Sunday, June 4, 2017
By Dustin Saracini
OKOTOKS, Alta. - Make it three straight for the Okotoks Dawgs.
In their 10th anniversary season, the red and white have come bursting out of the gates with their best start in franchise history.
Sweeping the home stand, the Dawgs worked on the back of their high powered offence yet again, earning a 9-6 victory over the Edmonton Prospects.
Fourteen hits were recorded, their highest total to date.
“It’s nice,” said Jayse McLean (North Dakota State University), who had three knocks today.
“We have a lot of lefties in our lineup and we’ve been seeing a lot of them. We’ve done a good job as far as making adjustments and staying on guys and not striking out, putting the ball in play and making things happen.”
Edmonton tried to crash the party in the top of the first by jumping in front 2-0. Despite two quick outs, the Prospects rallied with back-to-back hits from Erik Sabrowski and Michael Gahan, driving in the first two runs of the game.
A night ago, head coach AJ Fystro complimented his team on their resiliency, well, today, Okotoks displayed just that. In the bottom of the second, Kody Funderburk (Dallas Baptist) singled against his former club before McLean rifled a ball off the right field wall for an RBI triple.
McLean recorded his first multi-hit game in a Dawgs uniform. Kobe Hyland and Peter Hutzal (Iowa Western) then chipped in with a pair of RBI singles to take a one-run lead.
With the base-knock, Hutzal extended his hit-streak to three games. The Prospects showed some resiliency of their own in the top of the third and fifth, coming back for four runs to take a 6-3 lead, but, ultimately, it was the Dawgs continuing to battle.
In the bottom half of the fifth, Greg Cullen (Niagara University) and Aderly Perez (University of Arkansas Pine Bluff) exchanged doubles, cutting the Prospects lead to two ahead of a Funderburk RBI single. With two outs, Joel Brophy (Niagara University) worked an incredible at-bat before launching his second extra-base hit of the game to right-centre, clearing the bases and handing Okotoks a 7-6 lead.
Perez added to his RBI count in the eighth while Cullen recorded his seventh RBI on the young season to increase the lead to three. Securing the advantage was Logan Cameron and Tyler Burdett who came together to pitch four shutout innings.
On deck is a five-game road trip following a pair of off days. McLean said a long trip like this really brings the team together.
“When you spend eight hours on a bus together with a bunch of guys, it’s hot and sweaty,” he smiled. “You get to know each other pretty well. Staying in hotel rooms and stuff, it’s a good time.”
First pitch flies Wednesday, June 7 in Brooks at 7:05pm. Okotoks then travels to Edmonton for a rematch with the Prospects before making their way to Fort McMurray to take on the Giants for a three-game series.
BY THE NUMBERS:
Jayse McLean (R) : 3-3, 2 R, RBI, .400 AVG
Greg Cullen (R) : 3-5, R, 2 RBI, .500 AVG (Three-game hit streak)
Joel Brophy: 3-4, 2 RBI, .667 AVG
Tyler Burdett: 3 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 4 K (SV)
WP: Chris Horvath (1-0) LP: Taran Outton (0-1).