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Thursday July 20, 2017
Photo by: Amanda Fewer
Story by: Dustin Saracini
Melville, SK - Forty kilometres south of Yorkton, the (27-11) Okotoks Dawgs improved to 3-0 on their Saskatchewan road trip with a 4-3 victory over the (11-28) Melville Millionaires.
“They had a soft lefty going today,” head coach Tyler Graham said following the win.
“We had trouble with him early just staying back and staying on him. He did a good job of keeping us off balance for most of the game, but [Cameron] Campbell came through with a big hit and gave us a good little cushion there for [Justin] Vernia to start working.”
Cameron Campbell (University of Oregon) blasted the Dawgs’ sixth home run in the last three days. His four RBI night was the second time the catcher out of Ellensburg, Washington had reached that mark this year. Matt Lloyd (Indiana University - Calgary, AB) continued his dominance in Melville, earning his 17th multi-hit game of 2017 with a 3-5 night while pushing his WMBL-leading average to .418 in the process.
Justin Vernia (Gonzaga University) stayed undefeated on the mound, moving his record to 4-0 while firing seven innings of two-run baseball and fanning three. Vernia settled in nicely after the first inning, at one point retiring 11 straight Millionaires.
Melville plated one off a pair of hits in the opening frame, making it seven straight contests where the opposition has scored in the first.
In the third, however, the resilient bats of Okotoks would knot things at one. Lloyd extended his hitting streak to 18 games -- collecting 34 hits over that span -- ripping a double down the RF line to set the Dawgs up with two in scoring position. Campbell finished the job, ripping a sac-fly to deep centrefield.
After Melville battled to reclaim the lead in the fourth, the Dawgs capitalized off two defensive errors with their next cracks at the plate. With two-on and one out, Campbell registered his second, third and fourth RBI of the night with a three-run bomb to deep left field. Down to his last strike, the Oregon product sat on a fastball, sending his third home run of the season over the wall, handing Okotoks their first lead of the night.
It was a 4-2 contest until the Millionaires inched within one in the eighth. With two-out and a runner on third, Tyler Burdett (Dixie State) came on in relief of Omar Celaya (Nyack College), issuing a flyout to end the threat. He would later register the four-out save, giving him a WMBL-leading 11 on the season.
Game two in Melville goes tomorrow at 7:05pm.
BY THE NUMBERS:
Cameron Campbell (R): 1-2, R, 4 RBI, HR, .311 AVG
Matt Lloyd: 3-5, R, .418 AVG
WP: Justin Vernia (4-0) LP:Michael Pagacik (1-2) SV: Tyler Burdett (11)