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Wednesday July 12, 2017
Photo cred: Amanda Fewer
Story by: Dustin Saracini
Brooks, AB - For the first time in 2017, the (22-10) Okotoks Dawgs strung together five straight wins. On four separate occasions throughout the campaign, the Dawgs tallied four-game winning streaks before eclipsing that mark tonight in tremendous fashion against the (11-21) Brooks Bombers. A 14-8 victory at Elks Field pushed the season series to 5-0 in favour of the red and white.
The power from Kody Funderburk (Dallas Baptist University) continued to be nothing short of spectacular, breaking the Dawgs’ single season home run record. The Dallas Baptist product blasted his 10th and 11th over the fence, surpassing Sean Kettering who hit nine overall in 2013.
“It means a lot,” Funderburk said of breaking the record, considering the great players who have come through this program.
“You see when you walk in first in the clubhouse, you see all the big league names on the wall. They’re obviously really good, to take the record is pretty special, it’s pretty cool.”
He wasn’t alone tonight, as the Dawgs registered seven long balls. The bats remained loud as Matt Lloyd (Indiana University) had a multi-home run night of his own, belting his fourth and fifth of the campaign while Darius Foster (Oregon State University) hit his first, Jayse McLean (North Dakota State University) notched his sixth and Cameron Campbell (University of Oregon) barrelled his first of the season.
“I would hate to pitch against our lineup,” Funderburk said.
“Our lineup, you make a mistake, we are going to hammer it.”
Okotoks cut the early 2-0 Brooks advantage to one in the top of the second, taking just one swing to do so. Funderburk extended his WMBL lead in home runs with his first of two on the night, sending a screaming shot over the batter’s eye in centrefield to put the Dawgs on the board.
The red and white tied things up in the top of the third from an unlikely source of power. Foster popped a 1-1 fastball over the left field wall, going the other way to level the tilt at two.
It continued to rain bombs in the top of the fourth for Okotoks, who took a two-run edge off back-to-back shots. Lloyd extended his hitting streak to 13 straight games with a no-doubter to left field before Funderburk dug in and sent a towering shot over the right field fence. The blast was Funderburk’s sixth of the season at Elks Field.
After Brooks scored twice in the bottom of the fifth, Okotoks took their two-run lead right back with their next cracks at the plate. With two-out, Ryan Humeniuk (Indian Hills) belted a double to left-centre to put two in scoring position. Foster then legged out an RBI single ahead of a double steal that plated Humeniuk, making it a 6-4 contest.
Just an inning later, Lloyd and McLean put the game to bed. The former, fresh off winning WMBL Player of the Week, hit his second home run of the game while the latter hit the Dawgs’ sixth on the night -- good for a three-run shot and a 10-4 advantage.
Campbell only added to their lead with his next at-bat, driving a grand slam over the wall for his second hit of the night.
On deck the Dawgs is a three-game home-and-home series with the Medicine Hat Mavericks. The festivities begin tomorrow in Medicine Hat. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm.
BY THE NUMBERS:
Kody Funderburk (R): 2-4, 2 HR, 3 R, 2 RBI, .344 AVG
Matt Lloyd: 2-3, 2 HR, 3 R, 2 RBI, .424 AVG
Darius Foster: 2-5, HR, 2 RBI, .235 AVG
WP: Omar Celaya (2-0) LP: Trevor Wiegel (0-3)