Wednesday July 19, 2017
Dawgs power their way to a sweep in Yorkton
By Dustin Saracini
Yorkton, SK - The (26-11) Okotoks Dawgs stayed perfect on their Saskatchewan road trip on Wednesday, sweeping the series against the (10-28) Yorkton Cardinals and taking game two, 14-5.
A five-run second inning, highlighted by Ryan Humeniuk’s (Indian Hills) first home run of the season paved the way to victory. The Okotoks product finished the contest with four RBI. Behind him, Matt Lloyd (Indiana University) extended his hitting streak to 17 games with his sixth home run of the campaign before his former Iowa Western teammate, Zach Hanna (University of Missouri) barrelled his second of 2017 over the wall. Greg Cullen (Niagara University) finished the night a home run shy of the cycle, collecting a season-high four hits.
“It’s huge,” Humeniuk said about his team's offence.
“We really carry each other, and that’s the one thing about this offence, we don’t have to rely on one guy to do it. You can always guarantee that there’s somebody else in the lineup that will pick you up if you’re having a tough day. We just try to have quality at-bats as a team, and that’s how we score our runs.”
CJ Lewington (UAPB - Calgary, AB) settled in nicely after the first, throwing up five straight scoreless frames in seven innings of work. His seven strikeouts tied a season-high, earning him his second win of the campaign.
The Cardinals drew first blood with their first opportunity at the plate, scoring four off four hits. With one out, Yorkton rallied with a pair of extra-base knocks, capped off by an RBI double off the left field wall.
“I don’t think we’re ever out of a ball game, the way our offence is,” Humeniuk said.
“Our pitching staff, their ability to bounce back for us, we get down 4-0 then CJ [Lewington] goes out there and shuts them down.”
The four-run edge would be short-lived, as the Dawgs bats had some bite in the top half of the second. Taking advantage of back-to-back walks was Humeniuk, who cracked a 2-2 offering over the right field wall. The three-run shot was followed up by a Cullen double off the wood fence in right, allowing Lloyd an opportunity to step in and earn his 16th multi-hit game of the season. Working the count to 2-0, the Indiana product sat on a fastball, scorching it over 400-feet to centre field for a two-run home run and a 5-4 Dawgs lead.
Hanna was quick to make it a 6-4 contest, leading off the top of the third with a solo-blast over the right field fence. Cullen kept the ball rolling with two-on and two-out, recording his second hit of the night, shooting a ball up the middle for an RBI single and a three-run lead.
Two innings later it was Humeniuk continuing his best game of the season, tallying his fourth RBI of the contest with a broken-bat single to shallow centre field. Jayse McLean (North Dakota State University) and Justin King (Indian Hills) were issued free passes before a double steal set up Humeniuk to double the Dawgs’ lead to 8-4.
After a solo-shot brought Yorkton within three, the Dawgs put the game to bed in the eighth and ninth. An RBI single from Kody Funderburk (Dallas Baptist) stretched his hitting streak to four before a double steal and an error plated an additional two runs. A pair of RBI singles from Cullen and Eddie Sanchez (Central Arkansas) put the finishing touches on the Dawgs’ 26th win of the year.
BY THE NUMBERS:
CJ Lewington: 7 IP 6 H 5 ER 3 BB 7 SO
Greg Cullen (R): 4-6, 2 R, 2 RBI, .361 AVG
Ryan Humeniuk: 2-3, HR, 4 RBI, .268 AVG
Matt Lloyd: 2-5, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, .410 AVG
WP: CJ Lewington (2-2) LP: Bryson Spagnulo (3-2)