The Okotoks Dawgs are the 2019 Western Canadian Baseball League champions.

The Dawgs earned the title after winning game two of the final series 8-6 over the Regina Red Sox.

Okotoks battled back from 3-1 and 5-4 deficits to earn the title.

"These guys, like we said all year long - they're grinders, they're resilient," said Head Coach Mitch Schmidt. "We're down at one point, and what did they do? They didn't quit, they battled."

Tristan Peters earned the nod as the WCBL playoff MVP for the Dawgs. He finished the playoff run batting .313, with six runs, four RBIs and three stolen bases in eight games.

"This playoff run I think I just hit well situationally. I got on base at good times, and the rest of the team took it from there," Peters said. "We all swung it really well, and our pitching was phenomenal."

A solo home run shot by Liam Rihela kicked off the scoring on a wet night at Seaman Stadium in the bottom of the second. The Sox turned right around and put up three on Okotoks in the top of the third.

The home crowd didn't give up at that point. 

"The fans fed into these guys being able to be grindy. Because every time we did something, the fans cheered them on and made them want to do something even bigger, even better," said Schmidt. "It was the fans up in the stands that made us be the best that we can be. We were losing, and nobody left the stadium. That was them sticking behind us through thick and thin."

The Dawgs were able to tie it up in the fifth, when JT Patterson scored off a Davis Todosichuk single, and Tristan Peters scored off a Gavin Logan ground out.

Todosichuk drove in another run in the sixth, when his two-out single knocked in Ricardo Sanchez, giving the Dawgs a 4-3 lead.

The top of the seventh is when the Dawgs reached into the bullpen, sitting Tanner Simpson, who went six innings with eight hits, three runs, and three strike-outs. Simpson last pitched in the series-clinching win over the Edmonton Prospects, where he managed a complete game shutout.

In the seventh inning the Red Sox took the lead on a two-run home run that stunned the home crowd. Peters leapt for the ball, appearing to make a spectacular catch, while crashing into the wall. But the ball fell the wrong way for the Dawgs, and the Sox took a 5-4 lead late in the game.

The crowd at Seaman Stadium was momentarily stunned, and it would have been easy for the Dawgs to lose all momentum at that point.

But Coach Schmidt says they came right back on the next pitch.

"After the home run, the very first pitch was a strike," he said. "Everybody that was sitting on the bench said 'let's go. There's a lot of ball game left.' The guys that were in here were not gonna stop until the last out was made."

RBI singles for Sanchez and Todosichuk, his third of the night, plus an-RBI double from Logan gave the Dawgs an 8-5 lead heading into the ninth.

Regina managed a run in the ninth to make it close, but Brandon Desjardins earned the save when he sat down Robbie Wilkes on a strikeout to end the game. Dan Ferrario earned the decision, after pitching a three-up, three-down bottom of the eighth.

After the final out, Dawgs players converged upon each other, making a Dawg pile near the pitcher's mound.

Hitting and Bench Coach David Robb was with the Dawgs when they won the title in 2009. He said it's tough to compare this year's title to previous.

"They're all good when you experience them," he said. "Us having not made it for so many years, it's not a matter of questioning but a matter of: 'oh this is a good team, it's too bad we didn't win.' And then we came to 2019 and this is a good team - and dangit, we won it!"

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