The question to the balance of power in the WCBL appears to be answered by the Okotoks Dawgs who picked up their second straight win against the Eastern Division leader Weyburn Beavers with an 8-4 victory Tuesday night.
Lewis-Clarke right-hander Justin Hammergren finally got a scheduled start in front of the Seaman Stadium crowd, starting at home for the first time this season in his fourth start.
The Tucson, AZ., senior pitched six innings, including an early no-hit bid getting snapped in the fifth inning, giving up only two runs and surrendering a mere three hits on his way to his third win of the season.
Hammergren also pitched effectively in his outing, forcing two inning-ending double-plays and three total during his six innings of work.
An early defensive battle took place that kept the bats on both sides silent.
Hammergren did not give up a hit until the fifth inning while the Dawgs took four innings to find the scoreboard.
Catcher Gavin Logan was singlehandedly responsible for the three-run bottom of the fourth inning that broke an early pitcher’s duel.
After two Dawgs got on base, Logan split the gap with a deep two-run RBI double that broke the deadlock.
He eventually moved to third base during the inning and cleverly crossed home-plate as teammate and Thompson Rivers second baseman Liam Rihela safely swiped second base
With the score sitting at 3-0 during the fifth, a long single ripped into the warning-track by UBC infielder Jaxon Valcke moved runner Richard Mascarenas across the dish while the overthrown ball allowed Valcke to advance safely to second base.
Valcke sits behind teammate Tristan Peters in the WCBL batting average lead.
A late-game push saw the Beavers outscore Okotoks 4-3 in the final four innings but the Dawgs offence already did its damage.
East Division-leading Weyburn found a pulse in their offence, putting a two-run sixth inning in Hammergren’s final showing of the game, pushing the game to a 4-2 score.
The Dawgs answered with a two-run bottom half from the backs of the WCBL batting average leader and Chandler-Gilbert product Peters who’s double tallied his team-leading 27th RBI before Oregon-State commit Mascarenas drove in the sixth run on a fielders-choice.
A sac-fly from Rihela pushed the score to 7-2 before Weyburn threatened heavily by loading the bases in the eighth inning but only scored one run despite seeing their final at-bats have the bases loaded.
The Dawgs drove in the final run from Valcke in their final inning of offence before Weyburn added one more run on the board to halt offence at 8-4 for the second straight night.
The series finale of the WCBL’s best concludes Wednesday night with the opening pitch set for 7:05 p.m.