Thursday July 27, 2017
Shutdown bullpen and the long ball hands Dawgs 32nd win
By Dustin Saracini
Medicine Hat, AB - The (32-13) Okotoks Dawgs found their way back into the win column in a tightly knit 5-4 contest over the (24-21) Medicine Hat Mavericks at Athletic Park.
On the mound, it was Ethan Fox (Douglas College - BC) making his debut in the starting rotation and tossing five innings, allowing two runs. Fox struck out three in his first start of 2017 and continued a string of quality outings from the starting staff.
“We just [kept getting] strike one,” pitching coach Joe Sergent said.
“We attacked their hitters finally, a lot of times when we’ve come here we kind have been hesitant .. tonight we went right after them and had a lot of success.”
Okotoks has now gotten at least five innings out of their starting pitcher in the last 10 games.
Taylor Davis (Gonzaga University), Corey Jackson (New Mexico Junior College) and Tyler Burdett (Dixie State) came on in relief of Fox and fired four shutout innings -- the latter recorded his 13th save.
“It was nice seeing [Burdett] get back out there and getting right back after it,” Sergent said.
“We trust that guy more than anybody else at the end of the game, so it’s nice for him to get back out there and get us a save.”
Brendan Rose (UBC - Calgary, AB) had a strong performance at the plate, lining his second home run in his five-year tenure as a Dawg while recording a multi-hit night. Okotoks kept piling on their franchise-high for blasts in a single season when Jayse McLean (North Dakota State University) laced a two-run bomb in the fifth inning, making it 44 as a collective unit. Following tonight’s win, 12 batters have now registered at least one home run this year.
In the first, it was Medicine Hat picking up where they left off following their victory over Okotoks on July 16, taking an early 1-0 lead. A pair of throwing errors and a hit batter plated one, but Fox was able to limit the threat, getting out of a two-out, two-on jam.
Containing the Mavericks in the opening frame proved to be beneficial as Rose sent a 1-2 offering over the wall in right field for his first home run of the season -- a solo shot -- tying the game at one through two innings.
It was a 2-1 contest until McLean launched his seventh blast of the campaign, a no-doubter to the deepest part of the field for a two-run shot. In front of him, Zach Hanna (University of Missouri) worked a five-pitch walk before taking a light jog around the bases. The bomb gave McLean his second hit in as many nights and handed Okotoks their first lead -- 3-2.
The Dawgs' advantage would be short-lived, however, as the Mavs capitalized off a trio of singles with their next opportunity at the plate to reclaim a one-run edge.
The blows continued to be exchanged between the two clubs as Okotoks tied things up in the top half of the seventh. A one-out double from Hanna allowed McLean to register his third RBI of the night, scorching a single up the middle to make it a 4-4 game.
With the bases loaded and no outs in the eighth, the Dawgs scratched the game-winning run across the plate, courtesy of Eddie Sanchez (Central Arkansas), who knocked a sac-fly to deep left field to score pinch-runner Ryan Humeniuk (Indian Hills - Calgary, AB).
The Dawgs now finish off the regular season with three games at home beginning on Friday against the Fort McMurray Giants.
BY THE NUMBERS:
Jayse McLean (R): 2-5, 3 RBI, HR, .253 AVG
Brendan Rose: 2-3, HR, RBI, .270 AVG
Greg Cullen (R): 2-3, .333 AVG
WP: Corey Jackson (1-1) LP: Will Zeibol (0-1) SV: Tyler Burdett (13):