11 pitching changes and nearly a four-hour ball game saw the Okotoks Dawgs drop their 10th game of the season and just their second game in front of their Seaman Stadium faithfull after falling 11-8 to the Medicine Hat Mavericks on Wednesday night.
The loss also marks just the fifth time Okotoks yielded more than 10 runs in a ballgame, four resulting in losses after tonight. Okotoks did not help its cause, loading the bases three times inside the game’s first five innings.
Medicine Hat continued their trend of harassing the Dawgs pitching core, after scoring all four of their runs on two-out plays last night, scoring five of their 11 runs with two outs in game-two.
The match began in a shootout – both squads answered one another’s calls in a shot-for-shot tilt to open the contest.
After the Mavs opened the game with a run, the Dawgs responded in the bottom half after Okonogan College senior Davis Todosichuk chopped a slow-roller down the third-base line that was overthrown and allowed for a runner from first to cross home plate.
After Medicine Hat had a 3-1 lead, Okotoks tied the contest for a second time on a back-to-back sacrifice-plays from Thompson Rivers second baseman Liam Rihela and WCBL batting leader Tristan Peters in the second inning.
The Mavs continued their run on offence and followed up with a four-run third inning that forced Dawgs losing starter Nick Vickers out of the game after loading the bases for the second straight inning while allowing a run.
Colby Community College pitcher Tyler McWillie came in for relief in a 4-3 game but gave up three more runs before getting out of the ordeal.
Later on, Mavericks relief pitcher Hunter Cooper got drilled on a come-backer and forced his outing to be cut short during the fourth inning allowing former Dawgs pitcher Bryce Libke to enter the game.
He stepped onto the mound and surrendered three runs in the fourth against his former squad as Todosichuk singled a run before Bellevue infielder Riley Baasch tallied two for Okotoks to bridge the gap to just one run with a 7-6 score.
During the fifth, however, the Mavs scored their eighth run on the Dawgs’ third error before notching another two runs with the bases load and two outs to push the lead to 10-6.
Medicine Hat totalled one more run during the contest in the sixth to distance themselves from the league-leaders.
Up 11-6, Okotoks pressed late and heavy by wearing out the Mavericks bullpen, eventually scoring two runs in the bottom of the eighth on Baasch’s third RBI while pinch hitter Noah Penney earned a bases-loaded walk.
Former Okotoks Dawgs pitcher Austin Oulds stepped onto the mound in the ninth and almost blew the save when he loaded the bases but got out of the jam to secure the win for the Mavs.
The series-finale shifts to Medicine Hat with the first pitch set for 7:05 p.m.