Friday June 16, 2017
Rain delay hurts Dawgs in first home loss
By Dustin Saracini
Okotoks, AB. - For the second straight night, one inning defined a (7-4) Okotoks Dawgs’ loss. This time around, the club came out on the wrong end of a 14-7 clash with the (4-7) Medicine Hat Mavericks.
A lengthy rain delay killed any type of momentum the Dawgs mustered in the early goings of the tilt -- an eight-run fifth inning from the Mavericks made sure of it.
While the sun was still shining, the Dawgs struck first with their initial cracks at the plate. Greg Cullen (Niagara University) didn’t waste any time, jumping on the first pitch and driving it up the middle for a single. Peter Hutzal (Iowa Western - Calgary, AB) stepped in and did much of the same, advancing Cullen to third on a single of his own before swiping second. The contagious hitting continued with Matt Lloyd -- who led the University of Indiana in average and on-base percentage -- finding himself 90 feet from the plate with a two-run base-hit.
Following the two-hour rain stoppage, Drew Smernes took over on the hill to replace CJ Lewington who, prior to the skies opening up, was in the middle of his best start of 2017.
Lewington finished with five strikeouts over three innings of work, allowing one earned run.
The Mavericks greeted Smernes with seven singles, tying the game ahead of their eight-run fifth. Coupled with a handful of errors, Medicine Hat took a 10-2 edge.
Okotoks chipped away slightly in the bottom half of the frame. Hutzal ripped his second hit of the night down the right field line, reaching the fence for a stand-up triple. Lloyd added to his RBI total, slapping a ground ball to the right side to score his former Dawgs Academy teammate from third.
In the seventh, both clubs exchanged runs. The Dawgs kept the deficit to seven after Kody Funderburk (Dallas Baptist) recorded his fourth multi-hit game of the season, driving in Lloyd from second.
Clayton Keyes (Arizona Diamondbacks) got in on the offence an inning later, sending an RBI double down the left field line, good for his first hit as a collegiate Dawg. Keyes turned the lineup over to Cullen, who continued his torrid pace to the season with his second hit of the night, this time a stand-up triple to the right field corner. Okotoks added one more on a wild pitch, but a five-run deficit was as close as they would get.
In the end, six Dawgs finished with a multi-hit game.
BY THE NUMBERS:
Greg Cullen (R): 2-5, 2 R, RBI, .310 AVG
Peter Hutzal: 2-4, 2 R, .286 AVG
Matt Lloyd: 2-4, 3 RBI, .385 AVG
WP: Taylor Wilson (1-0) LP: Drew Smernes (0-1)