For the third day in a row, the Okotoks Dawgs faced off against the Lethbridge Bulls in WCBL action but the Dawgs redeemed their 3-1 loss of Sunday afternoon with an energetic 5-3 win Monday night.
The Dawgs improve to a 5-2 record against provincial adversary Lethbridge on the year. The two clubs face each other one more time on August 1st.
Lethbridge carried their momentum from their victory yesterday afternoon and opened the contest taking advantage of shaky Okotoks pitching and defence putting a two-spot on the board in the first inning.
Coming off his seven-inning complete-game shutout against the Melville Millionaires on July 21st, UBC hurler Jared Spearing saw an unsettled start to his outing against the Bulls.
The Bulls scored after a Dawgs error put runners in scoring position. A one-out base hit gave Lethbridge an early 2-0 lead.
From the shaky start on the bump, UBC hurler Spearing settled the game and went on a tear to end his outing at the end of the sixth inning – retiring 11 in a row heading into the sixth inning before getting out of a two-men on-base jam to end his outing.
Spearing exited the ballgame with six innings yielding a mere two runs on two hits while striking out three.
Meanwhile, on offence, Okotoks was shutout for the first three innings until an offensive explosion gave them their first lead of the ballgame.
All Dawgs three runs came with two outs during the bottom half of the fourth.
The turnaround was kickstarted by the University of Nebraska freshman Shay Schanaman who jolted an RBI double after the Lethbridge outfielder couldn’t handle the wired line-drive and saw the ball whizz past him to bring in two Okotoks runs.
On-deck batter Liam Rihela continued with more clutch hitting. The Thompson Rivers second baseman swung on the first pitch and sent an RBI single between 4-3 hole to lift the Dawgs into their first lead of the game.
Lethbridge did not register a base-hit until the tied the contest in the top of the eighth after the Dawgs loaded the bases. The Bulls’ third hit of the game evened the match at 3-3.
Incredibly, the Academy of Art relief pitcher Galen Manhard got the Dawgs out of a bases-loaded jam after inheriting a zero out a situation and only allowed one run. He left the contest as the winning pitcher.
With the epic shift of momentum, Oregon State prospect Jacob Melton belted a game-winning two-run bomb in the bottom of the eighth inning as his third jack of the season helped the Dawgs retake the lead.
Manhard tossed a 1-2-3 inning to secure the Dawgs the win over the Bulls.
The Dawgs host the Brooks Bombers for their season-series finale tomorrow night in Seaman Stadium with the first pitch set for 7:05 p.m.