WI League Opens Season
SALEM, April 18 —The Salem Senators opened the Western International league campaign here Friday night with a 4-2 win over the visiting Vancouver Capilanos with southpaw Ken Wyatt hurling five-hit ball before an opening crowd of 4,500. The latter stages of the tilt were played in a drizzle.
Lefthander Ken Wyatt tossed a five-hitter at Vancouver, three of the hits coming in the first inning. Lee Mohr led off the game with a triple to far right field. After Len Tran bounced out, Frank Mullens looped a Texas Leaguer into right field, and Vancouver had 1-0 lead. Wyatt gave up a single to Bill Wright but got Charlie Mead and Buddy Hjelmaa to go out to end the threat.
Bob Snyder helped hand Salem the win in the fourth inning when he gave up singles to Mel Nunes and Ben Gregory, then fielded Lou Kubiak's stunt. Snyder elected to go to third to get the lead runner but threw the ball into left field and two runs scored.
He allowed two runs on three hits in the fifth.
One of the two Vancouver hits after the first inning was Bill Brenner's eighth inning double. He moved to third when Al Spaeter booted the ball at second base and Len Tran's sacrifice fly brought him in.
Wyatt struck out eight and issued only one walk.
Vancouver ........ 100 000 010 — 2 5 3
Salem ................ 000 220 00x — 4 8 1
Snyder, Hall (8) and Brenner; Wyatt and Beard.
WENATCHEE, April 18 — Behind the three hit pitching of Bill Woop, the Victoria Athletics opened the Western International league baseball season here Friday night by defeating the 1946 pennant winning Wenatchee Chiefs 9 to 0.
Woop, who pitched for Binghamton last year, struck out 15 men and gave up three bases on balls.
Meanwhile, the Athletics, given a pair of gift runs in the first inning when centre fielder Eddie Barr dropped Jack Harshman's long clout, went to work on Joe Vivalda, the Wenatchee ace who won 18 last season, and knocked him out of the game in the third inning.
John Hooper, who had taken Vivalda's first pitch of the game to left field for a single, doubled to left and scored on Pat Patterson's single. Vic Mastro was hit by a pitched ball and both scored when Babe Jensen slashed a double down the left field line, He rode home on Mike Hafenecker's one-base blow. Vivalda finally retired the side but was placed by Dean Hamilton for the fourth inning
Victoria .......... 204 000 021 — 9 13 0
Wenatchee .... 000 000 000 — 0 3 0
Woop and Mastro; Vivalda, Hamilton (4), Rose (6) and Winters.
SPOKANE, April 18 — A six-run eighth inning Friday night gave the new Spokane Indians baseball team a 12 to 9 victory over Tacoma in their opening Western International League game.
An overflow crowd estimated at 10,000 turned out to watch the debut of the Indian club collected with Brooklyn Dodger backing.
Mayor Art Meehan, who had been scheduled to toss the first ball from a helicopter, was grounded for the task by Civil Aviation Authority regulations, but otherwise the game started with traditional opening night ceremonies.
Until the explosive eighth, the Indians had been able to keep in touch with Tacoma mainly by virtue of Doug Donnan’s three-run homer in the third inning.
Tacoma ............ 230 030 000 — 9 11 4
Spokane .......... 013 200 06x —12 12 6
Greenlaw, Morgan (8), Grassi (8) and Kuper; Zmitrovich, Latino (2) and Bufflap.
YAKIMA, April 18 — Scoring five runs in the last three innings, the Bremerton Bluejackets overcame a seven-run sixth inning rally by Yakima to defeat the Stars 12 to 9 in the inaugural Western International League game here Friday night before 3,400 fans.
Largely through the inability of the Stars’ starting pitcher, Keith Simon, to get the ball over the plate, Bremerton jumped into an early 7-2 advantage.
Bremerton ............ 304 000 212 —12 13 1
Yakima .................. 101 007 000 — 9 12 3
Kittle, Ahearn (6) and Volpi; Simon, Brysch (3), Henkel (9), Ward (9) and Phillips.
Before and After
By Ken McConnell
[Vancouver Province, April 19, 1947]
Looks like we will have a lot of baseball this summer.
There will be the Capilanos, playing in the Western International League; the semi-pros at Callister Park and a combination senior and junior circuits flitting between between Capilano Stadium and Powell Street grounds. They’ll be at the latter grounds when the Caps are at home.
The question is: “What kind of baseball will we have?”
First and foremost the professionals will be under the gun and this year they presumably will be much improved over the last season. In the case of the Caps last year they bogged down badly at the start, recovered well in the stretch, but were too far off the pace to catch the charging leaders when the race was all over.
There are apparent signs of an improved club and the Caps, if they do come to town loaded with base hits and some pitching, will be royally welcomed.
If they miss again, professional ball, with Vancouver a big town, playing against such as Salem, Wenatchee, Bremerton and the like, may suffer a blow from which it will never recover.
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Efforts of the semi-pros to capture the interest of the baseball fans will largely depend on the calibre of ball presented of course and the name players who may be obtained.
With eight teams in the league it is possible they will be able to obtain the services of outstanding college ball players and it is just possible they will play a high class of ball.
The other league seems to offer considerable interest in that most of the senior leaguers hereabouts will be back in action and they’ll be aided by the inclusion of a crop of youngsters coming up from the junior league of last season.
Some of the kids last year played standout ball. Their performances in higher company will create a certain amount of interest in any event.
But baseball is booming over the west. There are four semi-pro teams in Alberta with lights being installed at Edmonton, egad!
And Laurel Harney has returned to Saskatoon where a four team circuit is in the maiing.
It could quite a good old summertime.
* * *
JUST WINDING UP: I see by the public prints that members of the Capilanos are to be introduced to the fans at a smoker on Monday night ... It is a nice way to open the season and could mean (especially if the boys have been formally introduced to themselves) that we are in for a good year in the Willy circuit ... Quite an opening game ceremony at Salem last night where our Caps lost 4-2 ... the pitcher was governor Earl Snell, the catcher was Oregon Prison Warden George Alexander and the batter, Salem’s mayor, Bob Elfstrom ... President Clarence Rowland of the Pacific Coast Baseball League as well as General Manager Bill Mulligan of Portland’s Lucky Beavers were also present.