By: Dan Khavkin
BROOKS, AB- An epic comeback and offensive explosion put the Okotoks Dawgs at ease after 13 runs in a span of three innings secured them their first win of the season 14-5 against the Brooks Bombers. The epic turnaround came from the support Dawgs Academy system as reliever Brendan Logan was credited with the win.
Logan pitched three innings allowing one hit and striking out two batters in the most vital inning of the game.
Despite Okotoks being down as much as 5-1 down in the fourth inning, the bullpen weathered the storm for the Dawgs’ bats to come alive in a monstrous way, led by Dawgs Academy affiliate Tristian Peters on offense. The Chandler Community College outfielder hit 5 for 6 as a standout performer with 2 RBI’s.
Peters was supported by Academy teammates Noah Geekie and Aydan Makarus as he three and the rest of the affiliates combined to the team’s comeback effort with a total of 6 RBI’s. Dawgs acting bench boss Joe Sergent commented on the contributions from the youngsters saying, “It just showed how we do in the academy and the way we build those players. Hats off to what they do during their high school career and to get a chance on the college team. The guys were not out of
place at all.” Early in the ball game, Brooks found a 2-0 lead on a base clearing double with runners on the corner from Josh McIntyre to open the scoring.
After a Dawgs fielder’s-choice at the top of the fourth inning cut the lead in half, the Bombers rattled the Okotoks mound, loading the bases and forcing Okotoks’ starter and Dawgs Academy alumni Nick Vickers and his relief Kaleb Huxford out of the game.
The Virginia Tech product pitched three strikeouts, three hits and surrendered two earned runs in three innings of work before getting pulled for Huxford who didn’t record an out. Huxford came into relief after Vickers pitched three innings and found himself in a tough situation, failing to throw a runner at third base on a bunt attempt early to load the bases with no outs. He walked in two consecutive runners before getting replaced by Logan looking to stop the bleeding.
With no outs, Logan walked in the third straight Bomber batter for their third run of the inning but managed to turn the game around with his clutch pitching and a momentum-changing play from the outfield. He took over the pace of the game, striking out a batter before forcing a double play flyout where Davis Todosichuk gunned out the sac fly attempt to save a run and end the miserable ending for the Dawgs
who trailed 5-1 after four innings. “Davis’ throw out was the motivation honestly. We were dead in the water and his play brought the
team to life.” Sergent said. Sergent claims this play saved the game as the Dawgs answered emphatically to take control of the game thanks to a six-run inning. “We wanted to stop the bleeding, that’s all we wanted to do. We knew
if we got out of that hole down 5-1, we had a chance,” he says.
Back-to-back doubles and a sac fly tied the ball game at 5-5 before Academy prospect Makarus skipped a ground ball past the third-baseman to give them the 6-5 lead.
Tyler Mondoux came into relief for Bomber starter Nick Garcia after five innings of work that included six hits, six earned runs, four walks and five strikeouts after facing 24 batters in his first outing. It was the Dawgs’ time to bury their opponent.
A seven-run onslaught in the seventh inning effectively put the game to rest as seven runs on eight hits with a string of consecutive hits crushed any spirits the Bombers had left led by an offensive outburst from Liam Rihela who contributed 3 RBI’s during the win. Brooks looks to bounce back against Edmonton tomorrow night while the Dawgs have the next day off and prepare for rival Edmonton to open a home-and-home series.