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Thursday June 22, 2017
Photo cred: Amanda Fewer
Story by: Dustin Saracini
Okotoks, AB - In their first meeting of the season, the (11-4) Okotoks Dawgs and their relentless offence could not be contained by the (10-8) Moose Jaw Miller Express in an 11-4 victory. With the win, Okotoks has now strung together four in a row, tying their season high.
Peter Hutzal (Iowa Western - Calgary, AB) came through in the bottom of the eighth to gain the first lead of the ball game after trailing for eight innings. A one-out, two-run double down the left field line gave the red and white a 5-4 edge and began what was a nine-run frame.
Matt Lloyd (University of Indiana) continued his dominance this season, chipping in with three hits and three RBI.
“It’s always awesome to be on the bases when the other guys are up,” he said.
“That’s all I’m trying to do. Lead off the inning and get on base and let the guys behind me drive me in, it worked out.”
Moose Jaw found the plate in the top of the first, breaking the Dawgs’ four-game streak of opening the scoring. A trio of soft singles, capped off by a Cole Warkin base-hit, gave the Express an early 1-0 lead.
The Express’ advantage would be short-lived, however. Okotoks answered in the bottom half of the frame with back-to-back-to-back singles of their own. Greg Cullen (Niagara University) and Jayse McLean (North Dakota State University) kicked the inning off with a pair of shots through the middle of the infield before Lloyd grounded a ball through the 4-3 hole. With the three base-knocks, McLean extended his hitting streak to six, Cullen to five, while Lloyd registered a hit in six of seven games played this season.
The single-train continued to move at full-steam ahead for the Express in the top of the third. In a carbon copy of Moose Jaw’s first stint with the lumber, they worked three singles before a bases-loaded walk issued their second run of the game. A two-run single handed them a 4-1 edge, presenting the resilient bats of the Dawgs with some work to do.
To work they went.
The offence chipped away two innings later. Brendan Rose (UBC - Calgary, AB) led things off in the bottom of the fifth with his second base-knock of the tilt -- his third multi-hit game of the season. Hutzal followed suit with a rocket up the middle before an Eddie Sanchez (Central Arkansas) infield single cut the lead to just two.
The Dawgs took over in the bottom of the eighth.
Lloyd started the inning advancing to first off a soft line drive to left field. Kody Funderburk (Dallas Baptist) earned himself a multi-hit game and Zach Hanna (University of Alabama) stretched his hitting streak to seven with a shot to the left-centre gap to score the Indiana product. It was a 4-3 deficit before Hutzal stepped to the plate, delivering a two-run double and breathing life into Seaman Stadium. Batting around the order, Hanna capped the inning off with an RBI double to left centre. A season-high nine-run inning more than completed the comeback, giving the Dawgs a chance for the series sweep tomorrow.
Lloyd said the bats will continue to deliver.
“We have tons [of offence] left,” Lloyd joked following the win.
“We’re never out of offence.”
First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm.
BY THE NUMBERS:
Matt Lloyd (R): 3-5, 2 R, 3 RBI, .323 AVG
Peter Hutzal: 2-4, 2 RBI, .296 AVG
Brendan Rose: 2-5, R, .283 AVG
CJ Lewington: 3 IP 2 H 0 ER 0 K
WP: Brennen Lauffenburger (1-0) LP: Tanner Emes (1-1)