The Red Sox got Dawg’d.
The Okotoks Dawgs showed no signs of fatigue fresh off an eight-hour bus ride that left Seaman Stadium at 8 a.m. Thursday morning – as the Western Division champions put on a show while on the road inside Currie Field, pounding the Regina Red Sox 7-2 in game-one of the Western Canadian Baseball Leauge.
A second Dawgs pitcher went the distance during the Okotoks 2019 playoff run as Regis Ranger prospect Nolan Ruff tossed a complete-game effort – surrendering two runs on seven hits while striking out five in a dominating 126-pitch effort.
Okotoks however, drew first blood and opened the scoring in the championship series on an RBI single from catcher Gavin Logan in the first inning.
The Dawgs picked up the offence after a scoreless second and went on to hang a three-spot in the third inning to take an early 4-0.
Linn-Benton signee Logan drove in the second Okotoks run and the first of three Dawgs runs in the third inning – slapping a chopper with men on the corners to double the lead with no outs.
A chopper from Indiana State product Dane Tofteland drove in a run courtesy of a fielders-choice, setting up Texas State DH Will Hollis who smoked a long two-out RBI double of the right-centre wall to conclude the early run on offence.
The Red Sox responded in the bottom half.
Regina managed to load the bases on Dawgs starter Ruff with no outs.
The future Regis Ranger forced two quick outs but an infield error allowed for the first Red Sox run to cross the dish while keeping the bases loaded.
Ruff got his Dawgs out of the jam after loading the count with two outs and keep the scoreline in favour of Okotoks 4-1 through three.
The Okotoks bats were silent for the next four innings but the dominance of Ruff kept the Red Sox an arms-reach away.
Ruff methodically broke down the Red Sox, retiring nine Regina batters in order from the fifth inning to the seventh.
The Dawgs eventually snapped out of their lull on offence and posted their second three-run inning of the contest – providing insurance for hurler Ruff in the eighth inning.
A J.T Patterson bunt delivery fooled a Red Sox infield who overthrew the sacrifice attempt into the outfield, allowing the two runners on base to come and score while the Bellevue infielder reached third base on the error.
Chandler-Gilbert product Tristan Peters capped off the inning with his second RBI single of the night to conclude the rout.
Both teams travel back to southern Alberta for game-two of the championship round with the first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. at Seaman Stadium.