For the second time this season, the Okotoks Dawgs squared up for a heavyweight title against an Eastern Division powerhouse but start on a bitter note – dropping the series opener against Eastern Division powerhouse Swift Current 57s in their first meeting of the season 4-3.
For the first time this season, the Dawgs drop back-to-back games at home.
The 57s improve their win streak to seven while the Dawgs drop their third game at home this season.
A late-game three-run ninth inning rally from the 57s lifted them to the shock victory as Swift Current did not score a run from the first inning on.
Lewis-Clarke senior Tanner Simpson took on the bump for the all-important first game and dealt during his sixth start despite running into trouble early on.
After allowing seven hits inside the first four innings including a run in the first, Simpson went on dominating tear from the mound.
The Lewis-Clarke senior retired 12 of his last 13 batters and exited the game with seven innings pitched, giving up eight hits while fanning five during the no-contest.
The 57s opened the contest in the first after starting the game with back-to-back base hits. A third Swift Current base-knock gave the visitors an early 1-0 lead.
Okotoks scored in the bottom half off of a wild pitch that tied the contest.
The Dawgs went on to tally two runs in the second as a run was brought in by Barton Community College product Noah Geekie who ground out into a double-play with the bases juiced but cashed a run in the process.
WCBL batting average leader and Chandler-Gilbert product Tristan Peters drilled an RBI single later in the inning to give the Dawgs an early 3-1 lead.
From the second on, neither team could figure out one another. The Dawgs had four 1-2-3 innings on offence and also had a slump of 12 in a row who did not make it on base.
Meanwhile, the 57s grounded into two double plays while being kept at bay by Okotoks starter Simpson.
He threw shutdown baseball from the fourth inning on as the senior retired 11 consecutive batters until his streak ended in the seventh.
After relief pitcher Andrew Yates threw a shutout inning in the eighth, the 57s finally solved the Okotoks pitching.
Mesa Junior College closer Dustin Schorie blew his first save opportunity on an unlucky break for the Dawgs.
The Okotoks closer loaded the bases and nearly got out of the jam with two outs but a hopper slapped by 57s pinch-hitter Jack Large went through the wickets of Dawgs Academy 18U Black shortstop Richardo Sanchez and into the outfield allowing for the bases to clear.
Okotoks could not muster a comeback and fell short in the series opener.