By Lethbridge Herald on May 8, 2015.
Itâ€™s still early at the Canadian College Baseball Conference championship tournament, but the local Prairie Baseball Academy Dawgs are already getting it together.
The Dawgs struggled to consistently put together their defence, hitting and pitching despite a 20-8 regular season record. They still finished atop the regular season standings but it gave them cause for concern as they try to win a fifth consecutive CCBC crown this weekend at Spitz Stadium.
However, in their opener Thursday afternoon, it all came together nicely. After spotting the Calgary Dinos a 2-0 lead â€” on two unearned runs â€” in the top of the first, the Dawgs cruised to a victory. they scored six in the bottom of the opening inning, added another in the sixth inning and held on for a 7-4 win.
Ben Kennedy went six full innings for the victory on the mound, and afterwards said heâ€™s aware itâ€™s a long tournament, so he held a bit in reserve.
â€œI was pitching to win. I didnâ€™t come at them with my best stuff. I didnâ€™t come at them with my hardest fastball, I just came at them with pitches I knew I could get outs on quick,â€ said Kennedy, who struck out three. â€œAnd I know how to pitch different ways so I pitched that way. Maybe later in this tournament, Iâ€™ll really let it go.â€
Kennedy said while the different parts didnâ€™t come together with any regularity during the season, the resolve of the team puts it in a good position now that the championship is here.
â€œDuring the season, if I was pitching very well, we wouldnâ€™t get any hits,â€ he said. â€œBut if we werenâ€™t pitching, weâ€™d hit and score a lot of runs. I think that we know how good we are, and we know to take it one game at a time, and that will get it going.â€
The Dawgs won 7-0 in the evening game over Vancouver Island Baseball Institute while second-seeded Thompson Rivers University dropped the tournament opener 6-2 to Okanagan College. The Dawgs are 2-0 with their doubleheader already out of the way. Kennedy threw less than 90 pitches and said heâ€™s available today, if need be.
The tournament continues today with Thompson Rivers facing Calgary at 10 a.m. Vancouver Island plays Okanagan at 12:30 p.m. and TRU and VIBI are up again at 3 p.m.
The tournament will hold a home run derby at 5:30 p.m. and then Okanagan and the PBA play at 8 p.m. All games are at Spitz Stadium.