By John Short
Finally swinging their bats with authority, the Edmonton Prospects struck for four runs in the ninth inning Tuesday night and walked off with a 5-2 victory over the Fort McMurray Giants.
They trailed by one run and had one out in the ninth when pesky outfielder Pierce Blohowiak slapped a single against Samuel Vargas and stole second moments before Katsu Takahashi worked Vargas for a base on balls. Travis Hunt’s single then scored Blohowiak and moved Takahashi to third. A steal of third by Hunt also figured in the inning.
Brennan Hatten entered in relief against Nolan Walker and watched two runners score on a sharp single. The outburst ended when Jake Gehri doubled Walker home.
Solid pitching by David Wylie in the ninth inning saved the victory. Gunner Rainey touched him for a lead-off double and Brody McGrath singled. With the potential tying run at the plate, Wylie retired B.J. Minarcin on an infield grounder and forced Peyton Crispin and Joe Maesta to end the inning by popping to the infield.
A double by Walker chased Blohowiak with the other Prospects run in the fifth inning.
Eric Meyer’s lead-off triple gave the Giants a 1-0 lead before the Trappers came to bat in the first and an infield error allowed Tanner Hess to give the home team a one-run lead again in the sixth after the Prospects tied the game briefly.
Both teams benefited from good pitching. Meyer and Max Hewitt led Fort McMurray with two hits apiece. The pitching win went to Zac Harrington. For the Giants, Canadian prospects Will Langford and Ryan Moroz controlled the Edmonton bats for six innings; the pesky Blohowiak finished with three hits and Hunt had a pair.
With the victory, Edmonton improved its record to 10 wins and eight losses, third in the Eastern Division behind the Okotoks Dawgs and Lethbridge Bulls. Fort McMurray’s record dropped to 6 and 10.