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Saturday June 17, 2017
Story by: Dustin Saracini
Okotoks, AB. - The (8-4) Okotoks Dawgs blew up for 12 hits tonight, paving the way to a 8-1 victory over the (8-4) Edmonton Prospects.
On the other side of the ball it was Dawgs Academy product, Graham Brunner, hurling his second quality start with the collegiate club. Over six innings of work, Brunner fired five strikeouts, allowing just two hits and one earned run.
“It’s a blast,” Brunner said of the way he has been able to contribute at the WMBL level.
“I’ve always wanted to pitch for the college team and it’s the best experience in the world.”
The scoring opened in the bottom of the second with the Dawgs getting to one of the more prominent starters in the WMBL. Coming into tonight, Noah Gapp had thrown two complete games, allowing just two earned runs over that span.
In one inning, the efficient offence of Okotoks more than tripled those numbers. Jayse McLean (North Dakota State University) and Zach Hanna (University of Alabama) kickstarted the offence with a pair of singles before an Eddie Sanchez (Central Arkansas) groundball brought home a run. Then, for the second time this season, it was John Hawk (Iowa Western) barrelling a fastball down the right field line and over the wall, cashing in three and slugging the Dawgs to a 4-0 advantage. The blast was the first at Seaman Stadium this season, and the bats weren’t done there, either.
Greg Cullen (Niagara University) and Matt Lloyd (University of Alabama) kept the train moving with a pair of hits, the latter cashing in the former with an RBI single. Kody Funderburk (Dallas Baptist) stepped in and put his stamp on the inning with a single-turned-triple to deep right field.
“It’s great when your hitters work for you and it’s way easier pitching [with the lead],” Brunner said following the win.
A seven-run frame was the most the Dawgs have scored in an inning all year.
Okotoks added their eighth in the bottom of the fourth off another Funderburk single. His drive to right field scored Peter Hutzal (Iowa Western - Calgary, AB) from second, earning the Arizona product his fifth multi-hit game of the year.
The Prospects chipped away in the top of the sixth with a solo-shot from Jake Lanferman, but the pitching staff of the Dawgs shut their bats down the rest of the way.
Liam Stroud, Corey Jackson and Tyler Burdett combined for three innings of shutout baseball to lock things down.
On deck, the Dawgs take on the Brooks Bombers in a Father’s Day matinee.
First pitch flies at 2:05pm.
BY THE NUMBERS:
John Hawk (R): 2-4, R, 3 RBI, .375 AVG
Kody Funderburk (R): 2-4, 2 RBI, .288 AVG
Graham Brunner (R): 6.0 IP 2 H 1 ER 3 BB 5 SO
WP: Graha Brunner (1-0) LP: Noah Gapp (2-1)