No. 1 With a Bullet

By IAN WILSON

Things are tightening up atop the leader board.

We have a new team in first place, following a lengthy winning streak, but the second and third place challengers remain in hot pursuit.

Welcome to the Western Canadian Baseball League (WCBL) Power Rankings, where unbeaten teams earn upward facing arrows while losing streaks punish squads.

Here's a look at the current Power Rankings:

1. REGINA RED SOX: The Red Sox are riding an 11-game winning streak that has put them in command of the East Division with an 18-5 record. After jumping three spots in the Power Rankings last week, Regina has now taken over top spot. The ball club leads the WCBL in overall wins.

2. OKOTOKS DAWGS: Okotoks did little to lose their No. 1 ranking, but they did suffer their second loss of the campaign, both of which came against the Lethbridge Bulls. The Dawgs record of 17-2 has them in first place in the West Division and they have the top winning percentage (.895) in the league. Due to a number of weather-related postponements, the Dawgs have played the fewest games this season. They will cross the 20-game threshold this week.

3. SYLVAN LAKE GULLS: The Gulls continue to lurk near the top with a 16-6 record after collecting seven wins in their last 10 contests. Can they catch the Dawgs for the West Division lead? Will they overtake Regina in the Power Rankings? Sylvan Lake is in the midst of a road trip that will include stops in Okotoks and Brooks before they welcome the Weyburn Beavers to Gulls Field. We'll see which way the arrows point after those games.

4. LETHBRIDGE BULLS: Their two wins against the powerhouse Dawgs make the Bulls the only team to beat Okotoks this season. Bigger picture, Lethbridge sits at 14-10 on the year and in third place in the West Division. The Bulls face the Dawgs yet again this week. Can they make it three wins over their southern Alberta rival, or will Okotoks get some revenge?

5. MEDICINE HAT MAVERICKS: They've been treading water of late by going 5-5 in their last 10 games, but the Mavs are still in second place in the East Division at 13-10. A two-game series against the Dawgs at Seaman Stadium awaits, followed by Canada Day action at Athletic Park versus the visiting Beavers.

6. MOOSE JAW MILLER EXPRESS: The Millers sit in third place in the East Division at 12-13. Moose Jaw split a recent series against the Gulls before dropping a close 6-5 contest to the red-hot Red Sox. They'll look to gain ground at home against the Saskatoon Berries and Swift Current 57's - a pair of teams that sit below them in the standings - and then they need to solve Regina at Currie Field this coming weekend.

7. SASKATOON BERRIES: The Berries continue to aim for that .500 mark and now sit at 9-13 on the season. Saskatoon started the week with a blowout loss at home against the Brooks Bombers, and then rallied with a pair of low-scoring victories before dropping a tight 3-1 matchup to Regina and another close game to Swift Current. They face the Red Sox five more times before Canada Day.

8. BROOKS BOMBERS: Playing out of the smallest ballpark in the WCBL, Elks Field, the hitters on the Bombers often don't receive the respect they deserve for putting up big power numbers. This past week, a trip to Saskatchewan illustrated what the Brooks batters are capable of ... they delivered a 24-7 whooping in Saskatoon and followed that up with 12-7 and 20-12 victories in Weyburn. The offence is legit at any ballpark.

9. FORT McMURRAY GIANTS: The Giants share an identical 8-15 record with the Bombers after their first 23 games. But a five-game losing skid and a 1-9 record over their last 10 contests, has Fort McMurray searching for answers. After being swept during a recent four-game homestand against Okotoks, the Giants will roll out the red carpet for the Beavers for a pair of games, followed by a four-game series against the Bombers at Legacy Dodge Field.

10. WEYBURN BEAVERS: Lop-sided losses to the Bombers capped off a rough week for the Beavers. Weyburn is now 7-14 on the year and sit at fifth place in the East Division.

11. SWIFT CURRENT 57's: Swift Current was swept during a two-game set against the Gulls before finishing the week with a split versus the Edmonton Prospects. At 6-15, the 57's need to start collecting more wins soon.

12. EDMONTON PROSPECTS: The 6-16 Prospects remain in last place in the West Division but this week showed improvement. Edmonton split three straight series against the Giants, Bulls and 57's. The Prospects displayed signs of a pulse and they'll look to turn the corner this week against Weyburn and Okotoks.

The WCBL Power Rankings are a weekly feature from Sentinel Storage and Access Storage that examines how all 12 squads are playing. You can find the East and West Division standings, as well as team and individual statistics on the league’s website. The WCBL This Week: Red Arrow Report also provides weekly updates, highlights and analysis from around the league.