The Dawgs did it.
For the first time since 2014, the Okotoks Dawgs move onto the second round of the Western Canadian Baseball League after thrashing Edmonton Prospects 5-0 in the deciding game-three of the divisional semi-final.
All this was thanks to the effort from Lewis-Clarke senior Tanner Simpson who tossed a brilliant complete-game shutout during the close-out game when the Dawgs needed the pitching the most – after a heroic 143 pitch count through a 10 inning performance from the Edmonton ace the night prior took care of the Dawgs offence.
Simpson, who has elite college playoff experience, taking part in the NAIA World Series this past spring, was lights out in the deciding game three – going the distance in dominating fashion as he surrendered a mere six hits and striking out 11 batters.
Simpson’s heroic performance was backed by the Okotoks guns on offence.
The Dawgs took advantage of a Prospects error that put two Okotoks runners in scoring position in the second inning – setting up a fielders-choice from game-one hero and 18-year-old Dawgs Academy shortstop Richardo Sanchez.
Okotoks doubles their lead the following inning after another Edmonton error set up a scoring opportunity.
While Okanagan College senior Davis Todosichuk swiped second base following a one out single, Edmonton catcher Jake Gehri overthrew the throw-out attempt into the outfield which advanced the Dawgs speedster to third base.
Oregon State prospect Jacob Melton flew out for the second out but drove Todosichuk in to give the home crowd Dawgs a 2-0 three innings in.
The hometown Dawgs flipped the switch and eliminated the hopes of another Prospects comeback after hanging a three-run sixth inning.
Okotoks poured on five hits during the sixth – four consecutive to open the inning during their onslaught on offence.
The Dawgs began to press heavy in the sixth after UBC infielder Jaxon Valcke lead off with a double.
Linn-Benton transfer and catcher Gavin Logan, drove in UBC’s Valcke with an RBI single for the third straight Okotoks run of the contest.
A third straight Okotoks base hit in the inning came from Indiana State product Dans Tofteland that set up an RBI single from Texas State slugger Will Hollis to push the score line at 4-0.
After back-to-back Okotoks outs, WCBL regular batting average king Tristan Peters put the game out of reach with a two-out two-run RBI single to put the game out of reach with a 6-0 score by the end of the sixth inning.
Simpson continued to dominate the Prospects to finish off the excellent game he started.
The Dawgs begin round two tomorrow night at home against the Lethbridge Bulls, first pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.