Dawgs mount comeback, win sixth of the season

The Okotoks Dawgs finished their five-game road trip with a 5-3 win over the Fort McMurray Giants on Sunday. Photo Credit: Okotoks Dawgs

The Okotoks Dawgs finished their five-game road trip with a 5-3 win over the Fort McMurray Giants on Sunday. Photo Credit: Okotoks Dawgs

Sunday June 11, 2017

Dawgs mount comeback, win sixth of the season

By Dustin Saracini

Fort McMurray, AB. - The Okotoks Dawgs (6-2) wrapped up their five-game road trip in style Sunday, June 11.

Chris Horvath (Wayne State - Lakeshore, ON) worked seven innings -- the longest outing from a Dawgs starter this year -- in a 5-3 win over the Fort McMurray Giants. The 6’5”, 230-pound towering right-hander at one point retired nine straight Giants.

Offensively, the Dawgs were led by Jayse McLean (North Dakota State University), who powered his way to a two-hit, two-RBI game. Aderly Perez (University of Arkansas Pine Bluff) finished with a double and two stolen bases while crossing the plate once.

It was far from an easy effort, though. The Dawgs offence climbed their way out of a 3-0 hole.

“It really just gives me confidence,” Horvath said of the battle in his guys.

“It gives me the confidence to go at guys and not be scared. Even if they get a hit or a home run, my team has got my back and they’ll come right back with two, three more runs the next inning.”

For the second time in the series, the Giants held an early 1-0 advantage. In the bottom of the first, the white and orange capitalized on a walk, hit-by-pitch and a pair of singles before Horvath provoked Josh Snider to roll over into an inning ending double-play.

A lead-off double from Tyler Friis paved the way for the Giants to double their lead two innings later. Much like the first, all momentum was killed with a 4-6-3 double play, but Fort McMurray picked up right where they left off in the fourth. The Giants tacked on another run with a trio of singles, giving the bats of the Dawgs some work to do.

“To start off, I was walking a lot of guys,” Horvath said.

“I kind of just got fed up with it and just started attacking guys, making sure I was getting strike one. I also started throwing more curveballs, which kept them off balance.”

The offensive unit put on their suit and tie in the top half of the fifth frame. Perez barrelled a screaming line-drive to the left-centre gap to kick things off, allowing Ryan Humeniuk (Indian Hills - Okotoks, AB) and John Hawk (Iowa Western) to load the bases with back-to-back ground balls. A patient McLean stepped in with two outs, working the count to 2-0 before sending a ground ball through the 3-4 hole, scoring two and tying the game at three runs apiece.

The Dawgs took their first lead of the game in the eighth. McLean’s team-leading fifth extra-base hit was a ground-rule double over the right field wall. Peter Hutzal, in a carbon-copy shot of his game-winning hit a night ago, sent a line drive down the left field line, trading places with the Montana product and taking a 4-3 edge. Okotoks added some insurance with a Brendan Rose (UBC - Calgary, AB) sacrifice-fly to left field.

The Dawgs finished the road trip with a record of 3-2.

On deck is an off day for the red and white before a home-and-home series against the Lethbridge Bulls (7-1).

BY THE NUMBERS:

Jayse McLean (R): 2-4, R, 2 RBI, .300 AVG

Aderly Perez (R): 1-2, R, 2 BB, 2 SB, .353 AVG

Peter Hutzal: 1-4, RBI, R, .258 AVG

Chris Horvath: 7 IP 6 H 3 ER 4 BB 1 SO

OF RECORD:

WP: Chris Horvath (2-0) LP: Cy Vojak (0-1) SV: Tyler Burdett (3)