Friday August 4, 2017
Edmonton forces game five in Okotoks
By Dustin Saracini
Edmonton, AB - There will be a Game 5 at Seaman Stadium as the (2-2) Okotoks Dawgs fell one run short of a ninth-inning comeback, losing 9-8 to the (2-2) Edmonton Prospects at RE/MAX Field.
Ryan Humeniuk (Indian Hills) was a terror to the Prospects pitching staff tonight, notching four hits while collecting seven on the series thus far. Greg Cullen (Niagara University) and Cameron Campbell (University of Oregon) were right behind him with three hits apiece while Kody Funderburk (Dallas Baptist) launched his 16th home run of the season in the loss.
“We get to go back to Seaman [Stadium], back to our fans,” Funderburk said after the game.
“We knew [Edmonton] wasn’t going to hit the ball over our heads or anything, they took advantage of errors, which we had, we had quite a few today … Our offence is just going to keep rolling, today our defence just let us down, that’s all .. We’ve been hitting all year and we are going to continue to.”
Edmonton played like their backs were against the wall early, capitalizing off a pair of errors, jumping out to a 6-0 lead -- an advantage they saw evaporate once the bats on the other side woke up.
Okotoks and their historic offence chipped away in the top of the third. Humeniuk notched his second multi-hit game of the series -- scorching a shot to right field -- moving Eddie Sanchez (Central Arkansas) to second; allowing him to score off an RBI single from Cullen. After a bases loaded walk cut the deficit to four, a passed ball capped off the three-run inning.
With one swing of the bat in the top of the fifth, the MVP in Funderburk tied things up. On a one-one count, the 6-foot-4, 225-pounder launched an absolute no-doubter to right field, crushing a three-run shot and his first of the postseason in his former ballpark. Through five, the Dawgs had successfully come back from a six-run hole.
Edmonton shifted momentum back in their favour in the bottom of the sixth, leading off the frame with a triple off the left field wall. With the infield in, an RBI single up the middle reclaimed their lead. Jayse McLean (North Dakota State) would keep it a one-run deficit with a cannon in centre field, tossing out a Prospect at the plate to end the threat.
In the seventh, the errors haunted the red and white once again, committing two while the Prospects scratched two runs across.
As it was the case all season, the Dawgs' offence wouldn’t go down without a fight. Following a pair of singles from Cullen and Funderburk in the ninth, Campbell ripped a one-out, RBI double off the wall in right centre. With the tying run 180-feet away, Edmonton recorded the final out and took game four.
The Dawgs now host the Prospects in the deciding game on Saturday night at Seaman Stadium.
BY THE NUMBERS:
Kody Funderburk (R): 2-4, HR, 3 RBI, .357 AVG
Ryan Humeniuk: 4-5, 2 R, .538 AVG
Greg Cullen: 3-5, 3 R, .400 AVG
WP: Marion McLean (1-0) LP: Jack Rupe (0-1) SV: Andrew Mirasty (2)