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Sunday June 25, 2017
Photo cred: Angela Burger
Story by: Dustin Saracini
Okotoks, AB - In game one of our Sunday double-header the (11-7) Okotoks Dawgs dropped another close contest to the (13-6) Lethbridge Bulls, 6-5.
Offensively, Zach Hanna (University of Alabama) and John Hawk (Iowa Western) led the way for the red and white, combining for five hits and were responsible for every RBI.
On the defensive side of the ball, Corey Jackson (New Mexico Junior College) came on in relief of Nick Vickers (Colby Community College) and Anthony Balderas (Lewis Clarke), extending his scoreless streak to seven innings pitched.
Lethbridge took a slight advantage in the opening frame this afternoon, rallying to score twice after their first two hitters were retired. Three consecutive singles, a walk and a wild pitch made it a 2-0 Bulls lead.
The Bulls added two more on two hits the next inning, stretching their lead to 4-0. The blue and red capitalized on a past ball before a soft line drive off the bat of Blake MacDonald capped off the frame.
The Dawgs cut into the deficit in the bottom half the frame, drawing back-to-back walks before a surprise bunt single from Eddie Sanchez (Central Arkansas) loaded the bases. Without an out recorded, Hawk flied out to left field for a sac-fly, scoring one off a diving catch. The lone run was all the red and white could muster as Brendan Rose (UBC - Calgary AB) was gunned down at third base trying to tag on a heads-up play. Aderly Perez (University of Arkansas Pine Bluff) grounded out to end the threat.
Okotoks kept coming their next opportunity with the sticks. Three straight walks turned on the lights for Hanna, who promptly ripped a bases loaded single to right-centre, bringing his club within one. Hanna has been on a mission this year, gathering 17 hits over his last 10 games.
The offence clawed their way back in the bottom of the fifth where the Dawgs took their first lead of the game. A trio of singles from Matt Lloyd (University of Indiana), Hanna and Rose led the way for a two-run knock driven up the middle from Hawk -- his second and third RBI of the day. With the single, Hawk has now hit safely in all but one game this season.
Much like a night ago, the Bulls wouldn’t go quietly, reclaiming their lead in the top half of the sixth. A wild pitch and a pair of singles leapfrogged Okotoks, making it a 6-5 game -- setting up yet another late-game thriller.
Sanchez led things off in the bottom of the ninth with a single down the left field line, moving over to second on a sac-bunt from Hawk. Okotoks was unable to cash him in in, coming out on the wrong side of another tightly knit tilt.
The red and white are now a game and a half back of first in the West division.
Game two goes for 7:05pm.
BY THE NUMBERS:
Zach Hanna (R): 3-4, 2 RBI, 2 R, .370 AVG
John Hawk (R): 2-3, 3 RBI, .367 AVG
WP: David Jones (1-1) LP: Anthony Balderas (1-1) SV: Chris Stodolka (8)