MINOT, ND- The Sabre Dogs win at home for the first time this season as they best the Pierre Trappers 5-3 and are back to having a winning record at 5-4.
Matt Houlihan was on the bump for the Sabre Dogs and things went smoother this time around. The right-hander from Montana State Billings University got the win and went five innings, striking out five batters while allowing three earned runs, seven hits, and four walks.
Houlihan when asked about his outing said, “I came out today feeling a little bit better. My arm was hurting a bit after the first outing, but I got out there and started throwing a lot stronger.”
Houlihan was faced with trouble early but evaded multiple crises as the Sabre Dogs trailed 3-0 entering the bottom of the fifth. The Sabre Dogs had just one hit at the time until Drew Pollum, the starting catcher got his first hit as a Souris Valley Sabre Dog with a bunt hit. With a runner already on, Chauncey Callier, the Sabre Dogs’ third baseman, hit an RBI double to tie the game. Then, designated hitter Justin Henle then got an RBI groundout to take the lead 4-3.
From there it was a pitching duel between the bullpens as George Loxtercamp dominated Trappers’ hitters with three innings of work with three strikeouts, one walk, one hit, and no runs.
In the bottom of the eighth, left fielder Hunter Holland came to the plate having already struck out three times. All that was in Holland’s mind was avoiding his “first ever golden sombrero”. He did much more than that and hit his second home run of the season to extend the Sabre Dogs’ lead to two runs.
Holland said, “The three strikeouts weren’t fun. I’ll tell you that. The only thing I was worried about was putting a ball in play to help my team.”
That was more than enough for Sabre Dogs closer Bradley Spooner who avoided mega-drama unlike Saturday night (bases load, bottom of the ninth with two outs against the Badlands Big Sticks). Spooner struck out two of his four batters faced and sealed the victory for the Sabre Dogs.
Souris Valley will finish up its two-game stand against the Trappers tomorrow at 7:05 p.m.
BOX SCORE & KEY STATS:
PTR 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 – 3
SVS 0 0 0 1 3 0 0 1 X – 5
WP – M. Houlian (1-0), LP – J. Morales (0-1)
PTR: S. Brewer – 2-4, RBI; Z. Phelps – 2-4; B. Moreland – 2-4
SVS: C. Callier – 2-4, RBI; H. Holland – 1-4, HR