Coming off a pair of off days, the Okotoks Dawgs, magic number to clinch a playoff spot sits at six with three games on tap this weekend at Seaman Stadium.
Currently, the Dawgs (21-10) sit 10 games up on the Fort McMurray Giants (11-21), who are the last team out of the playoff picture in fifth.
The Dawgs have 17 games remaining and need either six more wins, six more losses by the Giants, or any combination of Dawgs wins and Giants losses that adds up to six in order to seal their 11thconsecutive trip to the postseason.
“Clinching a playoff spot has never really been in ourmind. We expectto be in the playoffs every year. Right now, our focus is running down Medicine Hat. We have some games remaining with them and we want that top spot in our division,”said Dawgs Pitching Coach Joe Sergent.
This weekend is a perfect opportunity to shave that magic number down significantly in front of their fans at Seaman Stadium, as the Dawgs are home for three games starting tomorrow night, Friday, July 13 (7:05 p.m.) against the Lethbridge Bulls (13-20). The Dawgs will also host the Yorkton Cardinals (8-22) Saturday, July 14 at 7:05 p.m. and Sunday, July 15 at 2:05 p.m.
Seaman Stadium has treated the Dawgs well this season. Friday night will be a perfect night for some revenge, as it was the same Bulls that snapped the 9-0 start at Seaman Stadium for the Dawgs.
“We remember that Lethbridge game. They ended a pretty good run for us and talked on the field as they did it. Our guys remember that and I think they will be a little extra excited to get going tomorrow night,”said Sergent.
After running into a bit of a hiccup after that loss against the Bulls June 26, the Dawgs are currently 10-5 at home this season and are riding a six-game winning streak.
This three-game home stand is the most action Seaman Stadium will host in one weekend for the remainder of the season. Down the stretch, road trips breakup any significant stretches of games at home, as the Dawgs will play nine of their last 17 games at home.
The only other three-game stretch at Seaman Stadium will be when the Medicine Hat Mavericks are in town Thursday, July 26 at 7:05 p.m. and 27. It was supposed to be a two-game set with the Mavericks, but a rainout June 16 turned the July 27 outing into a double header starting at 3:00 p.m. Game 2 of the double header goes at 7:05 p.m.
The Mavericks currently own the best record and most wins of any Western Major Baseball League team, as they sit atop the Western Division with a 26-5 record, five games ahead of the Dawgs.
Both teams are playing well right now. The Dawgs are 7-3 in their last 10, including a 6-5 win in Medicine Hat, andthe Mavericks are slightly better at 8-2.
There is a lot to up for grabs in the closing two-and-a-half weeks of the Dawgs schedule. With nothing but blue skies in the forecast for the next three days, the playoff picture could look a lot clearer after this weekend’s action at Seaman Stadium.