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Long ball carries Sabre Dogs over Moo 5-4

AP Photo Sabre Dogs infielder Ivan Prejean (5) throws the ball across the diamond in an Expedition League baseball game played Sunday afternoon at Corbett Field in Minot.

Bo McClintock’s bat is still sizzling.

His third home run and 10th RBI collected over the last two Expedition League games sparked the Souris Valley Sabre Dogs (8-8) to a 5-4 home victory Sunday afternoon against the Fremont Moo (9-8).

The offensive production comes as a vital contribution from a slugger who wasn’t on the Sabre Dogs’ initial roster to start the season.

“We were going back and forth about bringing him back or not,” Souris Valley head coach Corey Thompson said. “Then, he finally said that he wanted to come back. At first, we didn’t know if it was a great decision, but we trust Bo. He can do this every day, and I’m proud to see him play.”

After both teams combined to manufacture three runs across the first two innings, an impromptu home run derby broke out at Corbett Field.

In the third inning, Sabre Dogs center fielder Josh Solomon tied the game with a solo blast to left field. McClintock then one-upped him by cranking a towering three-run shot for his third home run in his last four at-bats.

McClintock hit his first two home runs of the season Saturday night in a 13-5 victory over the Moo. A game recap can be found online at minotdailynews.com.

“Honestly, I’m just hunting certain pitches,” McClintock said. “Right now, I’m seeing the ball better now then I have in the past. Trying to find the barrel and hit the ball far. It just so happens that it’s producing runs.”

The Moo cut the 5-2 deficit down to a single run in the top of the fourth inning with their own solo home run by Cooper Morrison and a wild pitch coaxing in Jaxson Simmerman.

Sabre Dogs relief pitcher Austin Glaze put in a shift to keep the score unchanged at 5-4 in Souris Valley’s favor. Glaze pitched three innings, faced 11 batters and only issued two walks to go with six strikeouts.

“Today, I got a changeup working, which was new,” Glaze said. “I haven’t had a changeup in a while. So, it was good to have that… My back was a little tight today, so I didn’t feel as comfortable on the mound. I just focussed on throwing strikes.”

In the eighth inning, the Sabre Dogs went to their closer Tanner Riley for a six-out save. The Moo stranded two runners on base in the eighth and had the door shut on them 1-2-3 in the ninth.

“All of his saves have been six-out saves so far,” Thompson said about Riley. “He is just nails. Him and (Austin) Glaze have been lights out. We are going to work on finding more guys in the bullpen that we can trust. But, right now, those two guys are our dudes.”

Much to the dismay of the Clark Division-leading Moo, the Sabres Dogs swept the quick two-game series. Things got a little chirpy in the final innings with both benches getting warned by the home plate umpire.

“Yeah, I think they were a little frustrated with some calls,” Thompson said, explaining the situation. “Maybe some calls went our way. But, that’s baseball. Everything equals itself out. I was proud of our guys. We got a little rowdy, but they calmed down and were level-headed at the end.”

Souris Valley will take the next two days off before returning to action on Wednesday when they travel to South Dakota to face the Pierre Trappers. The next home game for the Sabre Dogs is Friday, July 17, against the Badlands Big Sticks.

“I think it will be good,” Glaze said about the two-day break. “It gives everybody a chance to reset their minds. We get back on the road Wednesday and, hopefully, we will have a good series there.”

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

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