Coming off a win that involved a balanced team attack with a little help from the long ball, the Souris Valley Saber Dogs were back in action on Friday in their quest for back-to-back Expedition League titles.
In a best of five series, the Saber Dogs own a 1-0 lead over the Pierre Trappers heading into Friday’s matchup, as they look to put themselves one step closer to being crowned champions once again.
With the hopes of taking a commanding lead in the Expedition League Championship Series, the Saber Dogs turned to right-hander Trent Dewyer on the mound. Dewyer has been a stable rotation piece for the Saber Dogs this season, with his four starts being the third most on the team.
Across those four starts and entering Friday night, Dewyer owns a 1.80 ERA across 25 innings pitched and has piled up 30 strikeouts while allowing only 7 walks on the season. The Trappers are a familiar foe for Dewyer, as Friday marked his third start against them.
His first start was exceptional, throwing six scoreless innings, while only allowing one hit and adding five strikeouts to the mix to secure the win. In his second start, he surrendered two earned runs across eight innings, but piled up a season-high 12 strikeouts on his way to earning the victory.
On Friday night, he continued his trend of being a tough matchup for the Trappers, as Dewyer made quick work of the Trappers throughout most of his outing while showing resiliency on the mound. Dewyer’s performance and a fourth inning explosion helped boost the Saber Dogs to a 6-3 win.
Offensively, both teams got off to a slow start as they mirrored each other for most of the early goings. For the Saber Dogs, their first hit came off the bat of Erick Martinez, who had a one out single but was unable to score in the top of the third inning.
In similar fashion, Carson Trumpold of the Trappers had a one out single of his own in the bottom half of the frame and would be stranded at second to keep the game scoreless. Dewyer flashed the leather in this frame by laying out for what would’ve been a bunt single, securing the out on a throw from the ground and preventing a rally.
A high-powered offense is something that has propelled the Saber Dogs throughout the season, and it was only a matter of time before they got the bats going on Friday. In the top of the fourth inning, Jake Barlow broke the scoreless tie with an RBI double that brought home Chris Monroe, who reached after being hit by a pitch.
The 1-0 lead is not all the Saber Dogs would amount to in the fourth, as Bradley Harmon drove in Ben Newbert on a single and Eddie Martinez brought home Jake Barlow on a sacrifice fly, and all the sudden, the Saber Dogs jumped out to a 3-0 lead. Defensive miscues from the Trappers with two outs in the inning helped the Saber Dogs extend their lead, with two more runs scoring on a throwing error to make it a 5-0 game.
After clinging to a 5-0 lead in the fourth inning, the Saber Dogs looked to cruise through the rest of the game. With the combination of strong pitching and the bats finally coming alive, that seemed to be achievable.
However, the Trappers wouldn’t make that goal easily attainable as they put pressure on the Saber Dogs at the bottom of the fourth inning. Noah McCreary singled with one out, Tynan Shahidi was hit by a pitch, and Maddox Mueller walked to load the bases with two outs. Facing the biggest jam of the night, Trent Dewyer remained calm and got a flyout to preserve the shutout up to this point.
Keeping the momentum going at the bottom of the fifth inning, the Trappers would break through to put their first runs on the board. After two singles to set the table, both runners would be driven home on a Noah McCreary triple, cutting the Saber Dogs lead to three runs at 5-2.
Over the course of the next few innings, both teams would go back and forth, answering each other’s offensive attack. The Saber Dogs, however, would power through and their five-run fourth inning proved to be too much to overcome, as they topped the Trappers 6-3.
So far in the Expedition League Championship Series, the Trappers have been keeping the games close, but the Saber Dogs continue to find ways to stay in command and win ballgames. Their next win will be the most important one of the season, as the Saber Dogs are now one win away from bringing an Expedition League title back to the Magic City.
The Saber Dogs and Trappers will be back in action tonight with the title on the line. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 pm and the game can be streamed on the Pierre Trappers YouTube channel.