Okotoks, AB- The contest between the first-placed Okotoks Dawgs and rival Edmonton Prospects
seemed like a close shot-for-shot game until the bats came alive for the potent Dawgs offence that
closed out an 11-6 decision Thursday night.
Mesa Community College ace Nolan Ruff picked up his third win in as many starts, dominating the
Prospects (10-10) through seven innings, giving up a mere three hits on three runs while fanning 10 on
Okotoks (14-4) geared up their offence from the get-go, with an early 4-0 leading after the first two
A pass-ball followed by an RBI double from UBC product Jaxon Valcke opened the scoring for the
Bellevue University infielder Kory Longaker racked up a team-high three RBIs on the night, tallying two
in the second inning from an RBI single.
Ruff struck out his first six batters to start the game up until his only mistake in the top of the third when
he surrendered a three-run home run but shook his mistake off and continued to dominate up until
getting pulled in the seventh.
“It was a mistake on one pitch that I knew I shouldn’t have made. I didn’t want to hang my head down
on one hit and continued to play the way I did leading into my only mistake of the game,” Ruff says
after the game. He now has a team-leading 24 strikeouts.
With a 4-3 lead, the Dawgs answered back with six consecutive runs including RBIs from Longaker,
Tristan Peters (4-5 on the night with three stolen bases), a two-run RBI double from Bellevue catcher
Jordan Mambaje before Thompson Rivers’ Liam Rihela launched his second home run in as many
games with his two-run shot.
Head coach Mitch Schmidt credits his squad on the outburst that closed the game out.
“We call the 7 th , 8 th and 9 th inning the ‘money innings’ because those are the innings that help us solidify
our wins and the guys knew that,” he says.
Edmonton pulled three runs during the top of the eighth inning but an 11 th and final run on a pass-ball
padded the Dawgs’ lead was enough to secure the 14 th Okotoks win of the season.
The Dawgs head south for the first of a three-game set against the second-place Lethbridge Bulls
before heading home for the final two games back at Seaman Stadium on June 22 nd and 23 rd