It was do-or-die for the second time – as the Okotoks Dawgs went the distance in a best-of-three series for the second time during the 2019 Western Canadian Baseball Leauge playoffs.
For the first since 2011, the Okotoks Dawgs advance to the WCBL championship series after shutting the door against the Lethbridge Bulls in game-three of the Western Divison final with a 4-3 final score.
Unlike the night previous, the Dawgs took advantage of getting men in opportune positions and capitalized by opening the scoring in the opening inning.
Okotoks lead the game off with a double before a walk put two on base for Oregon State prospect Jacob Melton who singled in the first run of the contest.
The Dawgs continued to hound the Bulls after posting a two-run third inning thanks to clutch base-hitting.
Indiana State product Dane Tofteland faced two strikes with two out on the board but managed to belt a high double off the wall to double the lead with a man on base.
Texas State DH Will Hollis followed up with an RBI single that drove in Tofteland to give the Dawgs an early 3-0 lead.
The Bulls however, would not go down without a fight knowing game-three can not only upset the Best of the West but also move them into the final round.
Lethbridge pulled a run back in the fourth inning to break the early shutout bid of Dawgs starter Brandon Desjardins.
The Bellevue University hurler served his role this season with Okotoks primarily as a relief pitcher while also coming in during close-out situations. During the NAIA season, he was assigned as a starter but an injury transitioned him into the bullpen.The Calgary, Alta native lasted five innings during his fourth appearance in the playoffs,already holding a 2-1 record – allowing three runs on three hits while fanning four.Lethbridge trimmed the lead to 3-1 after a double cashed in a runner on first base during the top of the fourth.The Bulls posted a two-spot of their own the following inning to tie the ballgame.
A one-out RBI triple bridged the gap at 3-2 before a fielders-choice tied the ball game in the fifth inning.
Desjardins’ impressive outing was called after he got out of the inning.
Lewis-Clarke senior Justin Hammergren pitched a marvellous four-shutout inning performance in relief of his teammate to give the Dawgs the chances the West Division representatives needed to close the series off.
The Dawgs broke the deadlock on the swing of Chandler-Gilbert product Tristan Peters who’s game-winning RBI with two outs on the board, cashed in one of two runners on the corners.
Hammergren got the green light to keep on dusting aside the Bulls’ efforts and did so, going nearly perfect after taking over in the sixth, allowing two hits and striking out seven.. He retired his final six batters in order, picking up the win during the decision.
The Dawgs will face the Regina Red Sox to decide the WCBL Championship!!
- Game 1 – Aug. 15, 7:05 p.m. Currie Field, Regina
- Game 2 – Aug. 16, 7:05 p.m. Seaman Stadium, Okotoks
- Game 3 – Aug. 17, 7:05 p.m. Currie Field, Regina