Prospects Down The Dawgs Again!
By John Short

All the scoring was compressed into one inning on Sunday, but the four-run rally was enough for the Edmonton Prospects to down the Okotoks Dawgs 4-2 for Edmonton’s fourth consecutive victory and only the Dawgs’ second loss of the Western Canadian Baseball League season.

Seven excellent innings on the mound for Colorado product Matt Erikson and two in relief by Alberta’s Jesse Poniewozik held the potent Okotoks offence in check. It was the third top starting performance within the last week for the Prospects, who ended the Dawgs’ hot start with a 10-1 victory behind Hunter Boyd on Saturday.

The biggest blow of the decisive fifth inning was a two-run single by Tanner Roundy, who won a spectacular one-on-one duel with losing pitcher Graham Brunner – six consecutive fouls were featured – to drive home Davis Pratt and Javier Ramirez with none out. Brunner was relieved at that point by Tanner Simpson, who gave up a run-scoring single to Travis Hunt and a sacrifice fly to catcher Beau Guilbeau, playing only his second game of the season.

Erikson’s performance was highlighted by his control. In seven full innings, he threw barely 100 pitches, forcing routine ground balls and flyouts with apparent ease. Taran Oulton’s comfortable start last week marked the third top mound effort by a Prospect starter in the current streak.

Defensive plays were especially valuable for Erikson. Two first-inning errors, including his own errant pick-off attempt, allowed Liam Rihela to open scoring in the first inning. A brilliant catch by Roundy in deep centre averted further trouble. Jacob Melton gave the Dawgs a brief 2-0 edge in the fourth before shortstop Javier Ramirez ended the threat by starting a double play.

Brett Esau, victimized on the Roundy play, was also robbed on a hot grounder to Ramirez leading off the third inning. A double play involving Ramirez and second baseman Katsu Takahashi in the ninth helped Poniewozik earn the save in relief.