Senior Pitch Counts

That back-to-school feeling can hit some people harder than others. 

Classroom seating smacks several students with instant nostalgia, inspired by summer memories that fade faster than a farmer’s tan. 

Pitchers who have completed their senior season of baseball, and chased that with a final tour on the Western Canadian Baseball League (WCBL) circuit, suffer from phantom pain. They’re back at college or university to complete their education, but the baseball – at least the competitive version of it that they’re used to – has been amputated. 

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7th Inning Stretch: Matt Wilkinson

He was a star at the Little League World Series several years ago and an effective pitcher as one of the youngest players in the Western Canadian Baseball League (WCBL) this summer.

So, it’s not surprising that Matt Wilkinson has been selected to take part in the Tournament 12 (T12) annual showcase tournament, which is taking place at Rogers Centre in Toronto from Sept. 17-21.

We caught up with the Dawgs Academy pupil and asked him seven questions as part of our 7th Inning Stretch series.

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Let the Big Dawg Eat

“You win it.”

Visitors to Seaman Stadium may have become familiar with this phrase over the last two summers. Those seated close enough to the home dugout could hear Mitch Schmidt, the head coach of the Okotoks Dawgs, bark this motto to his charges dozens of times each game.

The spirited slogan was often used as encouragement to achieve a seemingly small task – you win an at bat, you win by stealing a bag on the base paths, you win by getting a bunt down, you win by inducing a ground ball, you win by punching through a third strike, you win by making a routine defensive play in the field.

After piling up all those little victories over the course of the 2019 Western Canadian Baseball League (WCBL) season, the Dawgs claimed the Harry Hallis Memorial Trophy with an 8-6 victory over the Regina Red Sox on Aug. 16th and will enter next year as the defending champions.

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7th Inning Stretch: Owen Steele

He was the Man of Steel on the cellar-dwelling Yorkton Cardinals last year, but now he’s one of several masters on the mound in Medicine Hat.

With the Cardinals in 2018, Owen Steele had a minuscule 1.46 earned run average (ERA) and 46 strikeouts through 49 innings of work for the 14-33 Eastern Division squad.

Since joining the defending Western Canadian Baseball League (WCBL) champion Mavericks this summer, the Calgarian has a perfect 6-0 record, 49 Ks and a 4.37 ERA in 59.2 frames. 

He’s been a reliable presence in Medicine Hat’s starting rotation and we caught up with the 5-foot-10 hurler to spotlight him in our 7th Inning Stretch series.

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7th Inning Stretch: Davis Todosichuk

The Okotoks Dawgs have put together another powerhouse regular season in 2019, thanks in no small part to Davis Todosichuk. 

In 43 games and 140 at bats for the Dawgs, the Kelowna native has a robust .343 batting average, 17 RBI and 39 runs. The centre fielder also leads the team in stolen bases, with 18.

We had a quick conversation with Todosichuk as part of our 7th Inning Stretch series.

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