Saturday August 05, 2017
Photo cred: Amanda Fewer
Story by: Dustin Saracini
Okotoks, AB – The (2-3) Okotoks Dawgs wrapped up their season with a 3-1 loss to the (3-2) Edmonton Prospects tonight at Seaman Stadium.
On the mound, CJ Lewington (UAPB – Calgary, AB) was locked in through four innings of work, striking out five and limiting the Prospects to one run over three hits.
“We knew we had to get a good outing from CJ,” head coach Tyler Graham said following the loss.
“He gave us everything he had. He had a tremendous outing. We went with our best guys out of the ‘pen, all of them threw really well, we just couldn’t get anything going offensively. Edmonton made some really big plays in big moments and you have to take your hat off to them … they competed as hard as we did … We just didn’t come up with the timely hits when we needed to, and that’s what cost us the game.”
All-Stars Tyler Burdett (Dixie State), Anthony Balderas (Lewis-Clark) and Kody Funderburk (Dallas Baptist) all made appearances on the mound, allowing two combined runs over five innings.
It was a pitchers duel between Lewington and Edmonton native Finnigan Duffield through four clean frames — both clubs combining for just three hits. With multiple opportunities on both sides to take the lead, it wasn’t until the fifth inning where the Prospects broke the scoreless deadlock. With the bases loaded and no outs, Dawgs closer Burdett — who led the WMBL in saves — came on in relief, limiting the damage to just one run.
Burdett’s ability to keep Edmonton in check proved to be beneficial in the bottom of the fifth. Dawgs Academy product Greg Student kickstarted the offence with a four-pitch walk, coming around to score off a passed ball to knot the contest at one.
Back and forth these two teams went in the seventh, as the Prospects reclaimed the lead. A one-out walk came around to score off Edmonton’s fifth hit of the game, a double to the left-centre alley. The advantage may have been more if it wasn’t for the defensive efforts of Eddie Sanchez (Central Arkansas) at shortstop. A diving play and a putout from shallow left field held the black and gold to just one run.
“Eddie did awesome at shortstop tonight, I was really proud of him and how he played, he picked us up.” Graham said.
In the end, Edmonton stuck the dagger in the top of the ninth, plating an insurance run.
When asked to describe the season, Graham was more than proud of the way his club worked as a family.
“Warriors,” he said.
“I think the team that we had this summer was a group of guys that wanted to win, that came to the field every day excited to win, I thought they did that all year.”
The Prospects now take on the Medicine Hat Mavericks in the WMBL Western Conference Final.
BY THE NUMBERS:
CJ Lewington: 4 IP 3 H 1 ER 0 BB 5 K
Ryan Humeniuk: 2-5, .478
WP: Michael Gahan (1-0) LP: Tyler Burdett (0-1)