Dawgs' bats stifled in Edmonton

 Okotoks Dawgs shortstop Peter Hutzal prepares for an at bat. Photo Credit: Amanda Fewer

Okotoks Dawgs shortstop Peter Hutzal prepares for an at bat. Photo Credit: Amanda Fewer

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Hot bats stifled in Edmonton

By Dustin Saracini

Edmonton, AB. - Three hours and 340 kilometres north of Okotoks, the (4-1) Dawgs found themselves on the wrong side of an 11-2 ball game.

A six-run third inning gave the (4-1) Edmonton Prospects enough wiggle room with ace Noah Gapp on the bump, who allowed two runs over a complete game, striking out eight. The start was Gapp’s second complete game of the season.

“Tomorrow’s a new day,” pitching coach Joe Sergent said following the Dawgs’ first loss of the year.

“We’ll scrape off our wounds and get back out there. You look at a loss and sometimes a lot of people panic, we look at this way, we can’t go 48-0 this season. We faced a really good pitcher in Noah Gapp tonight, the guy is pro material. You tip your hat to him and you move on to the next team.”

The Prospects established an early lead while using the astroturf to their advantage. Speedster Dean Olson bunted his way on board before advancing on a wild pitch. An at-bat later, Olson scored off a Jake Lanferman RBI single to hand Edmonton a 1-0 advantage.

Okotoks had no problem playing some small ball themselves the next frame. Following a two home run performance a night ago, the Dawgs worked an infield single from Eddie Sanchez (Niagara University) ahead of a hustle double from John Hawk (Iowa Western). Darius Foster (Oregon State University) did his job, batting a ball to the right side of the infield to knot the game at one.

Edmonton took over in the third inning, singling the Dawgs to death and taking a 7-1 advantage. A trio of base knocks and a wild pitch allowed three runs to cross the plate. With the bases loaded, Marion McLean added to the lead with a bases clearing triple to the right field wall, capping off a six-run inning and chasing Jared Spearing (Indian Hills) from the game.

Zach Hanna (University of Alabama) chipped away at the Prospects lead in the fifth, hitting a towering fly ball off the right field wall and scoring Peter Hutzal (Iowa Western, Calgary) from first base, but that was as close as the Dawgs would get tonight.

In the eighth, the Prospects tacked on an additional three runs on two hits for good measure, putting the game to bed.

The Dawgs make their way to Fort McMurray, June 9-11, as they take on the (0-5) Giants.

In order to get back into the win column, Sergent said the starting pitching needs to lead the way.

“We need to just get out there and set the tone, from pitch one, letting our guy go deep in the game,” he explained.