Eight is enough for all-star Dawgs
Baseball: Okotoks' Funderburk named WMBL MVP, Lloyd Canadian Rookie
Wednesday, Aug 02, 2017 03:28 pm
Two heavy hitting boys of summer got their just due.
Leading the charge in the meat of the order on a historically productive offence Okotoks Dawgs infielders Kody Funderburk and Matt Lloyd were named the Western Major Baseball League’s MVP and Canadian Rookie, respectively.
“They hit in the middle of the order, Matt Lloyd has been one of the best players I’ve ever been around or coached,” said Dawgs manager Tyler Graham. “He’s the heart and soul of the team. Kody right behind him led the league in RBI and home runs.
“Without those two, we’re not the same team.”
Batting clean-up Funderburk crushed a Dawgs record 15 home runs to lead the WMBL, while also leading the inter-provincial loop in mashing 55 RBI.
The Arizona first-baseman was initially supposed to be a Dawg in 2016, but was victimized by the number’s game and enjoyed a productive season with the Edmonton Prospects.
Lloyd, the hometown product of the Okotoks Dawgs Baseball Academy, had a banner homecoming in winning the batting crown with a sparkling .402 batting average. The 21-year-old led the Dawgs with 66 hits and 49 runs.
The Foothills Composite graduate was the ultimate utility man, suiting up in five different positions in his first five games with the team before settling into a more primary role at second base.
Funderburk and Lloyd were also named WMBL First Team All-Stars along with teammates Eddie Sanchez, converted starting pitcher Anthony Balderas and lockdown closer Tyler Burdett.
Sanchez, another Dawgs Academy alumnus, provided a major spark at the top of the lineup. The Mexico City native hit .341 and led the team with 31 base on balls.
Balderas, a relief pitcher prior to this summer, made a seamless transition to starter. The Californian posted a team best five wins while posting a 2.48 ERA.
Burdett was a revelation out of the bullpen and didn’t allow an earned run until his 19th appearance of the summer, ending the regular season with a microscopic 0.75 ERA.
The Second Team All-Stars were also highly concentrated with Dawgs as outfielder Zach Hanna, catcher John Hawk and shortstop Greg Cullen were named to the team.
Okotoks, the top team in the WMBL with 35 wins in the regular season, leads the league with eight all-star nods.
The Dawgs’ playoffs opened Aug. 1 versus the Prospects in the first-round best-of-five series.
For more information go to dawgsbaseball.ca