By Garrett Simmons
Westwind Weekly News
As the May long weekend approaches, high school baseball season is set to wind down.
The Magrath Zeniths wrap up the regular season tonight with a 5:30 p.m. game at Spitz Stadium against Catholic Central. Playoffs are set to begin May 21, with the final game of the high school season scheduled for May 24.
Magrath is playing well as the team heads down the homestretch, as last week featured a 7-1 win over Coaldale’s Kate Andrews and a tough 3-2 loss to Lethbridge Collegiate Institute.
In last Wednesday’s 7-1 win, Levi Gruninger pitched a complete game victory, as the Magrath starter allowed no earned runs over seven innings. Gruninger gave up only four hits, walked three and struck out seven.
Paxton Maxwell smacked a triple and scored two runs, while Mac Strong and Jaxon Gruninger both had doubles. Hale Ogden had two singles, while Owen Mehew and Nate Noad each had a single.
“The team played very well defensively, getting a number of solid plays,” said coach Craig Noad. “Levi Gruninger gave us a solid and complete effort on the mound. We also hit the ball hard, forcing Coaldale to make some good plays. A good solid win.”
In the 3-2 loss against LCI, Paxton Maxwell threw a complete game and allowed only three hits and no earned runs. He recorded eight strikeouts and walked three. LCI scored all three runs on passed balls.
Paxton Maxwell had a RBI with a first inning triple. Nate Noad scored Jaxon Gruninger with a third-inning single and Jaxon Gruninger had a double, as Magrath could not generate enough offence to upset the Rams.
“We handed LCI their only loss earlier in the season and they pitched their ace against us,” said Noad. “Although we only had four hits, we held them to three, and LCI had some huge outfield catches on some solid hits by our lineup.”
The coach added his starting pitcher gave his team every opportunity to grind out a win.
“I was very impressed by Paxton Maxwell’s dominant pitching performance, and we played well defensively. Our bats put pressure on their team and they had to make some great plays, and you have to hand it to them – they made the big plays.”
As the playoffs approach, Noad added his team is certainly in a positive to make some noise.
“Overall, I was very happy with our team’s performance, and I’m excited by how the players are executing so well going into the last week of the season and the playoffs.”