was tagged with the defeat.

Sandoval (W) and Wilburn
Brennecke (L), Adams (3), Morrice (7) and Morrice, McDonald (7)            

(June 11)  Bob Brown had a pair of round-trippers and fellow Redbirds, Randy Munch and Don McLeod, one each as the Unity Cardinals invaded Regina and came away with a 6 to 3 decision over the slumping Red Sox. Winning pitcher Rod Gehring allowed seven hits while loser Wade Wanner of the Sox was lit up for eight. Both twirlers went the distance. A two-run four-bagger by Rich Gergley produced two of Regina’s three runs. Ross Mahoney singled twice for the Sox.

Gehring (W) and Wilburn
Wanner (L) and Bell, Logan (5)

(June 12)  The Eston Ramblers captured their first win of the 1977 SMBL campaign when they blanked the visiting Saskatoon Patrick Liners 3 to 0 in the matinee tussle of a double-dip. The Truckers from the Hub City responded by taking the second encounter 8 to 2. Robert Murphy fired a three-hitter for Eston in the opener while stroking a two-run circuit-jack to aid his own cause. Saskatoon’s Eric Bauer was nailed with the complete-game loss.

Bauer (L) and xxx
Murphy (W) and xxx                                                                                          

In the nightcap, Roy Kemp hit a brace of bases-empty home runs plus a three-bagger to ignite the Bridge City 13-hit barrage. Ken Arndt added a two-run circuit-blast in the ninth inning in support of winning chucker Lloyd Guenther.

Guenther (W), Wek (7) and xxx
xxx (L) and xxx                                                                                                    

(June 14)  Scoring three times in both the first and sixth innings, the Unity Cardinals defeated the Saskatoon Patrick Liners 7 to 4 and moved into first place in the SMBL. Dave Sandoval earned the mound win for Unity over Jerry Wek of the Liners. Both hurlers went the route. The winners out-hit their Hub City hosts 9 to 8. Gary Wilburn drilled two singles and a triple for the Cards while Bob Brown singled twice. Roy Kemp had a single, double and triple for the Transport Troupe and fellow Liner Terry Lynd plated a trio of one-baggers.

Sandoval (W) and Wilburn
Wek (L) and xxx                                                                                                  

SMBL standings as of end of June 14
                             W    L    T  Pts.
Unity Cardinals              6    2    0   12
Moose Jaw Devons             5    1    0   10
Saskatoon Patrick Liners     3    3    0    6
Regina Red Sox               2    5    1    5
Eston Ramblers               1    6    1    3 

17 decided games plus 1 tie (18) out of 50 decided games plus 3 ties (53)

(June 15)  A grand slam home run by shortstop Ned Andreoni was all the Moose Jaw Devons needed to defeat the Regina Red Sox 4 to 1 in SMBL action. Southpaw Rod Heisler fanned 11 and gave up only three hits to the Sox in earning the win. Andreoni’s grand-salami came at the expense of losing chucker Tim Hengen in the fourth frame.

Hengen (L), Kivela (8) and Logan
Heisler (W) and Devine                                                                                             

(June 15)  The Unity Cardinals, sparked by four home runs, had little trouble defeating the Saskatoon Patrick Liners 8 to 2. Dave Sandoval belted a pair of round-trippers while Rod Gehring and Glen Miller added one each as the Cards scorched losing twirler Eric Bauer and reliever Jim Elliot for a dozen base blows. Gary Wilburn collected three singles for the U-Birds while Gord Johnson contributed a triple and a single. The only damaging blow off winning twirler Monte Mello’s offerings was a bases-empty dinger served up to Gary Hollman. Mello limited the Liners to four safeties while striking out nine.

Mello (W) and Wilburn                             
Bauer (L), Elliot (8) and Woronuik 

(June 18)  The Eston Ramblers and Moose Jaw Devons battled through nine innings in Eston with no winner being declared. When darkness set in after nine innings, the game had to be terminated and declared a 9 – 9 draw. The Ramblers led 6 to 4 entering the seventh frame but Moose Jaw picked up five counters to grab a 3-run cushion. Eston regained composure and scored twice in the bottom of the inning and once more in their final turn at bat to tie the contest. The Nomads had home runs from Ted Brennecke, Reg Andrew, Randy Arthur and complete-game pitcher Robert Murphy. Ned Andreoni pasted a three-run shot for the visitors. Eston’s Blythe Irvine had two doubles and a single off Moose Jaw twirler Paul Nelson who was touched for 12 safeties. Nelson and Rob Pederson collected a two-bagger and single apiece for the Mill City bunch.

Nelson and Devine, McLellan (2)
Murphy and Morrice

(June 18)  Bob Brown drove in Don McLeod with the winning run in the bottom of the 11th inning as the Unity Cardinals defeated the visiting Regina Red Sox 5 to 4 in SMBL action. McLeod had led off the inning with a single. The Reginans roared out of the gate, touching home for four counters in their first turn at bat. Doubles by catcher Tom Perkin and his battery mate Al Kivela sparked the uprising. The Sox maintained that 4 – 0 lead until the bottom of the eighth when the Redbirds knotted the count after Dave Sandoval’s three-run double and McLeod’s RBI single. Monte Mello and McLeod both has two base blows out of the seven registered by the Cards.

Kivela (L), Wanner (8) and Perkin
Gehring (W) and Steele                                                                                                                    

(June 19)  In the battle of the two top SMBL teams, the Unity Cardinals came up with 7 to 6 and 9 to 8 twin-bill victories against the Moose Jaw Devons and, in the process, padded their lead to seven points over the runner-up Packers. Unity pounded out 12 hits in their opening game victory, driving loser Mike Haskell to the showers in the third. Winning tosser Dave Sandoval was touched for nine safeties. The top hitters for the Cards were Don McLeod with a pair of triples plus a double, Monte Mello with a three-bagger and a double and Glen Miller with a home run and single. Paul Nelson led the Moose Jaw delegation at the plate with a single and double while Ned Andreoni added a homer.

Haskell (L), Chalmers (3) and Devine
Sandoval (W) and Steele                                                         

Monte Mello, with relief help from Rod Gehring, picked up the hill triumph for the U-Birds in the finale. The Devons out-hit their hosts 13 to 11 and made a valiant attempt at deadlocking the score with a late-inning comeback after being down 9 to 3. Losing twirler Rod Heisler was nicked for home runs by Mello and Unity catcher David Steele. Mello also drilled a three-bagger.

Heisler (L) and Devine
Mello (W), Gehring (6) and Steele                                           

(June 19)  Playing in Eston, the Regina Red Sox and the hometown Ramblers split a pair of games. Eston took the opener 9 to 4 before the Red Sox came back to capture the nightcap 6 to 3. The Ramblers unleashed an 11-hit attack, including homers by Robert Murphy and Reg Andrew, to take the matinee game and make a mound winner out of Steve Kaia. In addition to their four-baggers, Murphy and Andrew both had singles. The hurling loss was pinned on Regina starter Wade Wanner who was relieved by Brad Gyug in the fourth. Kaia gave up nine base hits and fanned an even dozen batters in a route-going performance.

Wanner (L), Gyug (4) and xxx
Kaia (W) and xxx

Regina’s Randy Sawa scattered seven Nomad hits in the second game to earn the hill triumph over Eston starter Neil McMillan. The victory by the Sox snapped a five-game losing streak. The top hitter for the Scarlet Stockings was Ross Mahoney who drilled a double and single. Don Peters had a double and single for the Redbirds while Ted Brennecke singled twice.

Sawa (W), Hengen (8) and xxx
McMillan (L), Brennecke and xxx 

(June 21)  Import pitcher Jerry Wek turned in a stellar mound performance as he fired a three-hit shutout and fanned six in sparking the Saskatoon Patrick Liners to a 3 to 0 blanking of the Moose Jaw Devons. Paul Nelson surrendered eight hits and struck out nine in a losing effort. Wek received all the offensive assistance he required from his mates in a hurry. Glen Anweiler led off the bottom of the first inning with a single before Terry Lynd strode to the plate and blasted a two-run homer over the centre field wall. That gave Wek the only cushion he needed. The tall right-hander was in control throughout. In fact, he never allowed a Moose Jaw runner past first base until the ninth inning. Both Lynd and Anweiler added singles to their early batting output to end with two hits apiece.

Nelson (L) and Devine
Wek (W) and Woronuik

SMBL standings as of end of June 21
                            W    L    T   Pts.
Unity Cardinals            10    2    0    20
Moose Jaw Devons            6    4    1    13
Saskatoon Patrick Liners    4    4    0     8
Regina Red Sox              3    8    1     7
Eston Ramblers              2    7    2     6                                  

25 decided games plus 2 ties (27) out of 50 decided games plus 3 ties (53)

SMBL individual stats (from June 21 edition of Moose Jaw Times-Herald)

Batting                                AB    H     Aver.
Ned Andreoni (Moose Jaw Devons)        33    16    .488
Gary Wilburn (Unity Cardinals)         26    12    .462
Roy Kemp (Saskatoon Patrick Liners)    24    11    .458
Paul Nelson (Moose Jaw Devons)         25    11    .440
Rich Gergley (Regina Red Sox)          29    12    .414

Rod Gehring (Unity Cardinals)   3 – 0    1.000
Paul Nelson (Moose Jaw Devons)  3 – 0    1.000 

(June 22)  The Regina Red Sox shrugged off a 7 to 4 third-inning deficit to completely paste the visiting Saskatoon Patrick Liners 24 to 11 at Red Sox Field. The Red Stockings unloaded 17 hits off four Saskatoon pitchers in this slugfest. Doug Simon led the Regina onslaught with a home run, double and two singles. Jim Paisley, Wade Wanner and eventual winning pitcher Brad Gyug also connected for Queen City four-baggers. Wanner’s effort was a grand-slam effort in the seventh inning. Bill Bell of the Sox had to settle for a couple of doubles and a single. The Liners received home runs from Ken Arndt, Roy Kemp and Bryan Adams. Kemp hit a two-run shot in the third inning and later added a single while Adams hit a three-run blast in the third inning and also added a pair of singles. Arndt’s contribution was a solo shot in the initial frame.

Guenther (L), Elliot (5), Kemp (6), Wionzek (8) and xxx
Hengen, Gyug (W) (3), Wanner (6) and xxx

(June 22)  Randy Arthur hit a two-run single in the bottom of the eighth inning to lift the hometown Eston Ramblers to a 3 to 1 win over the league-leading Unity Cardinals. Robert Murphy went the route for the Ramblers to earn the mound win while Rod Gehring of the Redbirds, in a relief role, was nailed with the loss. Murphy limited the U-Birds to 4 hits and whiffed 12 of their batters.

Stang, Gehring (L) (8) and Steele
Murphy (W) and xxx                                                                                      

(June 24)  A SMBL game between the Regina Red Sox and the Saskatoon Patrick Liners was marked by a premature finish at Cairns Field in Saskatoon. Regina was leading 10 to 9 after eight innings when plate umpire Abe Nickel called the game because he had to leave for a graveyard shift at work. Neither of the two base umpires were ready to take over behind the dish so the game will go down, at least temporarily, in the record books as a win for the Red Sox. To make matters worse from the perspective of the Saskatoon team, the Queen City visitors had arrived 45 minutes late for the start of the game. A protest to the league office was filed by Liners’ playing-manager Dick Hanson. As far as the game itself is concerned, both teams stroked eleven hits. First-inning reliever Tim Hengen of the Sox was credited with the victory while Eric Bauer of the Saskatonians took the loss in a route-going performance. The Hub City gang grabbed an early 8 to 3 lead but it failed to stand up as the Redlegs whittled away at the margin and eventually scored the tying and lead runs with two out in the seventh inning. Andy Logan hit two-run circuit-blasts in the first and fifth innings for Regina while also adding a single. Bill Bell had three singles and Jim Paisley checked in with a double and single. Gary Hollman paced the Bridge City brigade at the platter with two home runs including a grand-salami in the first frame. His second boomer was a two-run shot in the fourth after teammate Terry Lynd had connected for a bases-empty blast earlier in the inning. Roy Kemp and Ken Arndt each added a pair of singles for the Truckers. 

Kivela, Hengen (W) (1) and xxx
Bauer (L) and xxx

(June 25)  SMBL president Farris Baba levied a fine of $25 against the Regina Red Sox for their late arrival at Cairns Field for the game of June 24 against the Saskatoon Patrick Liners. He also ruled that the remaining inning would have to be played prior to the next scheduled game between the two clubs July 19 in Saskatoon. In the interim, the result of the game will not yet be included in the standings.

(June 25)  The Moose Jaw Devons dropped their fourth straight game as they fell to the visiting Eston Ramblers 2 to 1 at Ross Wells Park. All the scoring in this contest occurred in the first three innings. Don Peters doubled home Eston’s initial tally in the first inning. In the bottom of the second, Ned Andreoni jacked the first pitch into orbit and out of the ball park for the Devons’ sole run of the night. Ted Brennecke led off the third with a walk, went to second on a steal and took advantage of a wild pitch by losing twirler Rod Heisler to move to third. Peters then collected his second RBI of the tussle as he sent Brennecke home with a base hit. Steve Kaia allowed seven hits and whiffed an equal number of Moose Jaw batters to claim the win. Andreoni had a double to go along with his tater.

Kaia (W) and Morrice
Heisler (L) and Devine

(June 26)  The Saskatoon Patrick Liners, losers of three previous meetings with the Cardinals, travelled to Unity and managed to salvage a split in their twin-bill with the first-place Redbirds. Ending their drought, the Liners captured the first game 7 to 3 before bowing 13 to 6 in the second game. Lloyd Guenther effectively spaced six hits to earn the win for Saskatoon in the opener. Dave Sandoval surrendered nine hits in taking the loss. The Transport Troupe scored four runs in the first inning and never looked back for the duration of the contest. Roy Kemp, Larry Hanson and Don Dziadyk each had three singles for the Bridge City boys. Glen Miller smashed a home run for Unity while Gord Johnson added a triple. 

Guenther (W) and Dziadyk
Sandoval (L) and Steele

In the late encounter, Unity’s Monte Mello scattered eleven hits to pick up the win. Jerry Wek of the Liners was lit up for 17 Redbird base blows as the defeat was hung on his record. Don McLeod had three singles and a triple for the U-Birds while Dave Steele added two doubles and a pair of singles. Roy Kemp hit a home run and added a brace of one-baggers to lead the Saskatonians offensively. Ken Arndt, Gary Hollman and Colin Blyth all singled twice in a losing cause.  

Mello (W) and Steele
Wek (L) and D. Hanson

(June 26)  The Regina Red Sox and Eston Ramblers divided a SMBL double-dip in the Capital City with each team picking up a 2 to 1 win. Robert Murphy of the Ramblers turned in a three-hit, 16 strikeout performance in the matinee game but still wound up as the losing twirler as the Red Sox scored a pair of unearned runs, including the winner in their last turn at bat, to eke out the narrow victory. Shortstop Ted Brennecke of the Wanderers flubbed Jim Paisley’s routine ground ball in the bottom of the ninth which allowed Doug Simon to score. Winning pitcher Randy Sawa gave up six hits and fanned seven in besting the hard luck Eston import. 

Murphy (L) and Morrice
Sawa (W) and Logan

A fate similar to Murphy’s befell Regina’s Wade Wanner in the second contest. The bespectacled Red Sox right-hander held the Ramblers to three hits yet came away with a tough loss. Murphy came back with a vengeance following the first game setback and staked the Nomads to a 1 to 0 lead with a fourth inning bases-empty home run. Ross Mahoney of the Sox hit a run-scoring single in the bottom of the seventh, creating a 1 – 1 tie and Blythe Irvine won it for Eston with a solo circuit-shot in the tenth frame.  Brennecke made amends for his first-game blunder when he took over for Eston starter Neil McMillan on the mound in the third inning and held the Red Sox to four hits, striking out 12 Regina batters along the way, for the balance of the overtime contest.                                                                          

McMillan, Brennecke (W) (3) and Morrice
Wanner (L) and Logan 

(June 29)  Home runs made the difference as the Moose Jaw Devons came away from a SMBL game with a 3 to 1 victory over the Saskatoon Patrick Liners. A second-inning circuit-clout by shortstop Ned Andreoni and another by player-manager Paul Nelson in the sixth assured the triumph for the Devons. Andreoni followed Nelson’s tater with a double and came in to score on one of four errors committed by the Liners. Catcher Don Dziadyk’s single drove in the lone Saskatoon counter. Left-hander Rod Heisler of the Friendly City crew had a strong game on the mound, yielding but two singles while striking out ten batters in a route-going effort. Saskatoon pitcher Eric Bauer also went the distance on the hill, giving up six hits and striking out five.

Bauer (L) and Dziadyk
Heisler (W) and Devine

(July 4)  League prexy Farris Baba dealt an unkind hand to the Saskatoon Patrick Liners when he altered his previous ruling that the ninth inning of their June 24 game with the Regina Red Sox had to be played and, instead, awarded the win to Regina. He based his decision on the fact that, as the home team, Saskatoon was responsible for the umpires.

(July 4)  The Regina Red Sox came back from a 4 to 1 deficit to earn a 4 – 4 tie with the Moose Jaw Devons in a SMBL game that ended prematurely after seven innings because of darkness. Moose Jaw’s playing-manager Paul Nelson supplied most of the punch that staked the homesters to a 4 to 1 lead after three innings as he had a run-scoring single in his first at-bat and then walloped a Tim Hengen pitch over the right field fence for a two-run dinger in the third. After Regina tied the score with three counters in the fifth, Nelson took over mound chores from starter Brian Chalmers, pitching hitless relief for the remainder of the game .Nelson, Brad Hennenfent, Brad Devine and Chalmers each had two hits for the Devons. Responding for the Crimson Hose, also with a brace of base raps, were Ross Mahoney, Rick Tabin, Rich Gergley and Tom Perkin with one of Perkin’s blows going for two bases.  

Hengen and Logan
Chalmers, Nelson (5) and Devine

(July 5)  SMBL batting and pitching leaders (games up to July 3 as published in the July 5 edition of the Moose Jaw Times-Herald)

Ned Andreoni (Moose Jaw Devons)       .463
Roy Kemp (Saskatoon Patrick Liners)   .391
Don McLeod (Unity Cardinals)          .389
Paul Nelson (Moose Jaw Devons)        .383
Monte Mello (Unity Cardinals)         .363
Doug Simon (Regina Red Sox)           .360
Robert Murphy (Eston Ramblers)        .346
Rich Gergley (Regina Red Sox)         .341
Warren Kivell (Regina Red Sox)        .333
Brad Hennenfent (Moose Jaw Devons)    .306

Randy Sawa (Regina Red Sox)        3 – 0
Paul Nelson (Moose Jaw Devons)     3 – 1
Rod Gehring (Unity Cardinals)      3 – 1
Monte Mello (Unity Cardinals)      3 – 1

Randy Sawa (Regina Red Sox)        2.07
Robert Murphy (Eston Ramblers)     2.48

Robert Murphy (Eston Ramblers)       81

(July 5)  A see-saw battle at Saskatoon’s Cairns Field saw the visiting Moose Jaw Devons come out on top of the Saskatoon Patrick Liners 11 to 9 in an 11-inning marathon. It proved to be a classic example of the experienced Devons seizing the moment against the youth-laden Liners. Deadlocked 6 – 6 after five innings, neither team was able to score another run during the following five frames. The Mill City squad broke the stalemate in the top of the 11th by plating five counters as the Truckers were guilty of some shoddy defensive work while eventual losing hurler Jerry Wek was surrendering a pair of costly walks. A two-out rally in the bottom of the frame, however, afforded the Saskatonians another opportunity. With three runs in and the sacks full, complete game winner Paul Nelson fanned Ken Loehndorf to end the game. Craig Bacheller had three hits to spark Moose Jaw’s 13-hit attack while teammate Brian Chalmers belted a two-run homer and added a single. Rounding out the Devons’ hit parade were Nelson with a double and a single as well as Brad Devine who singled twice. Roy Kemp kept up his hot-hitting ways for the Liners with a double and two singles while Glen Anweiler, Colin Blythe and Don Dziadyk each chipped in with a pair of safeties. 

Nelson (W) and Devine
Guenther, Elliot (3), Wek (L) (6) and Dziadyk, Woronuik (10)

SMBL standings as of end of July 5
                              W    L    T   Pts.
Unity Cardinals              12    5    0    24
Moose Jaw Devons              8    5    2    18
Regina Red Sox                6    9    2    14
Saskatoon Patrick Liners      5    9    0    10
Eston Ramblers                4    7    2    10   

35 decided games plus 3 ties (38) out of 50 decided games plus 3 ties (53)  

(July 6)  Playing on their home turf, the top dog Unity Cardinals blanked the Eston Ramblers 2 to 0 behind the three-hit twirling of complete game winner Rod Gehring. Hard luck loser Robert Murphy again pitched well, yielding but five safeties, yet his mates simply came up empty with the lumber. Byron Merkowsky was the top swatter for the Cards with two base hits.

Murphy (L)  and Morrice
Gehring (W) and Steele                                                                                               

(July 8)  The Regina Red Sox powered seven home runs in pounding the Moose Jaw Devons 13 to 1. Catcher Andy Logan led the Red Stockings with a pair of boomers while Jerry Zrymiak, Tom Perkin, Doug Simon, Jim Paisley and winning hurler Randy Sawa all connected for circuit-jacks. Logan and Paisley both accumulated three hits for the Sox in the one-sided contest. Sawa posted his fourth consecutive win on the mound for Regina, toiling the first seven frames, while Devons’ starter Rod Heisler was painted with the defeat. Playing-manager Paul Nelson had two of Moose Jaw’s four hits.

Heisler (L), Baba (2), Andrie (5) and Devine
Sawa (W), Deighton (8) and Logan

(July 8)  The Eston Ramblers continued their late charge for a SMBL playoff berth as they chalked up a convincing 13 to 1 triumph over the Saskatoon Patrick Liners. The loss for the Liners was their fourth consecutive and left their playoff ambitions in peril. Eston scored three runs in the first inning and had built up a 7 – 0 lead before Saskatoon scored its lone run in the fifth. Neil McMillan scattered six hits and recorded six strikeouts in picking up the win. Liners’ starter, Eric Bauer, driven from the hill in the fourth in favour of Jerry Wek, suffered the loss. Don Peters batted in five runs for the Ramblers as he went four-for-four at the plate including a double and triple. Ted Brennecke and Robert Murphy each picked up a trio of base knocks for the Nomads while Blythe Irvine socked a home run.

Bauer (L), Wek (4) and xxx
McMillan (W) and xxx                                                                                                 

(July 9)  The Unity Cardinals widened their first-place gap in the five-team SMBL to 8 points with an 8 to 0 win over the second-place Moose Jaw Devons at Ross Wells Park. Cards’ chucker Monte Mello held the Devons to four hits while whiffing nine swingers at the dish. Unity tallied all the runs they would need in the first inning after outfielder Gord Johnson unleashed a booming three-run triple. The Redbirds collected nine hits from the offerings of losing chucker Paul Nelson and reliever Rod Heisler. Third baseman Bob Brown had two of them, both singles.

Mello (W) and xxx
Nelson (L), Heisler (5) and Devine

(July 10)  Displaying power throughout their batting order, the high-flying Unity Cardinals took a firmer grip atop the SMBL standings as they hammered the Regina Red Sox 16 to 6 in the Queen City. The homer-happy Redbirds unleashed an attack of 16 hits against two Redleg hurlers, with six of them being launched out of the park for circuit-jacks. Gord Johnson led the way with a pair of boomers while Don McLeod, Randy Munch, Glen Miller and Monte Mello all connected for one dinger. Johnson also had a single to go along with his brace of four-baggers and came away with four RBI for the afternoon. Ross Mahoney drilled a pair of taters for the Crimson Hose in a losing cause. Unity’s Roger Bills picked up the hill triumph in a route-going performance while Regina starter Al Kivela was nailed with the loss.

Bills (W) and xxx
Kivela (L), Hengen (2) and xxx

SMBL statistics up to and including July 11 (as printed in the Moose Jaw Times-Herald of July 12)

                                                                                                                             AB    H   Pct.
Ned Andreoni (Moose Jaw Devons)         59   25   .424
Paul Nelson (Moose Jaw Devons)          59   25   .424
Roy Kemp (Saskatoon Patrick Liners)     59   24   .407
Don McLeod (Unity Cardinals)            65   25   .384
Monte Mello (Unity Cardinals)           56   21   .375
Robert Murphy (Eston Ramblers)          60   21   .350
Doug Simon (Regina Red Sox)             61   21   .344
Andy Logan (Regina Red Sox)             66   22   .333
Warren Kivell (Regina Red Sox)          51   17   .333
Ted Brennecke (Eston Ramblers)          61   20   .327

Doubles – Paul Nelson   9
Triples – Don McLeod and Gord Johnson tied with 4 each
Home Runs – Andy Logan   7
RBI’s – Ned Andreoni   23

                                 W    L    Pct.
Randy Sawa (Regina Red Sox)      4    0   1.000
Rod Gehring (Unity Cardinals)    4    1    .800
Monte Mello (Unity Cardinals)    4    1    .800

ERA – Randy Sawa    1.90     
      Rod Gehring   2.21

Strikeouts – Robert Murphy (Eston Ramblers)   92 

(July 12)  The Saskatoon Patrick Liners scored all their runs in the fifth inning in posting a 4 to 3 SMBL victory over the Unity Cardinals. Although Eric Bauer was touched for 12 Unity hits, the Liners’ hurler managed to record the win. Redbirds’ starter Egbert Stang, who needed eighth inning relief help from Bob Brown, took the loss. Bauer helped his own cause by belting a solo home run. Don McLeod had a two-run circuit-jack for the Cards. The win for the Liners moved them to within a half-game of the Regina Red Sox and Eston Ramblers in the fight for fourth place. 

Stang (L), Brown (8) and Steele
Bauer (W) and Dziadyk                                                                                                  

(July 13)  Eston Ramblers’ hurler Steve Kaia had a no-hitter spoiled by an eighth-inning triple as he pitched the visiting Ramblers to a 2 to 1 SMBL victory over the front-running Unity Cardinals. Redbirds’ shortstop Randy Munch launched a three-bagger that ended Kaia’s bid for SMBL notoriety. The Cardinals scored first in the second inning, plating an unearned counter following a pair of Eston errors. Neil McMillan of the Ramblers deadlocked the score with a bases-empty four-bagger in the eighth. Eston got the winning run in the top of the ninth when Robert Murphy doubled and Reg Andrew drove him in with a single. The U-Birds used three pitchers who were responsible for five Rambler hits. David Steele, the last of the trio to toil on the hill, was the one who tasted defeat.

Kaia (W) and Morrice                                                 
Bills, Mello, Steele (L) (7) and Steele, Brown (7)                                   

(July 18)  Rod Heisler of the Moose Jaw Devons came out the winner in a pitcher’s duel with the Saskatoon Patrick Liners’ hurler Lloyd Guenther as the Devons edged the Liners 2 to 1 in a SMBL game in the Friendly City. Heisler fanned 13 Saskatoon would-be hitters while allowing seven safeties in emerging with the narrow win. Guenther struck out seven and allowed six base hits in taking the hard-luck defeat. Each team plated a lone tally in the opening frame, the Hub City run crossing the plate as a result of Ken Loehndorf’s three-bagger and the Moose Jaw counter coming after Paul Nelson had singled, stole second and touched home plate following an infield error. Heisler won his own game when, in the fourth, he connected on a Guenther offering for a bases-empty home run.

Guenther (L) and Woronuik
Heisler (W) and Devine

(between July 18 – July 25)  Eston  2 at Unity  1.

(July 26)  Showing a continual improvement in play over their dismal first half of the schedule, the Regina Red Sox took care of the Saskatoon Patrick Liners 10 to 7 to move six points ahead of the Transport Troupe in the SMBL standings. The Liners forged ahead 4 to 2 after an inning and a half were in the books, thanks primarily to a three-run homer by Colin Blythe. But the Sox roared back with four runs in the bottom of the second to take a 6 to 4 lead and they never trailed again. Two of the second frame runs were the result of a mammoth circuit-clout by Andy Logan off starting twirler Roy Kemp which not only cleared the centre field fence but also the bleachers parked behind it as well. At that point, Kemp was given the hook and replaced by eventual losing hurler Jerry Wek who held the Queen City crew in check for the next three innings. In the meantime, the Truckers scored a brace of runs to temporarily tie the contest 6 – 6. That didn’t last long, however as Warren Kivell and Doug Simon both had run-scoring singles in the sixth and the Red Sox were ahead to stay. Simon then finished the Regina scoring with a two-run homer in the eighth. Randy Sawa picked up his fifth straight pitching win of the season although his performance was something less than sharp. Saskatoon’s Don Dziadyk was the top hitter in this game, registering a perfect four-for-four output at the plate which included a home run and three singles. Kemp added a double and single. Kivell, who hit a brace of singles, and Simon were the only members of the Scarlet Stockings to collect more than one safety.

Kemp, Wek (L) (2) and Dziadyk
Sawa (W) and Logan                                                

(July 27)  The Regina Red Sox pocketed a narrow 3 to 2 win over the Saskatoon Patrick Liners in the Hub City. Winning chucker Wade Wanner of the Sox needed ninth inning relief help from Tim Hengen and a great defensive play by second sacker Jim Paisley to pull out the victory. Wanner ran into control problems in the ninth, allowing the Liners to load the bases with two away. With Hengen taking over, Saskatoon catcher Don Dziadyk slashed a line-drive that could have been a game-winning hit but Paisley snared it to end the game. Paisley also cracked a solo circuit-clout in the seventh which tied the game, setting the stage for the winning rally by the Crimson Hose in the eighth. Wanner led off with a double and crossed the plate with the lead marker on Bill Bell’s two-bagger. Cal Thompson led Saskatoon at the dish with a double and single while teammate Glen Anweiler had a brace of safe blows.The Bridge City Brigade remains four points behind the Eston Ramblers for the fourth and final playoff berth. 

Wanner (W), Hengen (9) and Logan, Bell (8)
Bauer (L) and Dziadyk                                          

(July 27)  The Eston Ramblers were flattened 19 to 1 by the league-leading Unity Cardinals in SMBL play at Eston. Roger Bills got the hurling win over Eston starter Steve Kaia who was bombarded for 13 hits and 12 runs during his time on the hill. Unity put the game out of reach early as, after the second inning, they had piled up an insurmountable 11 to 0 lead. The Redbirds collected 16 hits on the evening which saw Rod Gehring and Don McLeod blast home runs for the winners. Gehring also had three other hits to go along with his round-tripper. Roger Bills was impressive on the hill in going the route for the win.

Bills (W) and xxx
Kaia (L), xxx and xxx                                                        

(July 30)  A three-hit, 13-strikeout mound performance by import right-hander Robert Murphy carried the Eston Ramblers to a 7 to 2 SMBL victory over the host Regina Red Sox at Currie Field. Murphy also sparkled with the bat, chasing home four runs including three with a ninth-inning home run. He also singled home the Ramblers’ initial run of the game in the first inning off the slants of complete game loser Tim Hengen. With the Red Sox holding a slim 2 to 1 lead as the teams entered the sixth frame, Eston first baseman Reg Andrew came through with what would prove to be the game-winning hit, a two-run circuit-jack hit deep over the left-centre field fence.  

Murphy (W) and McDonald
Hengen (L) and Logan

(July 31)  The Moose Jaw Devons captured both ends of a twin-bill from the visiting Eston Ramblers, taking the matinee game 7 to 1 and following that up with a narrow 7 to 6 conquest in the finale. The double victory assured the Devons of a second-place finish in the SMBL and home field advantage in at least the semi-final round of playoffs. Veteran Ned Andreoni started on the mound for the Mill City hosts in the opener and came away with an impressive complete-game two-hitter. He also stroked a pair of base raps off losing twirler Steve Kaia. Brad Devine, Paul Nelson and Jim Baba also contributed a brace of knocks apiece to highlight an 11-hit offense. Eston’s only hits off Andreoni came in the third inning when Neil McMillan singled and then scored on a double by Don Peters.

Kaia (L) and McDonald
Andreoni (W) and Devine

Moose Jaw got off to a quick start in the second tussle and led 5 to 1 before the Nomads’ Don Peters drilled a three-run homer in the third to shrink the Eston deficit to a single tally. From there on until the final out, the match was a tight affair. Not until their last turn at bat were the Devons able to muster the winning run. Brian Chalmers doubled to lead off the frame. Following his removal from the game for pinch-runner Ken Neff, an infield out advanced Neff to third and then Brad Devine’s sacrifice fly plated the run for the walkoff victory.

McMillan, Brennecke (2), McMillan (L) (4) and McDonald
Heisler (W) and Devine

(August 2)  The road-weary Eston Ramblers scored two runs in the tenth inning and held on for a 5 to 4 triumph over the Saskatoon Patrick Liners in SMBL action. Reg Andrew drilled a bases-loaded single to provide the Wanderers with their fourth and fifth runs. The two-run extra-frame production capped a late comeback for the Ramblers after they had forced overtime with a run in the ninth inning. Saskatoon managed to plate a single tally in the bottom of the tenth to provide an exciting finish. Eston’s Robert Murphy limited the Liners to five hits in earning the full-route win. He struck out 20 and allowed three walks. Lloyd Guenther suffered the loss after taking over for starter Jerry Wek in the tenth frame. Merle Byrnes led the Nomads’ nine-hit attack with three base raps while Roy Kemp managed a triple and single for the Truckers.

Murphy (W) and McDonald
Wek (L), Guenther (10) and Dziadyk, Woronuik (8)

(August 6)  The SMBL, with its regular schedule unfinished due to numerous rainouts, has decided to forego its remaining games and get on with the playoffs. The semi-finals will pit the Regina Red Sox playing the Moose Jaw Devons and the pennant-winning Unity Cardinals taking on the Eston Ramblers. Both are best-of-five series. The league’s other team, the Saskatoon Patrick Liners, have been relegated to next-year country. One of the major factors leading to the early playoff trail was the impending absence of the Regina Red Sox team who are scheduled to represent the province at the Canadian Senior championships in Brandon beginning August 17.

Final SMBL standings
                               W     L     T    Pct.    Pts.
Unity Cardinals               15     6     0    .714     30
Moose Jaw Devons              11     7     2    .611     24
Regina Red Sox                 9    11     2    .450     20
Eston Ramblers                 9    12     2    .429     20
Saskatoon Patrick Liners       6    14     0    .300     12


(August 8)  The Moose Jaw Devons scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to edge the Regina Red Sox 3 to 2 in a SMBL playoff game that was called in the eighth inning because of darkness. The win gives Moose Jaw a 1 – 0 lead in the best-of-five semi-final series. Paul Nelson went the distance on the hill for the Devons to pick up the win. He gave up seven hits, struck out five and walked four batters. Regina’s Randy Sawa, the losing pitcher, surrendered five hits, struck out two, hit one batter and issued a pair of bases on balls. Brian Chalmers singled home Brad Hennenfent with the winning marker for the Packers. Hennenfent had driven in the tying marker earlier in the seventh. 

Sawa (L) and Logan
Nelson (W) and Devine                                            

(August 9)  The Unity Cardinals, fresh off claiming the 1977 SMBL banner, took the opening game of their semi-final round by edging the Eston Ramblers 7 to 6 in Eston. Both teams showed offensive power, banging out ten hits each. Gord Johnson, Dave Steele, Bob Brown and Bryan Adams all collected two base knocks for the winners.

Gehring (W) and xxx
Kaia (L) and xxx

(August 9)  The Regina Red Sox, behind a balanced hitting attack and solid defensive work, defeated the Moose Jaw Devons 9 to 4 to even the semi-final showdown at one game each. The Scarlet Hose pounded out eleven hits, four of them for extra bases, and turned three double plays en route to their victory. Andy Logan collected three hits for the Sox, a double and two singles. Outfielder Ross Mahoney smashed a three-run tater and a single while Doug Simon singled twice off complete-game loser Dan Andrie. Relief specialist Bob Currie took over Regina mound chores from starter Lorne Deighton in the fifth with the sacks full and made one costly mistake, serving up a pitch that Moose Jaw playing-manager Paul Nelson blasted out of the park for a grand-salami. The Devons had three hits off the bat of Rod Heisler while Nelson and Jim Baba both wound up with two.

Andrie (L) and Devine
Deighton (W), Currie (5) and Logan

(August 10)  The pennant-winning Unity Cardinals blanked the visiting Eston Ramblers 5 to 0 in the second game of their best-of-five playoff round to take a two-games-to-none stranglehold in the series. Winning pitcher Monte Mello tossed a masterful one-hitter and struck out nine in earning the shutout win. Eston’s Robert Murphy was tagged for seven Redbird safeties while fanning eight in taking the loss. Gord Johnson hit a pair of doubles for the Cardinals and Bryan Adams contributed a brace of singles.

Murphy (L) and xxx
Mello (W) and xxx                                                 

(August 10)  The Moose Jaw Devons edged the Regina Red Sox 4 to 3 at Moose Jaw’s Ross Wells Park to move within one game of wrapping up the best-of-five SMBL semi-final series. Although the Devons led all the way, they were in danger of losing their lead in the final inning. The Red Sox loaded the bases in the ninth with two outs but winning chucker Rod Heisler ended the threat by fanning Regina’s ever-dangerous Doug Simon, the fourth time in the contest that the Mill City left-hander had rung up Regina’s playing-manager. Both Heisler and loser Wade Wanner went the distance. Heisler ended the contest with an even dozen strikeouts while surrendering eleven Redleg safeties, eight more than the Devons were able to garner off his Regina counterpart. Wanner did have some consolation in the fact that he doubled twice off Heisler’s offerings to lead all hitters at the dish. Brain Chalmers had a triple for the Devons.  

Wanner (L) and Logan
Heisler (W) and Devine

(August 11)  The Eston Ramblers avoided a series sweep when they won the third game of the best-of-five playoff series by downing the host Unity Cardinals 7 to 5. Ted Brennecke stymied the Cards on four hits to get the important mound decision. Loser Roger Bills was lit up for 11 Eston safeties while he rang up five strikeouts.
Brennecke (W) and xxx
Bills (L) and xxx                                        

(August 11)  A two-run homer by Ross Mahoney and a three-run shot by Doug Simon climaxed a five-run eighth inning, lifting the Regina Red Sox to a come-from-behind 10 to 7 victory over the Moose Jaw Devons. The Regina win ties the semi-final series at two victories apiece. Moose Jaw playing-manager Paul Nelson assumed mound chores following Mahoney’s blast off starter Ned Andreoni which had knotted the score. Later in the frame with runners at second and third, Nelson decided against intentionally walking Red Sox slugger Doug Simon with first base open. That decision backfired as Simon launched Nelson’s first pitch over the left field fence to drive in the winning runs. Winning chucker Bob Currie then set down the Mill City gang in order in the ninth to preserve the win. Mahoney, in addition to his home run, had a run-scoring single in the fourth inning. Andreoni and Regina’s Bill Bell both had bases-empty circuit-jacks. Overall, the Devons’ Brian Chalmers was the game’s most consistent hitter as he banged out a double and two singles. Teammate Craig Bacheller chipped in with a double and single.   

Andreoni, Nelson (L) (8) and Devine
Hengen, Currie (W) (7) and Bell, Logan (5)

(August 12)  Steve Kaia pitched the Eston Ramblers to a narrow 5 to 4 win over the Unity Cardinals to knot the semi-final series at two games each. The Eston swatters laid the lumber on losing tosser Rod Gehring to the tune of 13 base blows. Kaia yielded seven hits with Don McLeod and Monte Mello touching him for two each.

Gehring (L) and xxx
Kaia (W) and xxx 

(August 12)  The defending SMBL champion Regina Red Sox took the first step toward safeguarding their title when they defeated the Moose Jaw Devons 7 to 4 in the deciding game of the best-of-five semi-final series. Regina will now advance to the best two-out-of-three finals against either the Unity Cardinals or the Eston Ramblers whose current playoff set-to is deadlocked at two games each. The Reginans scored five times in the first three innings and were able to coast from there in eliminating the hometown Devons. Red Sox pitcher Randy Sawa effectively scattered eleven Moose Jaw hits in going the route for the win. Doug Simon was the heavy hitter for the winners, accumulating two triples and a single. First sacker Rich Gergley had a double and a brace of one-baggers while Jerry Zrymiak contributed a pair of doubles. Moose Jaw’s Brad Hennenfent had four RBI in a losing cause. Average-wise, Ned Andreoni had the best night at the plate for the Devons as he stroked a double and two singles while Rod Heisler singled twice.

Sawa (W) and Logan
Nelson (L), Andrie (3), Nelson (8) and Devine

(August 13)  The Eston Ramblers upended the pennant-winning Unity Cardinals 4 to 3 to win the best-of-five SMBL semi-final series three games to two. In sidelining the Redbirds, the Wanderers battled back from a two games to none deficit to capture the last three decisions. Eston import Robert Murphy was the winning pitcher, allowing seven Unity hits while striking out ten Cardinal batters. Monte Mello of the U-Birds yielded seven hits and fanned an equal number in absorbing the mound loss. Don McLeod of the Cards led the hit parade with a brace of doubles. The Nomads will now host the Regina Red Sox for games one and two of the final series which has been reduced to a best-of-three affair.

Murphy (W) and xxx
Mello (L) and xxx                                                                

(August 14)  It appears as though the first two games of the 1977 SMBL final series have ended in a split. The best two-out-of-three final series opened with a doubleheader in Eston and saw the homestanding Ramblers take the opening match 5 to 4 over the Regina Red Sox. The second encounter ended in a squabble with the game being called because of darkness in the bottom of the seventh with the Red Sox holding a 2 to 0 margin when play ceased. Eston’s Neil McMillan hurled a three-hitter in the matinee event to earn the hill joust over Wade Wanner of the Scarlet Stockings. Wanner was nailed for seven Rambler base blows, the most decisive of which was Randy Arthur’s grand-slam home run in the seventh inning. Eston scored all three runs in the second frame after Unity had plated a pair in the first inning. 

Wanner (L) and Logan
McMillan (W) and xxx                                                        

With illumination becoming an issue and with the Reginans in front 2 to 0 after six complete innings, plate umpire Ace Corbin informed both teams that only one more inning could be played before the contest would have to be terminated. The Red Sox went out one-two-three in their half of the seventh but the Ramblers managed to load the bases with one out in the bottom half. It was at this point that Regina is alleged to have engaged in stalling tactics. After a delay, the game was finally called as darkness enveloped the skies. The Ramblers protested that the seventh inning should be completed before a third and deciding game is begun. SMBL moguls are sorting this one out but, in the meantime, the series will have to be put on hold as the Red Sox are due in Brandon as Saskatchewan’s representative in the Senior National finals.

xxx (W) and Logan
xxx (L) and xxx                                                                 

(August 15)  After hearing both sides state their case, SMBL president Farris Baba of Moose Jaw ruled that the second game of the shortened best-of-three final series be awarded to the Regina Red Sox.

(August 22)  Following a third-place finish in the Canadian championships and a favourable decision from the SMBL that their second-game win would stand, the Regina Red Sox returned to the Queen City to resume playoff action with the Eston Ramblers. The Ramblers, still bitter from the imposed result of game two of the three-match showdown and forced into idleness for over a week, were at a definite disadvantage as the Redlegs had kept sharp facing top-notch competition in Brandon. Paced by two booming home runs from the sweet swing of their playing-manager, Doug Simon, the Scarlet Stockings took care of business and knocked off the Wanderers 4 to 1 to claim their second straight SMBL title. The Ramblers had opened the scoring in the second inning when Blythe Irvine singled home Don Peters who had reached base on a walk and moved into scoring position on a passed ball. But then the Regina outfielder-manager took over, tying the game with a bases-empty shot in the third. Simon added a two-run four-bagger in the eighth to put the game out of reach. Second baseman Jim Paisley also homered for the winners. Portsider Bob Currie limited the Nomads to three base raps in wrapping up the series.

Kaia (L), Murphy (7) and McDonald
Currie (W) and Logan