Western Major Baseball League championship decided by rain

Western Major Baseball LeagueThe Okotoks Dawgs and the Melville Millionaires have been declared co-champions of the Western Major Baseball League.

The Millionaires won the first game of what was originally scheduled to be a best-of-five series 5-3. Coty Saranthus (Southwest Mississippi CC) got the win, and Mark Hardy (British Columbia) got the loss. The game was tied 3-3 going into the ninth inning, and Kyle Barclay (Erie CC) pinch-hit an RBI single, followed by another RBI single by James Green (Houston-Victoria). The attendance in Okotoks was 2,357.

The Dawgs won the second game 10-2. Jake Bottari (College of Idaho) and Alex Jensen (Saint Mary’s) combined to hold the Millionaires to six hits, and the Dawgs scored five runs in the first inning. The winning run came on a two-RBI double by Travis McBride (Cal State Los Angeles).

Coty Saranthus
Coty Saranthus

That was the last game of the season. Two games scheduled in Melville were rained out. The league’s Executive decided to reduce the series to best two-of-three, with the deciding game to be played on August 17. That game was rained out, too, and because of the need for players to return to school, and not especially good weather and field conditions, the Executive decided to cancel the rest of the playoff and declare the Dawgs and Millionaires co-champions.

Saranthus’ regular-season ERA of 0.41 is a league record, and he did not allow a run in 10 2/3 innings in the playoffs. He is transferring to Delta State for the 2010 season. He throws a lot of sliders and changeups, and the fastball is his “extra pitch”. According to Millionaires Head Coach (and President) Garnet Keller, “The team has a lot of confidence when Coty is on the mound.” Keller went on to say, “This is easily the best team we’ve ever had in Melville. They have no ‘quit’ in them, and come into every game with the belief that they can win it.” Keller also holds the opinion that a deciding game could have been played in Melville on Monday.

Story by Keith Bradford in the Calgary Herald: Top Dawgs share league title