Sabre Dogs issue 10 base on balls, hold on for series sweep

Alex Eisen/MDN Sabre Dogs’ Justin Henle (left) slides in to score a run Thursday evening against the Wheat City Whiskey Jacks at Corbett Field in Minot.

The Souris Valley Sabre Dogs were giving away free bases like Oprah used to give away cars. Yet, by the end of the night, the Sabre Dogs still managed to get rewarded with a 17-7 win.

Souris Valley (16-14) wrapped up a three-game home sweep by outslugging the Wheat City Whiskey Jacks (6-23) Thursday evening at Corbett Field.

The bats were able to overcome 10 walks handed out.

Souris Valley slugger Crews Taylor left the yard in the first inning to put the Sabre Dogs ahead early on. The two-out solo shot cleared the right field fence for Taylor’s sixth home run of the season and his second in the last three games.

In less flashy fashion, the Whiskey Jacks tied the score back up at one apiece with a slow-rolling RBI groundout by Colton Charnholm in the fourth inning.

The Sabre Dogs weren’t impressed and countered in the bottom half. Tyler Courtney drove in two runs with a sharp single back up the middle and a broken bat RBI single into right field by Justin Henle made the score 4-1.

Jase Edwards nearly tacked on another run, but shortstop Thomas Alexander made a leaping catch to keep the deficit at three runs.

Wheat City challenged Sabre Dogs starting pitcher George Loxtercamp in the fifth inning. Seven batters came to the plate with the Whiskey Jacks scoring twice on two hits. A pair of runners were left on base when Loxtercamp ended the inning with a critical strikeout of No. 3 hitter Lucas Allen.

Chauncey Callier emphatically got one of those runs back in the bottom half with a no-doubt blast for the Sabre Dogs second home run of the game, 5-3.

Then, in the sixth, Luke Quick added another run with an RBI double that allowed Henle to score from first base.

Wheat City walked its way back into the game. Three straight base on balls issued by relief pitcher Cory Smith in the seventh loaded the bases with one out. Smith was replaced by Caden Kealber.

Kealber walked the first man he faced, 6-4. Followed that up with a strikeout. But was ultimately undone by Charnholm, who came through with a two-run single, and then Alexander, who drilled an RBI ground rule double to give the Whiskey Jacks a 7-6 lead.

Wheat City’s first lead of the game didn’t last long, as the Souris Valley bats were still hot. Scoring runs in a fourth straight inning, the Sabre Dogs pushed across three more runs in the seventh. Callier, Courtney and Sam Powers picked up the RBIs.

Not learning from the previous inning, the Sabre Dogs walked the bases loaded again in the eighth. This time, however, they found a way to escape with a rare 6-2 double play and a fly out.

Not finished scoring in the slightest, eight insurance runs were found in the bottom half to put the Sabre Dogs up 17-7 going to the ninth. RBIs went to Taylor, Callier, Edwards, Alex Hay and Nick Mistone.

Home run hitters Taylor and Callier combined to go 7-for-10 with five RBIs in the game. Every player in the Sabre Dogs’ lineup had at least one hit and one RBI.

The Sabre Dogs will take today off before returning to Corbett Field on Saturday and Sunday to host the Hub City Hotshots. Saturday’s game is scheduled to start at 7:05 p.m.

Alex Eisen covers Minot State athletics, the Minot Minotauros and high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @AEisen13.