Late Jets streak grounds Dawgs
Baseball: Vauxhall downs Okotoks in thriller
By: Bruce Campbell
| Posted: Wednesday, May 14, 2014 06:00 am
What a way to end a slump.
Vauxhall Jet Brayden Resch hit a two-run walk-off double with two outs in the bottom of the seventh for a 7-6 victory over the Okotoks Black Dawgs in the Okotoks Dawgs tournament final Sunday at Seaman Stadium.
“It was on 0-2 pitch and I put a good swing on it and it went over the fielder’s head,” Resch said. “It couldn’t have come at a better time because I had struggled all tournament.”
Resch had lined what appeared to be the game winning hit the pitch before but it curved foul along the first base line.
“I came past first base and I gave Matt (Dawgs first baseman Matt Lloyd) a bit of a smirk,” Resch said with a laugh. “I just popped back in the box and started thinking about the next pitch.”
Resch went from wearing goat-horns to having his teammates jump on him after his game-winning hit.
The Vauxhall leftfielder let a single go through his legs off the bat of Dawg Erick Junnola to bring in two runs, giving Okotoks a 6-2 lead in the top of the seventh.
The Dawgs nearly got out of the bottom of the seventh when second baseman Eduardo Sanchez went deep to his right and tried to scoop the ball with his glove to shortstop Junnola to force the final out. However, the ball trickled out of his glove.
The Dawgs jetted off to a quick start when they took a 2-0 lead in the first inning without a hit thanks to the speed of 1-2 hitters Garrett Kirkwood and Sanchez. Kirkwood got on via an error and Sanchez drew a walk. They would both come around to score on a wild-pitch and a sacrifice grounder respectively.
The Dawgs would up their lead to 4-0 when Junnola singled in Nick Vickers and JT Patterson in the fourth inning, before Okotoks added two more in the seventh.
Jets coach Les McTavish said he felt for Dawgs starting pitcher Austin Ely, who held Vauxhall hitless for four innings and had a comfortable 6-2 lead before giving the ball to Okotoks’ bullpen in the top of the seventh.
“He threw exceptional at us,” McTavish said. “I don’t think we have had someone pitch that well against us all season. It is a tough way to lose on your home soil, but for us to comeback in the seventh inning is a big win for us.”
Ely said he was just happy to be on the bump for the final.
“We had great pitching before the final and I was lucky to get the ball,” Ely said. “I got great defence behind me.”
Though losing to Vauxhall was a tough loss, Dawgs coach Frank Ingram said it is a learning tool in a long season.
“These guys are young and we just have to keep going,” Ingram said. “We have a whole lot of baseball ahead of us this season and were starting to play Dawgs baseball — every day we play more aggressive.”
He said the Dawgs were hurt by the fact they played three games on Sunday – having to be at the stadium to prepare the field.
The Jets handed the Dawgs their only two losses in the tournament. The Dawgs got squeezed out of a victory in their first tilt, losing 3-1 on Friday in extra innings.
The Dawgs had a chance to win it on Friday in the bottom of the seventh.
The Dawgs had speedster Drake Kirkwood on third base, when Ingram called a squeeze. Vauxhall pitcher Oynshko was able to scoop the bunt up from to the Jet catcher who put the tag for the third out of the eighth inning.
Vauxhall then scored two runs in the top of the eighth to go onto the 3-1 victory.
“I called the safety squeeze and the umpire’s call could have gone either way,” Ingram said. “It was a real good game.”
The Dawgs finished 4-2 in the tournament.
The Okotoks Red Dawgs lost in the semifinals to Vauxhall. They finished with a 3-2 record.