The Trappers' injury list was even worse Saturday night than it was Friday night after the big brawl as first the club lost shortstop Ray Karczewski to a jaw broken in a collision in the field and then lost team doctor Craig McQueen when he ran into a locker room swamp cooler trying to attend to Karczewski. The doctor required about 10 stitches for a forehead gash.
The Trappers still put up their customary win over Medicine Hat, 8-4.It was Salt Lake's sixth straight win, with four of them over the Blue Jays, 3-30, and the first two over the second-place Helena Brewers of the Northern Division. The Brewers invade Derks Field this afternoon at 1:30 for the start of a three-game set.
Trapper Manager Barry Moss said that, other than finding a true shortstop to replace Karczewski, who could be out four weeks or more and may require surgery, "I don't feel the need to shake anything up," considering a top-echelon club is coming in after the Traps outran the Jays 52-12.
Saturday was the closest of the four.
Part of that may have come because Trapper starting pitcher Willie Ambos, who still posted his sixth victory against no losses, was struggling.
"It was my worst outing all year. I had no control. I couldn't get in a groove. I was fortunate we scored eight runs," he said.
Ambos said Friday's brawl was still on his mind. He was tossed out of that game for fighting after, he said, somebody from the Jays tried to break a finger on his pitching hand.
"I was mentally prepared, but emotionally I wasn't. I was still caught up in last night," said Ambos. "It was an emotional roller coaster for me. One inning I was up, and the other I was too laid back."
He thanked his infielders for turning three double plays, particularly after losing Karczewski - the only starting shortstop the team has had this season - in the third inning.
With a man on second and two outs, Jose Guarche grounded toward Karczewski. With the runner going one way and the ball slow enough that third baseman Kerry Shaw was almost able to cut it off, it was a dangerous situation. "That's a scary play," said Ambos. Karczewski played with Ambos at New York Tech and is one of his best friends.
As Shaw cut in front - it's the third-baseman's ball if he can get it - his head smacked Karczewski's jaw.
The doctor required about 10 stitches for his cut forehead, and Karczewski was still at Holy Cross Hospital after the game. Ambos hurried to see him.
Shaw was the Trappers' top hitter for the night with three singles, a walk, two runs scored and three batted in. It had nothing to do with trying to make up for the injury to Karczewski, Shaw said. "I'm just seeing the ball good. It just happens. You have to live with it."
"It was very unfortunate," said Moss, adding nothing could be done to stop it from happening. He said he and player personnel director Van Schley would begin working immediately to bring in another shortstop. Chris Sloniger, a utility infielder, will play there for now, but he's the only extra infielder they have.
Kelly Zane, who's had a hit his first time up in each of the last four nights, tripled and scored on a groundout in the first inning, and the Traps - who'd relied of innings of four, nine and 13 runs in the previous games - pecked this one out. They got two in the second, one in the third, two in the fourth, one each in the fifth and sixth.
Leadoff man Pat Waid bunted for a single to start the fourth and get the first of his three hits. Medicine Hat's Bill Parese also had three hits. Trapper Greg Ehmig had consecutive late-inning doubles.
The Blue Jays led off with two singles against Ambos, but Brian Rollins was caught stealing, and a double play ended the inning. They got two in the second to take a 2-1 lead, but Ambos got out of trouble there and again in the third. "Willie's location was bad except the fifth and sixth," said Moss.
TRAPPER NOTES - For the remainder of the season, team president Jack Donovan, with some help of other owners, will take over the duties of former general manager Steve Pearson, who resigned this week to take a position with Weber State College. The Trappers announced at a Saturday-afternoon press conference that a search for a new general manager has begun, and the job is expected to be filled by September.