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Sunday June 25, 2017
Photo by: Angela Burger
Story by: Dustin Saracini
Okotoks, AB - Fans left their seats before spilling back into Seaman Stadium for the tail-end of the Sunday double-header tonight. What they saw was a defensive gem and a 3-0 (12-7) Okotoks Dawgs victory.
It was the ultimate pitcher’s duel between Chris Horvath (Wayne State) and Jaden Griffen of the (13-7) Lethbridge Bulls through six innings. Both starters swapped outs, neither team able to string together much offence. Horvath ended his night throwing six and a third innings of shutout baseball, striking out four.
Tyler Burdett (Dixie State) came on with two runners in scoring position and one out in relief of Horvath, and was able to issue an inning-ending double play to leave the sixth unscathed. Following the game, the Dixie State grad said watching the efficient Horvath from the sidelines made him want the shutout even more.
“Honestly, in that inning, I was just trying to minimize [damage],” he said.
“[Horvath] went out there, he was a bulldog, he really showed up so I couldn’t let him give up a run. Also, it helped us get pitchers BP with the shutout, so that was on the line.”
Burdett not only earns pitcher’s batting practice, but with his work tonight, he has also posted 13 straight shutout innings.
Offensively, the Dawgs broke through in the seventh inning. Jayse McLean (North Dakota State University) led the frame off with a base on balls, allowing a Cameron Campbell (Oregon University) double down the left field line to give way to Aderly Perez (University of Arkansas Pine Bluff). Perez did his job, hitting a towering fly ball to centrefield for a sac-fly, sending the first run of the game across the plate. Darius Foster (Oregon State University) came up clutch a batter later, barrelling a screaming line drive over the head of the second baseman to score Campbell, doubling the Dawgs’ lead to 2-0.
Okotoks added some insurance in the top of the eighth, courtesy of Zach Hanna’s (University of Alabama) fifth double of the campaign. Kody Funderburk (Dallas Baptist) came around to score to make it a three-run contest, which was more than enough for Burdett.
The Dawgs have an off day tomorrow before travelling to Lethbridge once again. It will be their fourth of six games against the Bulls in a span of two weeks, giving the series a playoff feel.
“It’s cool getting to play the same team plenty of times, you notice more tendencies, pay attention a little more,” Burdett said.
First pitch flies Tuesday, June 27, in Lethbridge at 7:05pm.
BY THE NUMBERS:
Chris Horvath: 6.1 IP 4 H 0 ER 3 BB 4 SO
Tyler Burdett: 2.2 IP 1 H 0 ER 1 BB 1 SO
Peter Hutzal: 2-4, .310 AVG
WP: Tyler Burdett (1-0) LP: Ben Irwin (1-1)