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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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7th Inning Stretch: Conor Pote

Tournament 12 (T12) – a national showcase tournament featuring some of Canada’s best baseball prospects – is fast approaching and the annual event once again includes a number of players from Alberta. 

We are bringing back our popular 7th Inning Stretch series – which poses seven questions to our profile subjects – to spotlight some of the Alberta athletes who are taking part in T12 this year.

We get started with 15-year-old pitcher Conor Pote, who is a student of the Dawgs Academy program in Okotoks.

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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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Extra Innings

It all started as a promise to his father.

In 1991, Dr. Brent Saik told his father he would do his best to “keep kids out of the places he was going to” in his fight against cancer.

His mission became to raise awareness and funds for research through sport and he has succeeded with the World’s Longest Hockey and Baseball Games.

The latter was recently held in Sherwood Park, with $460,000 being raised.

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For Love of the Game

The Lawsons are a baseball family.

It is those two components – baseball and family – that meant the most to Jim Lawson.

During his 52 years of life, Jim not only cultivated his own love of baseball in his children, he inspired a lasting fondness for the game in those who took the field with him.

Since passing away on Aug. 8th, following a bout with brain cancer, the founder of the Pro Baseball Force (PBF) Redbirds program leaves this world with a pioneering legacy that extends across Canada and all the way up to the Major League Baseball (MLB) level.

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