After pulling off a brave four-run ninth-inning rally to avoid a historic upset from the Western Canadian Baseball Leauge basement-dwelling Yorkton Cardinals, the league-leading Okotoks Dawgs took care of business Wednesday night and completed the sweep of the Cards with a 13-1 rout.
With the Edmonton Prospects loss tonight, the Dawgs secure a playoff berth for the 16th consecutive year since joining the WMBL/WCBL that many seasons ago.
The Dawgs also formulated their sixth sweep of the season while finishing a perfect 6-0 record during their Saskatchewan road swing after dusting aside Melville and Yorkton, also picking up their seventh consecutive win overall.
Virginia Tech hurler and Dawgs Academy alumni Nick Vickers threw six innings of no-hit baseball during his dominating seventh start of the season.
The Calgary, Alta. native did not see the seventh inning despite not giving up a hit in the contest due to pitch count restrictions but still accomplished to strike out eight batters during his outing to improve his record to 4-1 on the year.
Yorkton did manage to get their first base-hit of the game during the seventh and broke the shutout bid in the eighth inning.
Okotoks (34-10) opened the scoring with a four-run opening inning in peculiar fashion as the Dawgs scored all of their runs without registering a hit thanks to three Cardinal errors.
The Dawgs hit for a cycle as a unit during a four-run second inning.
Tiffin University catcher Noah Penney connected on a breaking-ball to crush a solo home run up left-centre-field to register the first Okotoks hit on the board to open the inning.
A triple set up Okonogan College senior Davis Todosichuk to bring in a run before University of Nebraska shortstop Shay Schanaman did the same.
Meadow Lake, Sask. native and University of Houston product Brett Esau drilled an RBI double to complete the team’s cycle and the run on offence.
After two scoreless innings, outfielder Todosichuk ripped an RBI double in the fifth to push the score to 9-0.
The Dawgs added two more runs in the seventh inning to reach the double-digit mark for the tenth time this season on a sac-fly from Bellevue University first baseman Riley Baasch and an RBI single from Husker product Schanamn for the tenth and eleventh runs of the game.
UBC’s Jaxon Valcke earned a bases-loaded walk in the top of the eighth before Dawgs Academy graduate Penney singled in the final Okotoks run of the game.
The Dawgs will spend their off-day travelling back to Seaman Stadium in preparation for their final meeting of the season against rival Edmonton Prospects Friday, July 26th with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m.