The Okotoks Dawgs 18U Black recently went down to Indianapolis, Indiana to participate in a 28 team 18U National Wood Bat Tournament featuring teams from across North America and played at Butler University. The Dawgs were one of three teams from Canada in the tournament, the other two being the Brampton Royals (1-3) and North Toronto Athletics (0-4), other participating teams came mostly from the mid-west including teams from Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, and Washington.
In game one of the tournament, the Dawgs pitchers were almost perfect and combined on a no-hitter, as they defeated Baseball Academics Midwest Hart (Indianapolis, IN) 8-0 on Friday.
Dawgs offense secured the victory thanks to six runs in the second inning. Leading the way in the big inning were Noah Geekie, Tucker Zdunich, and Alejandro Cazorla, all with singles, an error on a ball put in play by Ayden Makarus, followed by a run scoring double by Ricardo Sanchez.
Jordan Lussier got the win, pitching three innings, allowing zero runs on zero hits, striking out seven and walking none. Jackson Fraser also threw two innings in relief out of the bullpen, surrendering zero runs on zero hits while striking out two.
The second game of the tournament was the only blimp on the radar for the Dawgs, losing 4-1 to the Indiana Eagles, despite out-hitting them eight to seven.
Bryce Libke took the loss allowing three hits and two runs over four and a third innings while striking out four. Ryan Olchoway pitched two and two thirds innings, giving up 2 runs while striking out 5. Tristan Peters and Tucker Zdunich each managed multiple hits on the day.
In the third and final game of pool play, the Dawgs punished the Cincinnati Royals in a 14-0 victory in just four innings of play.
The offensive firepower by the Dawgs was led by Noah Geekie, Brendan Logan, Gavin Logan, Alejandro Cazorla, and Tucker Zdunich, all of whom contributed RBIs. Geekie led with two hits in two at bats. On the bases, the Dawgs ran a marathon, stealing seven bases during the game, Noah Geekie again leading the way with two bags.
Graham Brunner led the Dawgs to victory on the hill. With the playoff round coming, he was limited to one and one-third innings, but made the most of it allowing zero hits and zero runs while striking out two and walking none. Brendan Woods, Ethan Francis, and Michael Johnson all put in strong performances out of the bullpen, propelling the Dawgs to the victory.
With the win, the Dawgs won their pool and earned the #5 seed in the championship bracket.
The quarterfinals matched Dawgs against the Washington Baseball Club (Washington State) (#4 seed)
The Dawgs jumped out front early, thanks to six runs in the first inning. The offensive onslaught was led by Ayden Makarus, Brendan Logan, Gavin Logan, and Jayden Wakeham, all of whom drove in runs and helped the Dawgs cruise to a 9-0 victory.
Lefty Matt Wilkinson got the win pitching four shutout innings, allowing just two hits while striking out five. Branden Woods threw one inning in relief out of the bullpen to finish the game. Noah Geekie, Brendan Logan, Alejandro Cazorla, Dryden Howse, Tristan Peters, Gavin Logan, and Jayden Wakeham all had one hit in the game.
The semifinals took place at Butler University at 1:30 pm against the #1 seed of the tournament, Blueprint Baseball, out of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
The Dawgs nabbed the lead late in the game in a 5-4 victory over Blueprint Baseball.
Noah Geekie led the Dawgs to victory on the pitcher’s mound out of the bullpen. The Manitoba left-hander was outstanding over a high leverage one and two-thirds innings, allowing two hits and one run while striking out four and walking one. Jordan Lussier and Michael Johnson entered the game out of the bullpen and helped to close out the game in relief. Lussier recorded the last two outs to earn the save. Graham Brunner started the game pitching four innings while allowing three runs on four hits while striking out four.
Heading into the championship game, the Dawgs were playing their best baseball of the tournament and having dispatched the #1 seed were ready to take on the #2 seed, Rawlings Elite Baseball Club out of Lexington, Kentucky.
After a back and forth battle, the Dawgs walked-off on a wild pitch to defeat the Rawlings Elite Baseball Club Black and capture the Butler University 18U Wood Bat National Championship title.
Ethan Francis took the win out of the bullpen and surrendering one run on zero hits over two innings, striking out four and walking one. Jackson Fraser threw one plus inning of relief out of the bullpen, allowing one run on two hits while striking out two. Brendan Logan started the game and surrendered three runs on four hits over four innings, striking out four.
The Dawgs tallied 11 hits on the day. Jordan Lussier, Gavin Logan, and Noah Geekie each racked up multiple hits with Lussier collecting three hits in four at bats. The Dawgs also stole seven bases during the game, Ayden Makarus led the way with two.
Overall for the tournament, the Dawgs were dominant outscoring opponents 40-14 on the weekend. It was a complete team effort with every player on the roster making important contributions to the championship run.
Some standout performances included:
Noah Geekie: 9 for 17 including 4 RBI and 2 stolen bases/ 1.2 IP while allowing 1 run on 2 hits and striking out 4
Tucker Zdunich: 8 for 15 including 3 RBI, 1 stolen base and 1 triple
Alejandro Cazorla: 4 for 12 including 5 RBI, 2 stolen bases and a triple
Gavin Logan: 5 for 15 including 5 RBI and 2 stolen bases
Jordan Lussier: 5 for 11 with 2 doubles and 2 stolen bases/ 3.2 IP while allowing 0 runs on 0 hits and striking out 8
Graham Brunner: 5.1 IP while allowing 2 earned runs on 4 hits and punching out 6 batters
Ethan Francis: 3 IP while allowing 0 runs on 2 hits and striking out 5
Brendan Logan: 4 IP allowing 1 earned run on 4 hits while striking out 4
Congratulations to the Dawgs 18U Black on a great weekend of baseball in bringing home 18U National Wood Bat Championship at Butler University in Indianapolis