Dawgs Avenge Playoff Upset to Prospects
By Len Nunes
How does one put a positive spin on a 11-4 loss in game two of the regular season? Aside from the obvious reminder that it is just one game, let us put some history behind the Friday night loss.
The visiting Okotoks Dawgs finished last season with the best record (35-13) in the league. The theory behind being the top seed heading into the playoffs is that you will at least advance out of the first round. The Edmonton Prospects were the Dawgs first round opponent and lost the first game of a best-of-five series by six runs. If you, like many, closed the books on the Prospects at that point, you were proven wrong. The Prospects would win games two and four by 1-run and a Tony Olson RBI double in the top of the 7th in Game 5 would seal the premature fate for the Dawgs. If there was a time to use the “revenge” storyline to explain away a big loss, ladies and gentleman, we just experienced it.
Prospects starting pitcher Connor Burns was solid. Burns retired his first 11 batters, six (6!) of them via the strikeout. The Dawgs plated a run in the top of the 3rd and put the leadoff runner on board in the 4th but Burns was able to induce a 1-out doubleplay to snuff out further damage. That was when Head Coach Ray Brown shook the young man’s hand and told him to take the rest of the night off. Then things got shaky.
The top of the 5th inning took 27 minutes to play as the Dawgs sent 12 batters to the dish and plated eight runs to lead 9-0 after the top half of the fifth.
The Prospects hit the board in the bottom of the 6th with the always popular RBI groundout. Aidan Huggins would force the Dawgs second baseman closer to the line making his only option the play at first which allowed Mike Ozga to erase that ugly zero off the scoreboard.
Thursday's "Player of The Game" Tony Olson came in to pitch the top of the 7th. Olson allowed two more Dawgs runs ballooning the score to 11-1 for the visitors. In the bottom of the 7th, the Prospects showed some fight!
With AJ Nitzschke and Percy Liu on-board with walks, Daylen Calicdan collected his first RBI of the season with a single to right field. Two batters later, Anthony Cusati would collect his first two RBI of the season with a double to left field. That would make the score 11-4 and that would be our final score.
Not to be lost in the 7-run loss is the debut of Prospects pitcher Rich Walker. Walker pitched the final two innings of the game without allowing a baserunner.
Are wondering why we have not seen last year's "first team all-star" and "dual threat" (he hit .339 while striking out 50 batters) Erik Sabrowski? Here's your answer as per Ian Wilson of albertadugoutstories.com: “Sabrowski is awaiting results of MLB draft June 4-6 before potentially joining the team. Several MLB teams have shown interest.”
EDMONTON PROSPECTS PLAYER OF THE GAME: The nod tonight goes to the Prospects starting pitcher Connor Burns. Allowing only one run on four hits in his four innings of work is a good start. Add in that Burns struck out six while not issuing a walk, now it's a quality (albeit short) start.
Sunday June 3: Minor Baseball Day! Okotoks Dawgs at 2:05PM
Then after a couple road games, there are a couple of really big theme nights.
Friday June 8: Blue Jays Day (autographed Blue Jays memorabilia for in-game auction) Fort Mac Giants 7:05PM
Saturday June 9: Crown Jewel, pregame community Open House! Fort Mac Giants 7:05PM