Tuesday July 25, 2017
Anthony Balderas throws a shutout in Dawgs’ seventh straight win
By Dustin Saracini
Okotoks, AB - In front of a sold-out crowd at Seaman Stadium, the (31-11) Okotoks Dawgs moved their winning streak to seven with a 6-0 victory over the (24-20) Lethbridge Bulls.
Anthony Balderas (Lewis Clark) was lights out on Wednesday while earning his team-leading fifth win of the campaign. The senior struck out nine over eight innings of work, shutting out the Bulls in the process.
“I was pretty locked in,” he said following the win.
“It was just another game for me, I didn’t do too well last game I pitched so I just wanted to do my best today and give my team as many innings as I could. We do have a doubleheader tomorrow, so I wanted to help the bullpen out as much as I can.”
A five-run fifth inning, highlighted by a Zach Hanna (University of Missouri) three-run moon shot over the right field wall, ultimately put the game away. Behind him, Eddie Sanchez (Central Arkansas), Joel Brophy (Niagara University) and Kody Funderburk (Dallas Baptist) all registered multi-hit games.
Through three innings though, it was an absolute pitchers' duel. Balderas and Lethbridge product Landen Bourassa combined for 11 strikeouts, limiting both offences to just three hits through one-third of the tilt. The contest stayed scoreless until the Dawgs took advantage of a pair of errors in the fourth frame. Jayse McLean (North Dakota State University) brought home the first run of the game, legging out a fielder’s choice with runners on the corners to hand the Dawgs a 1-0 lead.
Okotoks broke this one wide open in the bottom half of the fifth to take a 6-0 edge. Brophy ripped his second hit of the night before a sac bunt from Brendan Rose (UBC - Calgary, AB) and Greg Cullen (Niagara University) moved both Dawgs into scoring position. Sanchez stepped to the plate with the infield in and dropped a clutch RBI single into shallow left field, allowing Matt Lloyd (Indiana University - Okotoks, AB) to extend his hitting streak to a franchise-high 22 games with a one-run single of his own. With two-on and two-out, Hanna capped the inning off, crushing the first pitch he saw over the wall in right for his third blast of the season.
Balderas continued to mow down Bulls the rest of the way, shutting down the opposition for the Dawgs’ second time this season.
“I keep on proving to myself that I can do something that I never thought I could,” he said after predominately being a bullpen pitcher a year ago.
BY THE NUMBERS:
Anthony Balderas: 8 IP 6 H 0 ER 0 BB 9 K
Zach Hanna (R): 1-4, R, 3 RBI, HR, .325 AVG
Eddie Sanchez: 2-4, R, RBI .342 AVG
WP: Anthony Balderas (5-1) LP: Landen Bourassa (4-1)