Dawgs fall short in opener

Baseball: Pitchers impress as offence lags in the Hat

By: Remy Greer

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Jun 04, 2014 06:00 am

Okotoks Dawgs opening day starter Chris Sievers unleashes a pitch during the Dawgs’4-2 loss to the Medicine Hat Mavericks on June 1.
Okotoks Dawgs opening day starter Chris Sievers unleashes a pitch during the Dawgs’4-2 loss to the Medicine Hat Mavericks on June 1.
NEIL HILTS/OKOTOKS DAWGS

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By taking a loss the Okotoks Dawgs followed the same opening day script which produced their three-peat of league championships.

The Dawgs bats didn’t come to life until the sixth inning as they took a 4-2 loss to the Medicine Hat Mavericks in their Western Major Baseball League curtain raiser, Sunday in the Hat.

“Our hitters’ timing was a little bit off, we’ve kind of got to get back in the swing of things,” said Dawgs head coach Brett Thomas. “I’m definitely not worried about it. I think we’re definitely going to hit.

“I was definitely very pleased with our pitching for day one.”

Opening day starter Chris Sievers took the honour in stride, tossing five innings and allowing just one earned run on three hits while striking out three.

“That showed me that the coaching staff had a lot of confidence in me because none of them even saw me pitch or knew anything about me, except for my statistics based on how I threw at the Junior College level,” Sievers said. “For them to call me up to opening day, in the season opener was quite a great feeling.

“I just really wanted to do well for the team and show everybody that ‘hey I do deserve to have that starting season opener role.’”

The Northeastern Junior College Plainsmen kept the Mavs off-balanced by sticking to a familiar formula on the bump.

“I didn’t have any background knowledge of the hitters of Med Hat whatsoever. I went in blind,” he said. “I went in with the normal strategy I go into every game when I don’t really know anything.

“I have two different kinds of changeups so I was mixing those in along with my fastball and kept a lot of hitters out on their front feet and got a lot of flyballs.”

The Dawgs registered their first hit in the top of the sixth and finally got on the board in the eighth when left-fielder Mark Riendeau drove in Spencer Church with an RBI single. They would add another run through Jake Simmerman to take a 2-1 lead.

Medicine Hat bounced back with three in the bottom of the inning to take back a 4-2 advantage and held off the Okotoks bats in the ninth to draw first blood in the Western Division tilt.

It was the first meeting since the Mavs sent the Dawgs packing in the semi-finals of last year’s playoffs.

“It was a very good solid, intense game, between two very good teams,” Thomas said. “I expect us to be in a lot of intense games with a lot of teams so I don’t think we’re really too worried about any rivalries at this point.”

Those same Mavericks are in the opposing dugout tonight, June 4, for a rematch in Medicine Hat. The Mavs are then in town on June 5 for Okotoks’ home opener at Seaman Stadium. Opening pitch is at 7:05 p.m.

For more information go to dawgsbaseball.ca


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