Dawgs swept by Mavs in West final
Baseball: Bucky-Dent like dinger the big blow
By: Bruce Campbell
| Posted: Friday, Aug 09, 2013 09:53 am
The Okotoks Dawgs’ season came to a David-and-Goliath like ending. Except in this case both David and Goliath played for the Medicine Hat Mavericks.
The Mavericks rallied from four runs down to beat the Dawgs 13-8 Thursday at Seaman Stadium to sweep the Western Major Baseball League best of five games semifinal.
The Mavs’ power was supplied by light-hitting second baseman Chris Lindmark and slugger Joel Lutz.
Lindmark hit a Bucky-Dent-like two-run home run to give the Mavs’ a 10-8 lead in the seventh inning.
“That was the first extra base hit I have hit in a long time,” Lindmark said. “I had a 2-0 count and I was looking for fastball. That’s what I got and I hit it square.”
Lindmark went into the game batting .067 in the playoffs, and had one home run in the regular season.
“I ran to first base hard — I haven’t practiced a home run trot,” Lindmark said with a chuckle. “This is the biggest hit in my career by far.”
Dawgs relief pitcher Dominic Porretta gave up the home run to Lindmark.
“It is tough knowing that might be the last pitch I will ever throw — my college eligibility is over,” he said. “It was a 2-0 pitch and he sat fastball and I got it up.
“And hey, he hit it. I gave him my best and he beat me. It’s the first home run of the year I gave up.”
The Mavs also got plenty of offence from Lutz.
Lutz went five-for-six in the game, with a pair of home runs, a triple and a single. He drove in four runs.
“This is the biggest night I have ever had in my three years in Medicine Hat,” said Lutz, who was third in the WMBL with nine home runs. “To do it in the playoffs, in Okotoks, in this stadium, it’s just one of those nights.”
Lutz was a Dawg killer in the series. He went 8 for 14, with three homers and eight RBI in the three-game sweep of Okotoks.
The Dawgs didn’t roll over for the Mavs though on Thursday, despite falling behind earlier.
The Mavericks took a 3-0 lead in the first inning, but the Dawgs played like a team that was one game away from elimination. They racked up six runs on starting Mavs pitcher Billy Martin before he was pulled for Alex Bos after just 2/3 of an inning.
The Big Dawg was David Hole who hit a monster two-run shot over the left-centre wall. The Dawgs would touch Bos up for two more runs in the second inning, but after that the southpaw shut the Dawgs down before giving way to Alex Mann in the eighth.
Meanwhile the Mavericks chipped away at the Dawgs and finally took the lead on Lindmark’s stunning homer.
Catcher Jordan Procyshen said he felt numb after the loss.
“I have that feeling of emptiness and sadness — I am sick of tired of saying: ‘Next year,” said the third-year Dawg. “But we left it all on the field. This is a team that gelled together and played with intensity. I had the pleasure to play with these guys and in front of these fans.
“I hate to say it, but now it’s next year.”
It’s not as if the Dawgs lost to the WMBL’s version of the Houston Astros. The Mavericks finished with a history-setting 39-7 record. The Dawgs were second in the league at 31-13.
“They are a very good team,” Procyshen said. “They have a good chance of winning the championship.”
Dawgs head coach AJ Fystro said his squad has nothing to be ashamed about in losing to good Mavericks team. He said the future bodes well for the Dawgs.
“If you look at this team, and the amount of first-year guys on this team, I am very proud of what they did,” Fystro said. “I think we have built some thing here and a lot of these guys will be back next year.
“It’s upsetting for me, because I want to reward this community for all of its support.”
He said the Dawgs may have run out of pitching against the Mavs because they were pushed to five games against the pesky Lethbridge Bulls in the first series. They had to play the Mavs on three consecutive days after beating Lethbridge on Aug. 5.
The Mavericks won the first two games of the series against Okotoks 5-2 and 7-4 on Aug. and 7 in Medicine Hat respectively.
Medicine Hat will play the winner of the Melville Millionaires-Swift Current Indians series for the WMBL title.
Porretta said while disappointed with the ending, it will be a summer he will fondly remember.
“This is a summer I will never forget, this summer has been like the cherry on top of my career… I can’t let that one pitch define my whole summer,” Porretta said. “I can’t say enough about this town and this organization.
“It’s an experience that will be close to my heart for a long time.”