Dawgs complete Bullish comeback
Baseball: Medicine Hat-Okotoks series comes to Seaman Stadium Saturday
By: Bruce Campbell
| Posted: Wednesday, Aug 06, 2014 01:23 pm
The underdawgs have done it.
The Okotoks Dawgs downed the Lethbridge Bulls 6-4 in front of a boisterous ’Bridge home-crowd Tuesday night to comeback from a two-game deficit to win the best of five series 3-2.
The Dawgs’ comeback was against the team with the best record in the Western Major Baseball League this season.
“Coming back, that is the kind of team we are — hey we started the season 2-9,” said Dawgs left fielder Scott Hoyt. “It’s a testament to team, the coaches… I wouldn’t want to go battle with anyone else.”
He was a main contributor to the Dawgs’ victory. Hoyt, who had gone into the game with a playoff batting average lower than Alison Redford’s approval rating smashed a ninth-inning two-out double over the Bulls right-fielder’s head to bring in Mark Riendeau all the way from first base for an insurance run to make it 6-4.
“I’ve had my struggles but when it gets late in the game you really have to focus,” said Hoyt, who went 3 for 5 in the game with a RBI. “I felt for the outfielder, in the twilight it is hard to see the ball off the bat. I saw his hands drop to his side and I just took off after that.”
Okotoks got off to a quick start in the game.
The Dawgs took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Taylor Fish singled Hoyt in. However, the Dawgs booted the ball in the third inning which led to the Bulls scoring three unearned runs to take a brief 3-1 lead.
Okotoks tied the game when hot-hitting Connor Crane smacked a single with the bases juiced to bring in two runs in the top of the fifth. They would take the lead at 4-3 when Crane scored from third base on Bulls’ pitcher Alex Regan’s wild pitch.
Lethbridge tied the game with another unearned run in the bottom of the inning. However, it could have been a whole lot worse. With Bulls on the corner and nobody out, the Dawgs turned a nifty 4-6-3 double-play. The Bulls’ Evan Comeau scored from third on the play.
Okotoks took the lead at 5-4 in the seventh when Dawg Jerod Bartnik hustled down the line to outleg a potential double-play with one out. Zachiary Johnson came in from the third base on the play for the go-ahead run.
The Dawgs’ much-maligned bullpen came up big in the victory.
Okotoks starter Tyrell King gave up four unearned runs before handing the ball over to Chris Sievers who pitched two scoreless innings in picking up the win. Shawn Andersen, who had pitched five innings the night before, gave the Dawgs a shutout inning in the eighth. Andersen was helped out by shortstop Ellis Kelly, who scooped up Bulls Mitch Dornblutt’s hard-hit grounder to turn the pitcher’s best friend — a 6-4-3 double-play.
Travis McDonald came into to shut the Bulls’ down 1-2-3 in the ninth to record the save.
The Dawgs will now take on the Medicine Hat Mavericks in the best-of-five West Division final.
Games 1 and 2 are in Medicine Hat Thursday and Friday. The series heads to Seaman Stadium for Game 3 on Saturday. Game 4, if needed is Sunday.
A Game 5 would go Monday in The Hat. All games are at 7 p.m. and are being broadcast by Shaw TV.
The Mavs have won seven of 10 meetings between the teams this season.
For ticket information go to www.dawgsbaseball.ca or call 403-262-DAWG.