Dawgs win first game of road trip
June 11, 2019
By Dan Khavkin
Moose Jaw, SASK- East met West for the first time in the WCBL season as the Okotoks Dawgs continue their first of two, seven-game road trips – opening a three-game stop against the Moose Jaw Miller Express, picking up a 7-3 victory Tuesday night.
Okotoks (8-2) snaps their two-game losing skid while Moose Jaw (5-6) drops to below .500 for the second time this season.
Virginia Tech product and Dawgs Academy alumni Nick Vickers started in his third game of the campaign.
Vickers dominated the bump, striking out 10 against 19 batters while allowing only one hit and three walks through five innings, cruising his way to his second win of the season.
“I was just trying to attack hitters. I didn’t feel the best coming out of the bullpen, but I wanted to execute my pitches with conviction and did just that,” said Vickers.
Coach Mitch Schmidt shuffled his batting line-up after suffering back-to-back losses.
The showing from his starter tonight was exactly what was due for the Dawgs who had a heavy emphasis on starting off this Saskatchewan road trip on a positive note.
“We put guys into more comfortable positions, places they were used to at college,” said Schmidt. “We had some academy guys sprinkled in there, but the transition was seamless, and it showed tonight.”
“Vickers went out there and was lights-out. He threw almost 10 balls to start the game and he knew he had to change that. His mindset changed instantly and was in a zone that carried us to the win.”
The change paid off for the Dawgs, finding an early and much needed spark on offence after only scoring three runs in their last two games.
Lead-off man and Chandler-Gilbert outfielder Tristan Peters, blasted Jeff Nicolosi’s first pitch of the game over the centre-field wall for his second home run and 10th RBI of the season.
The Dawgs carried their offence into the second inning with two runs crossing the plate courtesy of an RBI triple from Okanogan College centre-fielder Davis Todosichuk and a sacrifice-fly from University of Houston third-baseman Brett Esau.
Okotoks added a run from recently added Indiana State University infielder Dane Tofteland in the top half of the fifth inning.
Moose Jaw found the scoreboard in the bottom of the sixth inning on a fielder’s-choice.
A back-and-forth fight to the end saw two runs from both sides in the seventh and eighth innings but Dawgs right-fielder Isaiah Peterson forced a wild pitch for the seventh and final run of the game in the final inning.
Game-two of the three-game set continues on Wednesday with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m.