Loss To Dawgs Ends Prospects Season

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Loss To Dawgs Ends Prospects Season
By John Short

The Okotoks Dawgs have defended their role as leaders of the Western Division of the Western Canadian Baseball League.

To do so, they defeated the Edmonton Prospects 5-0, thanks to top pitching from Tanner Simpson, solid defensive play and the reliable offensive force that made them runaway champions of the regular season.

Simpson struck out four of the first six Edmonton batters while his teammates scored a pair of unearned runs in the first three innings. From that point the Dawgs never looked back. Their next step is to win the Alberta section’s final best-of-three series and then to face survivors of the Eastern Division with the 2019 league title on the line.

The loss was disappointing for the Prospects, who staged a fervent three-run rally in the 10th inning on Friday to even their series at 1-1 and, at least, fulfill a major ambition of every proud team: they won their final game of the season at RE/MAX Field.

Dane Tofteland’s second-inning single against Edmonton starter Trever Berg led to the opening run. A following Will Hollis single and an outfield error moved the runners to second and third base. Tofteland scored on an infield out.

In the next inning, Davis Todosichuk singled and stole second, then moved to third on an errant throw by catcher Jake Gehri. A sacrifice fly by Jacob Melton pushed Todosichuk across the plate.

Okotoks collected three more runs – more than enough to clinch the victory and the series – in the sixth inning on doubles by Jaxon Valcke and Gavin Logan, along with singles by Tofteland and Tristan Peters.

Berg left the mound with two out in that frame. Two relievers kept Okotoks scoreless the rest of the way.

Simpson went the distance for Okotoks, scattering six hits and striking out 11. Beaux Guilbeau and Jake MacDonald earned two of the Prospects safeties. Among Edmonton’s starters, only Travis Hunt avoided being fanned.