Brunner shines with one-hit performance in Dawgs' win over Bulls

Graham Brunner (Okotoks, Alta.) allowed just one hit in five innings to lead the Okotoks Dawgs to an 8-1 win over the Lethbridge Bulls on Sunday. Photo: Okotoks Dawgs (file photo).

Graham Brunner (Okotoks, Alta.) allowed just one hit in five innings to lead the Okotoks Dawgs to an 8-1 win over the Lethbridge Bulls on Sunday. Photo: Okotoks Dawgs (file photo).

June 23, 2019

By Dan Khavkin

Okotoks Dawgs

Okotoks, AB - Okotoks Dawgs Academy alum Graham Brunner allowed just one hit in five innings to lead the Dawgs to an 8-1 win over the Lethbridge Bulls on Sunday afternoon.

It was Brunner’s third start of the season and his best so far.

“I tried to cut down on the walks and inaccurate pitches. The defence helped me get out of jams early on which helped a lot,” Brunner says.

“My fastballs hit the spots really today compared to other starts. I tried to be perfect and make them hit the ball and help the defence earn the cheap outs.”

The Dawgs’ defence was strong, with almost every infielder - in particular third baseman Bret Esau, short-stop Richard Mascarenas and first baseman Jaxon Valcke - dazzling in the field.

Brunner dominated the Bulls (11-10), carrying a no-hitter into the fourth inning. The Okotoks native fanned eight batters in his five innings of work.

After the Dawgs (16-5) got on the board on an RBI-single from Chandler-Gilbert College outfielder Tristan Peters in the fourth, they would tally five more runs in the fifth. Thompson Rivers second baseman Liam Rihela notched his fourth RBI in five starts when knocked in the Dawgs’ first run of the fifth inning with a long RBI double.

UBC infielder Jaxon Valcke then drove Rihela in on a single before Bellevue University product Kory Longaker, Okanagan College outfielder Davis Todosichuk and finally Peters, added RBIs in the frame.

In the sixth, Longaker brought two more runs in on a sacrifice fly that saw a wild throw to the plate allow a second Dawgs’ run to score.

Lethbridge broke the shutout bid with two outs in the top of the ninth on their fifth hit of the game.

The Dawgs have a rest day on Monday before hosting the Fort McMurray Giants Tuesday evening at 7:05 p.m.