Okotoks own Connor Crowson has played to a high standard so far into the Dawgs season, batting a .500 average and getting two home runs. He is also averaging three RBIs per game with a total of nine in the first three games of the season.

Crowson gives credit to his coaching staff for getting him ready for the season and his hot start, as well as his teammates who have returned for another season with the Dawgs. He would also give credit to the new players on the team with the mindset they have brought.

"I think that's the biggest part about winning cultures because we have won two in a row and obviously it works. New guys are coming in and listening to us," Crowson said.

"Them bringing their new energy, charisma, and stuff like that really brings a different type of energy. I think that has been really big for us recently, all those new guys coming in and taking over has been really huge for us."

Crowson getting low to make the out at first base.Crowson getting low to make the out at first base.

Traditionally in Canada, hockey is the most popular sport to get involved in. While Crowson loves the game of puck, he explains where his passion for baseball stemmed from.

"Honestly, I would say growing up and watching these (Dawgs) games. I was a fan of all the American guys coming in and doing well for this town. I was really excited to continue my baseball dreams. Honestly, hockey might be my favourite sport, I grew late so I was getting hit a lot and I didn't really like that. But then the next year I grew, but I quit so I was like 'I just got to ride baseball I guess'," he explained.

Having grown up in Okotoks, Crowson has taken some of the players from other areas of the world like Ejij Sawamura, who is originally from Japan under his wing.

"I was honestly just chatting up with him... he was like 'How was it here', and I was like 'Just wait till the first pitch and you will see all the fans cheering you on. As soon as you are in that first play or get your first hit all the nerves go away'. That's honestly what I told him, and he did well. I think he'll just keep doing that," Crowson said.

Crowson taking a swing at an incoming pitch.Crowson taking a swing at an incoming pitch.

He explained that playing in the States under the NCAA is a completely different environment compared to playing in Okotoks in front of a crowd that he was once a part of as a youth.

"It honestly feels like I live two lives, like down there I'm just a ball player and here I'm the hometown kid. It's cool, all the young fans that I have built a relationship with that come up and say hi to me and glad you are back. I'm just happy to be back," he mentioned.

Crowson's main goal for this year is to chase another championship and complete the Dawgs three-peat. The Dawgs are bonding, and he is looking forward to building more relationships within the team during road games.

"You aren't going to remember the games, you are going to remember the relationships you built and those funny moments in the hotel, locker room or on the bus," Crowson explained.

"I would say those are big (road trips) because we are in the hotel together, we bring our PS4 and the guys hang out together. I would say off days are huge too because we go golfing, go chill at one of the boys' houses and then sit out in the back deck, enjoy the sun, go to a lake or mountains. That stuff is really important because as close as the team is, that's huge, chemistry wins championships I feel like at the end of the day."

Crowson celebrates with his team after scoring a home run.Crowson celebrates with his team after scoring a home run.

10 questions with Crowson

What is your guilty pleasure song?

"Miley Cyrus - Party In The U.S.A."

What is your go-to cheat meal?

"Doughnuts."

Are you a dog or cat person?

"Dogs, I don't like cats they are mean. People call me a golden retriever and I feel like I am, so I am a dog person."

Would you rather get a home run or a double play?

"Home run."

Last song you listened to?

"Feathered Indians by Tyler Childers, I was just playing the AUX in the locker room, and I was just listening to country before to get ready for (batting practice)."

Favourite baseball player and team growing up?

"Red Sox, Rafael Devers, that's my favourite baseball player right now."

How many ballpark hot dogs could you eat in one sitting?

"I love to eat so I would probably say I could get eight down. Without water four, with water eight."

Favourite place to visit in Okotoks?

"Honestly, growing up we would go hang out at the Big Rock a lot. Me and the boys would just go chill up top there and enjoy the summer breeze. I would say hockey too, going to the lake and stuff. Ice hockey kind of gets me going."

Golfing or fishing?

"Golfing,100 per cent. I think after I'm done baseball, I'm going to be on the course every day."

Favourite sport other than baseball?

"Golf and hockey, they are neck and neck."

 

Crowson and the Dawgs will have a busy weekend ahead of them as they travel to Brooks to play the Bombers on Friday night (May 31), back to Okotoks for another game against Brooks at Seaman Stadium at 7:05 and then travel to Sylvan Lake to take on the Gulls in an afternoon tilt starting at 2:05.