MEDICINE HAT, AB — Quality defense wasn’t enough for the Medicine Hat Mavericks to overcome the Western Division’s best team.
Jaxon Valcke went three-for-four at the plate with one run, helping the Okotoks Dawgs edge the Mavericks 4-3 at Athletic Park on Wednesday night.
The Mavericks fall to 6-12 on the campaign, having dropped eight straight, and are 7.5 games behind the Dawgs. Okotoks has now won three straight and dawn a 13-4 record.
Despite the end result, defense shined for the Mavericks through the game. The boys ended innings on double plays in the third, sixth and seventh, and stranded seven runners in total.
Coming off a tough outing against Lethbridge the night before, the energy was also high in the dugout. Following the game, head coach Tom Vessella praised his team’s ability to compete against the West’s top team, despite the final result on the scoreboard.
The Dawgs opened the scoring in the second with a sac-fly from Riley Bausch to score Valcke’s lone run. They added a pair more in the third, beginning with a lead-off homer from Tristan Peters, and followed by an RBI-single from Brett Esau.
Trailing 3-0 in the fourth, Medicine Hat threw a couple on the board thanks to Austin Sojka’s RBI-double, and an RBI-single from Colton Wright with two out. Nolan Rattai was also a driving force for the Mavericks offense, going two-for-four with one run.
Mavericks starter Brandon Ponticelli pitched a respectful 7.0 innings, allowing seven hits and four earned runs with a couple strikeouts. The Dawgs fourth run of the game came after Ponticelli’s pitch struck Shay Shanaman with the bases loaded.
Medicine Hat missed a glorious chance to potentially take the lead in the eighth inning. With no out and bases loaded, Sal Rodriguez batted in Freddy Walker, but the Dawgs completed a double-play to ice down any threat of a home-team comeback. Brendan Logan, who relieved Dawgs starter Justin Hammergren to open the eighth, was replaced by Andrew Yates following this play.
For the complete box-score, click here.
Medicine Hat continues its stretch of nine games in nine nights on Thursday, heading to Lethbridge to face the Bulls.
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