It was a record-setting night for the Sylvan Lake Gulls home opener but not for their on-field play as their attendance reached an all-time high of 1,675 people on June 1.
The Gulls, however, saw their first game at home of the Western Canadian Baseball League spoiled by the Okotoks Dawgs losing 8-0.
The home side was unable to grab any momentum and couldn’t solve the Dawgs pitching as they only picked up two hits through nine innings.
Gulls head coach Jason Chatwood said post-game it was the Dawgs pitching that kept them off balance.
“We couldn’t get anything going off him. We hit some balls hard and before you knew it, they chipped away got a couple and then all of a sudden it was 5-0,” he told the Advocate. “It’s the home opener, there’s lots of nerves and lots of emotions. I mean it’s a sell-out crowd like 1,600 people so I’m sure the kids are a little bit nervous and they’re wanting to perform in front of the home crowd and make them happy but it is what it was.”
Gulls starting pitcher Ty Boudreau lasted five and two-thirds of an inning, striking out three before being replaced by Tyler Hampu.
He went on to pitch two and one-third of an inning and contributed three strikeouts and allowed three hits.
Jesse Simpson closed out the game for the Gulls striking out one in the final inning of work.
Chatwood put it simply that it was just not their night.
“Quick turnover and we’re back at it tomorrow so we got to forget about tonight and get ready for tomorrow against Edmonton and a three-game set against Fort Mac,” he added.
Despite the defeat, the head coach said the home crowd was awesome.
“The place was buzzing all night, before the game. The ceremony before first pitch was awesome. I wish we could have given them a little more to cheer about but that’s just the way it is. It was good and the kids really appreciate it. All in all, it was a great evening other than the result of the game,” he said.
The stadium kitchen, which was under construction last year, also opened doors to patrons on June 1.
The Gulls Give Foundation hosted a 50/50 draw raising $8,180. The foundation will donate 50 percent of the amount raised to charities around central Alberta.
After a defeat at the home-opener, the Gulls went on to bag victory against the Edmonton Prospects on June 2 and the Fort McMurray Giants on June 3 and 4.