Rain sprouts Dawgs’ comeback
Baseball: Okotoks hoping win a sign of thing to come
By: Bruce Campbell
| Posted: Wednesday, Jun 18, 2014 10:28 am
A 78-minute break might have been the break the Okotoks Dawgs have been waiting for this season.
A throwing error by Swift Current Indian shortstop Hunter Owen on Dawg Scott Hoyt’s soft roller brought in two runs in the bottom of the ninth to give Okotoks a 7-6 victory in front of the 38 fans remaining after a lengthy rain delay Sunday at Seaman Stadium.
“This is a good moment to build off of right now,” said Dawgs head coach Brett Thomas after the game. “I told the guys during the rain delay ’one team is going to come out ready to go and one team won’t — let’s challenge them to be ready to go.’”
It was the Dawgs’ first win of the year at Seaman Stadium. There were 3,789 fans on Father’s Day before they left for the exits in droves when the skies opened up and Okotoks down 5-2 in the bottom of the eighth.
The big blow came from Dawg Jake Simmerman who crushed the ball with a no-out double with the bases loaded in the eighth inning. Simmerman’s blast off the bottom of the left-field wall brought in two runs to cut the lead to 6-4.
“I was a little on my front foot but I got the barrel on the ball and it was a good hit,”said Simmerman, who leads the Western Major Baseball League with 18 RBI. “This was a great break for us to comeback from that rain delay. Hopefully we can take this momentum and get something going.”
It appeared the Dawgs wouldn’t need help from Mother Nature as they had a 2-1 lead after five innings.
However, Swift Current would score five runs in the top of the sixth, two of them unearned as Okotoks continues to boot the ball like they were in the World Cup.
They were able to find some relief from a righty.
Dawgs pitcher Andrew Moralez came in to pitch two innings of hitless relief to shut the door on the Tribe in the seventh and eighth.
“My curveball went well and it complemented my fastball,” Moralez said.
“He was outstanding,” Thomas said. “If he doesn’t pitch well we don’t win.”
The Dawgs’ Charlie Dant, from THE Dayton University came in the top of the ninth and picked up the win.
Indians coach Joe Carnahan wasn’t about to blame Mother Nature for the loss.
“Both teams had the rain-delay and they just came out swinging — they just scored more run than us, that’s all,” Carnahan said.
He paid little interest in the Dawgs’ woeful 2-9 record going into the game.
“You can’t put too much stock into early records,” Carnahan said.
“They have a good program just like we have a good program. They will be fine.”
The Dawgs need to get fine quickly.
Okotoks won two of six games over the past week.
Their other victory was an 8-5 decision over the Moose Jaw Miller Express in Saskatchewan on Thursday.
J Dawg grad Jake Shaw picked up the win to improve to 1-1.
The Dawgs are hoping their comeback victory over the Indian will germinate a winning streak. Okotoks has an un-Dawg like 3-9 record and sit in the basement of the West Division standings.
Okotoks hosted the first-place Medicine Hat Mavericks June 17, but results were too late for the Western Wheel deadline.
They are in Edmonton to take on the Prospects on Thursday night, before returning home to take on the Mavs again Friday at Seaman Stadium.
They are on the road for the weekend. They host the Lethbridge Bulls on June 25.
All home games for the week are at 7:05 p.m.
For more information go to dawgsbaseball.ca