Outfielder a hit with teammates, fans
Baseball: Scott Hoyt providing Dawgs’ leadership and timely doubles
By: Bruce Campbell
| Posted: Wednesday, Jul 09, 2014 01:53 pm
The Okotoks Dawgs have got a six-foot, 200-pound hard-hitting spark plug.
The Dawgs’ Scott Hoyt has not only provided a spark with his between-the-gap hits, his out-going personality kept his teammates upbeat even while they were in the throes of a 2-9 start of the season.
He also thrilled the fans at Seaman Stadium when the Colorado State-Pueblo product gave his teammates a very Canadian-like gesture after sliding into second base on a double.
“Us Americans kind of kid around with the Canadians, we do a little slapshot — “sauce me a wrister” one of the slogans from Canada we have picked up on,” Hoyt said. “It’s just a little fun we have to keep the team loose.”
He knows what he’s talking about — he will be cheering on Jarome Iginla and High River’s Conner Bleackley in the future.
“I love hockey — I’m a big Avs fan,” he said.
However, Hoyt is in Okotoks to hit, not do his Zdeno Charo impression.
Hoyt isn’t among the team leaders in average at .274, but the hits are timely. The outfielder was leading the team in doubles with 11 and is sixth in RBIs with 13.
He was one of the Dawgs who picked up the offence when Jake Simmerman was sidelined with an ankle injury last week.
“Jake carries a big bat in our line-up but we’re not looking for just one guy to step up,” Hoyt said. ‘It’s by committee – every guy does a little bit more, he said. “It didn’t change anything I do personally and I don’t think it changed anything anyone else does – you just have to pick yourself up more a little bit.”
Put men on base and Hoyt becomes more dialed in than Jason Glass’ lead wheeler when the horn blows in Calgary.
“I’m kind of a free swinger,” Hoyt said. “I try to get my pitch and if it’s the first pitch, I’m swinging at it. I don’t get a lot of walks. I look for something I can drive on any count.”
He’s also made a pair of mistakes at the plate, but they were the kind of mistakes that put a smile on Dawgs coach Brett Thomas’s face.
“I wouldn’t say I’m a home run guy,” Hoyt said. “Home runs are mistakes in my books — they are just long flyballs that go over the fence.”
He’s been in the meat of the Dawgs’ order at three, four or five for the majority of their 27 games.
Dawgs coach Brett Thomas said Hoyt’s knack of doubles have been key to providing fuel to Okotoks’ high-powered offence.
“He’s been huge for us in the middle of the line-up,” Thomas said. “He has driven in runs and starting an inning and getting in scoring position.
“We ask him to be a aggressive. He does such a good job of hitting the ball to right-centre and he can hit to left-centre. That approach has really worked for him.”
He’s also been a leader.
“He’s not afraid to speak up — he says all the right things,” Thomas said. “He’s very competitive and the guys take to him.
“He plays the game hard and what the guys do on the field, the guys respect that.”
As for the slapshot from second base, well, Thomas is more of a baseball guy.
“I don’t know what that is all about,” he said with a laugh.
The dog days of summer are gone, and the Dawgs of summer have returned.
Okotoks has climbed out of the cellar of the Western Division of the WMBL and hit the .500 mark for the first time last week. Their 9-6 loss to the Saskatoon Yellowjackets on Saturday dropped the Dawgs to 13-14 on the season. However, they are in the third-place in the West with a two game lead on the fourth-place 13-17 Edmonton Prospects.
Starting pitching has a lot to do with it.
Tyrell King improved his record to 3-1 by pitching 7 1/3 innings and allowing two runs in the Dawgs’ 4-3 victory over the Moose Jaw Miller Express on Thursday at Seaman Stadium. King improved his record to 3-1 and has an impressive 2.02 ERA.
Dawgs southpaw Jon Richards then threw a Yankee Doodle Dandy by pitching a complete game gem against the Saskatoon Yellow Jackets at Seaman Stadium in an Okotoks’ 6-1 victory.
The Dawgs have three games this week at home before taking off to Saskatchewan. They host their rival Medicine Hat Mavericks tonight at 7 p.m.
For more information go to www.dawgsbaseball.ca