Great Day to Be a Dawg
By Ashley Grant
The Okotoks Dawgs won’t soon forget Aug. 2, 2015.
On that day the Dawgs made history of sorts in the world of Alberta baseball.
The Dawgs organization consists of related programs: first, a youth baseball academy consisting of high performance youth teams playing various showcase events across North America and participating in Baseball Alberta at the peewee, bantam and midget levels; and second, a summer collegiate club playing in the Western Major Baseball League.
Well, here is what happened to the Dawgs on Sunday, Aug. 2nd, 2015:
_ The Dawgs, coached by Josh MacInnes and former Dawgs, Aaron Ethier and Kurtis Taylor, ranked No. 1 in Alberta all year long, ran the table at the Alberta Provincial championships and will represent the province at peewee Nationals from Aug. 20-24 at Repentigny, Que.
_ The Dawgs coached by Academy head coach, Allen Cox and former Anaheim Angels pitcher, Lou Pote, also ranked No. 1 in Alberta, swept through the Alberta provincials undefeated, pummelling Spruce Grove 11-1 in the final game to advance to Vaughan, Ont. for the Canadian National bantam championships taking place from Aug. 20-24.
Okotoks went 4-0 outscoring their opponents 43-8 with 12-5 over Fort Macleod, 12-0 over Sherwood Park, 8-2 over Red Deer in the semi-final as Melvin Lorenzo threw a complete game.
Tucker Zdunich led off with an opposite-field homer in the five-run first. Kye Seitz was 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs, Jack Marlin 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs, Quinn Tassie added a two-run double, and Jake Libbus a run-scoring single. Jack Marlin and Mitchell Dennis combined or a two hitter.
Zdunich was the offensive player of tourney going 7-for-13 with two doubles, two homers and six RBIs. Lorenczo was the pitcher of the championship allowing zero earned runs, with a walk and eight strikeouts.
_ The Dawgs Black coached by former Dawgs and college standouts, Frank Ingram and Jeff Duda, entered midget provincials as the No. 2 seed (only because Val Helldobler and John Grana’s Dawgs Red, had upset them to claim the No. 11 seed.). Okotoks Dawgs Black got revenge turning back Dawgs Red in an “all Dawgs”, semi final and then walked off against the host St. Albert 12-8 in the championship thanks in part to a sixth-inning grand slam by Clayton Keyes. Dawgs now advance to the Canadian Midget Nationals from Aug. 13-17 in Sherbrooke, Que.
And as if provincial championships at all of the peewee, bantam and midget levels were not enough cause for celebration, and reason for the biggest Dawg of them all, John Ircandia to stand a little taller, the Dawgs summer collegiate club upended the Medicine Hat Mavericks 6-4 before 3,600 fans at beautiful Seaman Stadium in Game 1 of the WMBL playoffs. The teams go at it again in Game 2 Monday at Seaman Stadium before the series shifts to Medicine Hat for Games 3 and 4.
On August 2nd, 2015 it was a great day for the Okotoks Dawgs indeed.