November 12, 2021

Edmonton Prospects Announce 2022 Schedule: Delay Spruce Grove Ballpark Opening to 2023

by Len Nunes

196 days until your Edmonton Prospects begin their 2022 regular season. It will be the Club’s 16th active season in the Western Canadian Baseball League (WCBL). Four days later, Tuesday May 31, the Prospects are scheduled to play their first home in Sherwood Park.

“Initially we had hoped to open (Metro Ballpark in Spruce Grove) next summer for the 2022 Season but we have now had to re-assess our schedules and through that process, have come to the realization that opening in 2022 is just not possible.  Losing 2½ months this past summer due to matters relating to the Migratory Bird Act combined with supply chain shortages due to COVID-19 make it virtually impossible to complete a project of this size and scope in the next seven months,” said Patrick Cassidy, Managing Partner for Gold Sports and Entertainment Group Corp., the company that operates the baseball team and will manage the facility.

“While discouraging in one respect, it is also exciting to know that we now have an Opening Date.  The date we will be putting forward with the league is May 27th, 2023.”

Dubbed “The Travelling Road Show” last season, your Prospects compiled a 12-9 “home record”. The Prospects will call Centennial Park Field 9 in Sherwood Park home for 19 of their 27 regular season home games. Along with hosting the Home Opener, Sherwood Park will also host the Father’s Day game.

Schedule Highlights:

June 3-5, the Prospects will play a 4-game series in Lethbridge, the team that bested them for the WCBL Championship last season,  as a part of the Lethbridge Baseball Festival. The Bulls come to Centennial Park Field 9 on July 13 and 14.

Father's Day Weekend, Saturday, June 18 and Sunday, June 19 will be our first local Saturday night and Sunday afternoon game respectively.

The highly popular Prospects' Kids Camp is scheduled between July 11-14.

On July 21, the Prospects will participate in the 2nd Annual "Baseball Day in Canada"! One stadium, 4 teams! The Club will face the Regina Red Sox with the event taking place at Gulls Stadium in Sylvan Lake.

July 23 is the League All-Star Game.

August 2-3 is the last regular season homestand at Centennial Park Field 9.

Playoffs begin August 8.

League News:

The Saskatchewan teams are back! Welcome back the Moose Jaw Miller Express, Weyburn Beavers, Swift Current 57’s and Regina Red Sox. Also coming back from a pandemic-induced hiatus are the Medicine Hat Mavericks (who have moved to the East division with the Saskatchewan teams), Brooks Bombers and Fort McMurray Giants.

To see the Prospects full schedule, go to 2022 SCHEDULE. Ticket information coming soon. Can't wait to see you at the ballpark!

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"Baseball Day In Canada"

“Coming off two years of the unprecedented COVID pandemic, the event will be a celebration of everything good and positive about baseball in Canada,” said the Okotoks Dawgs Baseball Club in a news release Saturday. “The WCBL is the only high level league in the country, apart from MLB where the Blue Jays have finally come home to Rogers Centre, which has offered its fans and players a competitive 2021 season. The response of baseball fans to once again be able to celebrate this fabulous outdoor summer activity with family and friends has been overwhelmingly enthusiastic.”

The entire day and both games will be live-streamed under the production of Exposure Media, beginning at 1pm.

The live-stream will include a number of interviews with some of Canada’s most influential and prominent baseball people, including Cooperstown Hall-of-Fame journalist and Postmedia legend Bob Elliott of the Canadian Baseball Network.

Others featured on the feed will be Scott Crawford, the president of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, Alberta’s secretary for small business and tourism Martin Long, Dawgs founding and managing director John Ircandia, Major League Baseball draft selection and former Dawgs star Tristan Peters, Alberta Dugout Stories creator Ian Wilson and WCBL president Kevin Kvame.

As the feature games during this inaugural Baseball Day in Canada are technically HOME games for the Prospects, fans must purchase tickets for either or both of the games on the Edmonton Prospects' website.  Tickets for this special day in Okotoks can be purchased at TICKETS.

Arriving at Centennial Park Field 9 at 5:30 PM for the pregame volunteers meeting, I bumped into Prospects Head Coach and Assistant General Manager Jordan Blundell. With recent Prospects game results being 24-10 and 14-0 plus recent Western Canadian Baseball League games posting 16-10 and 10-9 scores, Blundell stated the obvious: "With so much time away from the diamond, pitchers across the league are a little behind in their games compared to the hitters". Cue his pitching staff to buck the trend.

Prospects starting pitcher Julian Tymochko turned in another quality start and reliever Scott Gillespie (recently featured on the league website)  earned a 3-inning save helping the Prospects defeat the Okotoks Dawgs Red.

In the season opener on June 18th in Sylvan Lake, Tymochko bounced back from an opening inning run against and loading the bases in the top of the 2nd to deliver five solid innings. Last night, Tymochko followed a similar path allowing a first inning run against then cruising until the 5th inning. The Dawgs were able to score two in the 5th. Undeterred the Prospects starting pitcher came back out in the sixth inning to collect his 7th, 8th and 9th strikeouts of the evening.

Down 1-0 in the bottom of the first, McCoy Pearce came up with 2-on and 1-out. Pearce smacked a double to tie the game up. Pearce would come up in the 3rd inning with 1-on and 2-out smacking another double to put the Prospects up 2-1.

The Prospects would take the lead for good in the bottom of the 5th. With Brendan Luther and Pearce (the Dawgs intentionally walked the hot bat) on base, Robert Holmes hit a double off the base of the outfield wall to score both runners.

The 4-3 lead became a 5-3 lead in the bottom of the 6th when Aiden Perry hit a sacrifice fly scoring Conor Bronson. Bronson originally got on base via a walk then promptly stole both 2nd and 3rd base.

Enter Prospects reliever Gillespie to retire the first four batters he faced before allowing two base runners. A double play would end the 8th and Gillespie would retire the side in order in the ninth inning to send the "sellout" crowd home happy.

Now for the reason I mentioned being at the volunteers pre-game meeting and have the word "sellout" in quotations. With Covid restrictions being lifted July 1st, more fans are expected to be allowed to attend games which in turns means more volunteers will be needed at the ball park. Through volunteering with the Club, I have greeted tens of thousands of fans with my patented "Good Morning" leading to quick chats with people from all across the world. If you are interested in volunteering to help at a Prospects home game at either Henry Singer Park in Spruce Grove or Centennial Park Field 9 in Sherwood Park, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

GAME RE-CAP FOR JUNE 25 
By Len Nunes

NEXT UP:

June 29th at Sylvan Lake

NEXT LOCAL HOME GAMES:

Saturday July 10 at 7:05 PM and Sunday July 11 at 2:05 PM at Centennial Park Field 9 in Sherwood Park.

 

Record-setting Night at the Dish Paces Edmonton Prospects to Big Win

by Len Nunes 

The 2021 season for your Edmonton Prospects began with 16-8 victory to open the new Gulls Stadium in Sylvan Lake. After a rainout in Okotoks, the Prospects defeated the Sylvan Lake Gulls again 12-10 in ten innings. Coming “home” to host their first game on Wednesday, the offence put on a show for the faithful fans attending the game at Henry Singer Park in Spruce Grove. Of course, home is in parenthesis as the team awaits their new Spruce Grove Metro Ballpark to be built.

24 runs were placed on the scoreboard setting an unofficial single-game scoring mark for the Club. It’s unofficial as the Western Canadian Baseball League stats only go back to 2010 and the Prospects have been playing as the “Edmonton Prospects” since 2009. The two previous high scores for the Club were both in 2018. On June 30th they defeated Melville 21-3, then on July 17th the Club defeated Regina 20-6.

The Okotoks Dawgs Black, in this special year of only five teams Okotoks is fielding two of them, opened the scoring in the top of the 1st inning. Prospects starting pitcher Wyatt Anderson gave up back-to-back doubles to start the game. Anderson would turn in six innings of work for the evening allowing only one more Dawgs run. His final two innings of work being his strongest minimizing traffic on the bases.

When Anderson departed the game the score was 5-2 for the Prospects. An 11-run 7th inning followed by an 8-run 8th inning sent the score into the record books.

Luciano Letteri, batting 9th in the lineup, homered in the bottom of the 3rd to score the first Prospects run. Letteri would lead off the bottom of the 6th with a single and would score what would be the first of four runs in that frame.

The scoring in the bottom of the 7th started with a 3-run home run by Matty Reyes. RBI hits by Robert Holmes (single), Brendan Luther (single), Trent Lawson (ground rule double) punctuated the 11-run inning.

Run scoring singles by Lawson, Reyes, Jonny McGill (subbed in for Holmes in the top of the 8th) and Conor Bronson highlighted the 8-run 8th inning.

NEXT UP:

The Edmonton Prospects home becomes Centennial Park, Field 9 in Sherwood Park tonight (June 24) and tomorrow (June 25). Thursday night’s match pits the Prospects versus the Sylvan Lake Gulls. Friday night’s match sees Okotoks Dawgs Red pay a visit. Go to: https://tickets.prospectsbaseballclub.com for ticket information.