MEDICINE HAT, AB – It was a reversal of fortune for the Medicine Hat Mavericks (19-17) on Sunday afternoon, as they ended a four-game losing streak against their rivals in the Okotoks Dawgs (24-11).
The Mavericks jumped ahead by a 2-0 score in the first inning, thanks to a double from Chris Caffrey to give something for the hometown fans to cheer about early.
Okotoks followed that up in the second inning with two singles and a fly out, bringing home three runs to give the Dawgs a 3-2 lead.
With the score 4-2 for Okotoks in the third, the Mavericks’ offence broke out with the team going through the entire lineup and scoring nine runs to put themselves into a comfortable 11-4 lead entering the fourth.
The Dawgs responded with three more runs in the fourth to close the gap to 11-7, and score three more in the sixth to come within one run of Medicine Hat.
Unfazed by their lead almost slipping away, the Mavericks rallied in the sixth with an RBI single from Frank Podkul and home runs from Colton Wright and Jackson Freed to give the home side a 16-10 advantage.
Caffrey joined in with a solo home run in the eighth inning, for his fourth RBI of Sunday’s contest. Freed would later double and score Rock Jordan from third to give the Mavericks a huge 18-10 win.
Although he’s been a closer for most of the season, Barry Caine registered the victory for Medicine Hat going four and one-third innings with five strikeouts and seven runs given up.
Caffrey was a perfect 4-4 at the plate with three runs scored and four RBIs, while former Dawg Blake Rowlett was 3-4 with a pair of runs batted in.
Rowlett said he’s had a lot of support this year in getting on base and providing offensively for the Mavericks.
“We’ve had great coaches and other players working with me, really just helping to fine tune my game,” said Rowlett. “All year, I’ve really just been working on getting on base for the guy behind me. Because, the name of this game is to score runs, and I’m just trying to put the barrel on the ball as much as I can. Luckily, I’ve been able to see the ball pretty well.”
It was consistent pressure at the plate for the Mavericks, outhitting the Dawgs 18-13 on Sunday while facing the six pitchers Okotoks used.
Head coach Michael Thompson said it was the team getting timely hits that was the difference.
“We had just as many hits as them [Saturday] night, and just weren’t able to capitalize on some of our opportunities that we had,” said Thompson. “[Sunday] it was the total opposite, every single opportunity we had today I think we cashed in.”
With the win Medicine Hat once again sits alone for third place in the Western Division, and sit 5.5 games back of the Dawgs for first place.
Ten games in nine straight nights continues on Monday for the Mavericks, as they play a make up game against the Brooks Bombers following a postponed match from last week.
First pitch from Elks Stadium in Brooks on Monday is set for 7:05 pm.
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