By John Short
Losing pitcher Taran Oulton turned in an outstanding performance for the Edmonton Prospects Monday afternoon, battling grim weather conditions and the stubborn Lethbridge Bulls until only two outs remained before being saddled with a 3-2 defeat.
The Western Canadian Baseball League game was delayed for 30 minutes because of rain and soggy grounds and then was delayed for another 15 minutes in the top of the fourth when the day’s intermittent sprinkle suddenly – and briefly – forced the RE/MAX Field crew to use protective coverings that had been on the field for hours before the scheduled 1 a.m. start.
Oulton showed the effects of the delay almost immediately, giving up a single to lead-off hitter Robert Bostedt and an immediate homer to left for Grant Kerry.
Only in the third did the losing Prospects lefty give up another run, this on Kerry’s single and a double by Ashton Roy. In 8 1/3 innings, Oulton scattered eight hits and fanned 10. Scott Gillespie and Matt Erikson needed only five pitches to retire the final two Bulls batters.
Winning Lethbridge starter Ben Erwin gave up four hits in five innings. Jordan Griffin, the third reliever, got the save for stranding speedy Pierce Blohowiak after his sharp lead-off single in the ninth.
Edmonton’s runs came in the fourth when Jake MacDonald’s sacrifice fly scored Travis Hunt, and in the seventh against reliever Kai Poffenroth when Hunt’s ringing double drove home Brendan Luther.
Kerry was the unchallenged offensive star of the day with a homer, double and single. The Bulls left seven men on base. Luther, Hunt and Blohowiak were best at bat for Edmonton with two hits apiece. Blohowiak also stole two bases.