Resilient Red Dawgs ready for national challenge
Baseball: Midget championships this week in Quebec
By: By Remy Greer
| Posted: Wednesday, Aug 14, 2013 06:00 am
The Okotoks Red Dawgs are embracing their underdog status on a national platform few would have forecasted.
As third seeds at the Midget provincials in Okotoks, the Red Dawgs shocked the heavily favoured Calgary Dinos and outlasted the St. Albert Cardinals to win the right to represent Alberta at the Baseball Canada Midget National Championships, Aug. 15-19 in Trois Rivieres, Que.
“It was exhilarating to know that we worked our way to go to nationals,” said Dawgs reliever Clay Sinclair.
“We’re still kind of running off that adrenaline and we’re going to use that to help us at nationals to succeed.
“I think we will do pretty well. We’re a strong team and we don’t quit.”
They’re not satisfied with just being there.
“We didn’t really see it coming, going to nationals, so we’re all pretty excited just to go,” said Dawgs pitcher Peter Werth. “But with the Dawgs program it’s never enough just to make it. We always try to make ourselves better no matter what we do.”
The Red Dawgs have a tough act to follow in Quebec.
The 2012 championship marked the national coming out party of the Okotoks Midget Black Dawgs, gold medalists after dispatching British Columbia 4-1 in the final.
The Red Dawgs boast considerable national experience, albeit at the Bantam level.
Several members of the team represented the Bantam Black Dawgs at the nationals in 2012, including team MVP Austin Ely, hurler Nikolas Cardinal and infielder Javier Romeo. A large contingent was part of the Bantam Dawgs’ silver medal run at the 2011 nationals.
“We came second in Bantam so we’re looking to redeem ourselves this time and come first,” Sinclair noted. “You learn that the teams are a lot tougher than you expect them to be.”
Werth said he expects two provincial teams in particular to be big hurdles to overcome in the quest for gold medal glory.
“B.C. has a good team,” he said. “Quebec has a good team every two years so I’m not sure which one we’re going to get.”
Fortunately for the Red Dawgs, they’ve shown a propensity for dealing with adversity throughout the 2013 campaign. As evidenced by erasing a 6-0 deficit in the provincial gold medal game, these Dawgs bite back until the final pitch is thrown.
“Really, we just don’t give up when we get down,” Werth said. “When we’re winning we don’t let the team think there’s a chance that the can come back and when we’re down we come back.”
Alberta begins its round-robin schedule with an onerous opening day on Thursday. The Red Dawgs meet Team Ontario for a matinee and square off with British Columbia in the evening. Alberta then tangos with Quebec on Friday and closes out pool play on Saturday versus the host club from Trois Rivieres.
The medal round takes place on Sunday.
For the full schedule visit baseball.ca/midget