By Tyler Lowey
OKOTOKS, Alta. — The Okotoks Dawgs were big winners this afternoon when Western Major Baseball League President Kevin Kvame announced the League Award winners for the 2018 regular season.
Dawgs closer Craig Smith (Columbia College) won the Honourable Mention Award after he broke the WMBL record for saves in a single season with 15. He was also named to the First Team as a closer.
Smith appeared in a team-record 23 games and struck out 12 batters in 20 1/3 innings. He finished the year with a 1-2 record.
The Dawgs saw a franchise-high 10 players get named to the All-Star teams. The previous high came in 2017, when eight players were elected.
This year, the Eastern Division champion Weyburn Beavers were second with six selections.
Outfielders Collin Ridout (Tennessee Wesleyan University) and Will Hollis (Cisco College) were the two outfielders from the Dawgs to be named to the First Team.
Hollis was among the league leaders in batting average for the most part of the season. He led the Dawgs’ starters with a .361 average, while he drove in 31 runs, scored 34 runs, hit three home runs and 14 doubles.
Ridout finished the season with 70 hits, which placed him second among the Dawgs all-time single-season leaders. He also hit .348 with three home runs. Ridout drove in 27 runs from the leadoff spot and scored 38 runs.
Nate DeChaine (Morningside College) was named the First Team third basemen. He was also named to First Team as a designated hitter.
DeChaine recorded one of the greatest power hitting seasons in Dawgs’ history. His 2018 season ranks second in home runs (10) and RBIs (47). He also hit .335 with a 1.008 OPS while rotating between first base, third base and the designated hitter slot.
Eddie Sanchez (Central Arkansas University) was named to the Second Team as a second basemen. He was also named to the First Team as a utility player, as he rotated between third base, shortstop and second base, along with playing all nine positions during the final game of the season.
Sanchez broke his own franchise record for walks in a single season with 33. He also hit 313. with a .431 on-base percentage.
Cody Ebert (Columbia College) was the only starting pitcher to be named to the First Team, while Brock Townsend (Linn-Benton Community College) and Mason Swegarden (Mayville State University) were named to the Second Team.
Ebert and Swegarden each recorded six wins, which tied them for first in the league and second all-time in franchise history.
Ebert broke the franchise record for strikeouts with 65. His strikeout total was the second best in the league and his 2.48 ERA was good enough for fourth.
Swegarden went 6-0 in 10 starts to the tune of a 3.03 ERA. He pounded the strike zone all season, as he struck out 46 batters and only walked eight in 62 1/3 innings.
Townsend didn’t qualify for the ERA title having only started five games, but his 2.17 ERA would have been the second-best in the league. In 29 innings, Townsend struck out 10 batters and finished with a 3-0 record.
Dustin Schorie (Mesa Community College) has been one of the most worked arms out of the bullpen and was recognized for his work by being named to the First Team as a relief pitcher.
If Smith didn’t set the franchise record for appearances in a season, Schorie would have tied the previous mark with 21. In Shorie’s 20 1/3 innings, he struck out 11, earned a 2-1 record, recorded one save and finished with 3.98 ERA.