Monday July 3, 2017
Dawgs win in style
By Dustin Saracini
Okotoks, AB - The resilient bats of the (17-9) Okotoks Dawgs struck again for their third walk-off victory of the campaign, completing the comeback in a 7-6 win over the (13-13) Weyburn Beavers.
With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, the red and white strung six straight hits together, coming back from a 6-3 deficit to win the series opener. Cameron Campbell (University of Oregon) capped off the night with an RBI single to right field, scoring Darius Foster (Oregon State University) for the winning run. Eddie Sanchez (Central Arkansas), Jayse McLean (North Dakota State University), Matt Lloyd (Indiana University), Kody Funderburk (Dallas Baptist) and Zach Hanna (University of Alabama) all came together in the final frame for the most memorable game of the 2017 season to date.
“These guys never quit,” head coach Tyler Graham said following the contest.
“They all want to win, and they all love playing for each other.”
On the mound, CJ Lewington (UAPB - Calgary, AB) was as efficient as they come, scattering five hits over six innings of work -- his best outing this season. The veteran right-hander made one mistake all night, serving up a two-run blast to Ulysses Fluellen. Other than that, the Calgary product was in command and all around the plate, striking out four while issuing no walks.
“I just wanted to pitch to contact, let my defence work for me,” Lewington said.
“[I just wanted to] fill up the zone.”
Lloyd led the charge offensively, striking two doubles while driving in two. Funderburk put his stamp on the game in the eighth with an inside-the-park home run.
Okotoks didn’t waste any time breaking the deadlock in the first. Sanchez worked his way on base before stealing second and swiping third on an errant throw. Lloyd stepped in and extended his hit streak to seven straight games much to the delight of the crowd, doubling down the left field line to hand his Dawgs a 1-0 advantage. With one out, Funderburk registered his 22nd RBI of the season, shooting a ball to the right side to score Lloyd from third.
Following five scoreless frames from Lewington, Fluellen knotted the contest up with one swing of the bat. A two-out home run to left-centre narrowly beat a leaping McLean, tying the game at two.
Weyburn later got to our bullpen, putting up three runs over two innings.
Funderburk cut into the lead in the bottom half of the eighth, lifting the fans at Seaman Stadium out of their seats. A screaming line drive down the left field line beat a diving Wade Weinburger before trickling to the wall. Known primarily for his power, Funderburk showed off the wheels, chugging around third for an inside-the-park home run, lifting the Dawgs within two.
“Everyone was just really excited,” Lewington said of the Funderburk marathon.
“We wanted him to run and he started to slow down, but he ended up getting there, it was really exciting, it was awesome.”
After the Beavers added an insurance run in the top of the ninth, Okotoks wouldn’t go quietly in the bottom half.
BY THE NUMBERS:
Matt Lloyd: 3-5, 2 R, 2 RBI, .400 AVG
Eddie Sanchez: 1-2, 2 R, 2 BB, .407 AVG [Eight-game hitting streak]
CJ Lewington: 6 IP 5 H 2 ER 0 BB 4 K
WP: Brennen Lauffenburger (2-0) LP: Lane Fezende (0-1)