Prospects Finish Season On High Note

By Len Nunes

After defeating the Fort McMurray Giants 12-7 on Sunday afternoon the Edmonton Prospects finished their regular season with a .500 record for a second consecutive year. The question now becomes can the Edmonton Prospects make their third consecutive WMBL finals and attain their pre-season goal of "winning the last game of the summer"?

Prior to the beginning of this season, Roberto Alomar of the Toronto Blue Jays wrote a letter to Mayor Don Iveson fighting to keep RE/MAX Field as a part of any and all downtown plans. The reaction on Twitter supporting the Prospects and RE/MAX Field was recognized by Mayor Iveson. The Mayor re-affirmed his desire to keep a ballpark in Edmonton but mentioned he would like to see more support in the stands. Thank you Edmonton! The first look at the official numbers according to a tweet by "Director, Partnerships and Ticket Sales" Ryan Jagoe shows a 25% increase in attendance.

The Prospects jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the first inning of their final game. Eric Crain with a RBI single opened the scoring. A 2-RBI triple by Beaux Guilbeau made it 3-0. Daylen Calicdan, Anthony Cusati and Tony Olson all added RBI singles to round out the opening frame scoring.

Prospects starting pitcher Brenden Wiun pitched five innings on the afternoon. After a quiet first inning, the Giants were able to put up three runs in the second. After 1-2-3 innings in the 3rd & 4th, Wiun lost the plate in the 5th. The Giants capitalized adding 4 runs but Wiun still left the game with the lead and collected the win.

Calicdan drove in his second run of the season in the bottom of the 2nd with a double. In the bottom of the 3rd Zane Takhar hit into a double-play but still earned a RBI as AJ Nitzschke crossed the plate. A Michael Gahan double drove in Matt Brisson for the Prospects 9th run of the game.

With the score 9-7 in favour of the Prospects, the offence ostensibly salted the game away with three more runs in the 6th inning. Guilbeau and Calicdan led the inning off with back-to-back walks. Nitzschke singled in a run then Matt Brisson picked up his first 2 RBI of the season with a single of this own.

The last season turnaround for Scott Gillespie continues! Gillespie pitched the 6th through 8th innings for the Prospects allowing only 1 hit and issuing 2 walks. Jordan Smith pitched a shutout 9th inning for the Prospects making it three straight appearances without allowing a run.

Your 2018 Prospects Leaders:

    Batting Average - Daylen Calicdan (.367), Nick Spillman (.362)

    Doubles - Anthony Cusati and Nick Spillman (9)

    Triples - Tony Olson (4), Percy Liu (3)

    HR - AJ Nitzschke (3)

    RBI - Nick Spillman (36), Tony Olson (28)

    Walks - Zane Takhar (26), Nick Spillman (23)

    Stolen Bases - Percy Liu (14), Tony Olson (8)

    Hit-by-pitch - AJ Nitzschke (6), Tony Olson (5)

    Wins - Rich Walker (5), Taran Oulton (4)

    Strikeouts - Michael Gahan (40), Connor Burns/Rich Walker (38)

    ERA - Rich Walker (3.16), *Edgar Barclay 1.98

UPCOMING SCHEDULE - PLAYOFFS

Tuesday July 31 and Wednesday August 1st – Road Games in Okotoks, 7PM starts

Thursday August 2nd – RE/MAX Field vs Okotoks 7PM

(if necessary) Friday August 3rd – RE/MAX Field vs Okotoks 7PM

(if necessary) Saturday August 4th – Road Game in Okotoks 7PM

Giant Win For Edmonton Prospects

By Len Nunes

With a playoff spot freshly clinched, the Edmonton Prospects hosted the Fort McMurray Giants Saturday night. After having one of the worst weather months in team history having three home games rained out, Mother Nature finally gave the club a textbook "beautiful night for baseball". Edmonton baseball fans responded as the Prospects got their 3rd biggest crowd of the season, a boisterous 3,251 fans. Everyone went home happy as the Prospects won the game 3-1.

Tony Olson led the game off with a single and would come around to open the scoring.

Daylen Calicdan, Michael Gahan, and Jake MacDonald loaded the bases in the bottom of the second with no-outs. Tony Olson's 26th RBI of the season was a painful one as he was hit by a pitch. The Prospects led 2-0 after two innings.

After a rough last outing in Okotoks, Prospects starter Taran Oulton wanted to have a strong start heading into the playoffs. Mission accomplished! Facing the minimum amount of batters through three innings, the Giants got their first hit of the game in the 4th inning which drove a runner that had reached base on an error. Oulton ran into some trouble in the 5th inning issuing two walks and single to load the bases but his defence bailed him out. A dying ball hit to center field was caught by a sliding Percy Liu. Liu had the presence of mind to immediately throw the ball to second base to turn the double play and end the inning. Oulton left the game after 5 innings with a 2-1 lead allowing only 2 hits and striking out 5.

The Prospects made it 3-1 in the 6th inning and once it again it was Tony Olson collecting the RBI. With MacDonald at third base a routine groundball to second was enough to bring him home.

Scott Gillespie took over on the mound for the Prospects pitching two shutout innings allowing only 2 hits and 1 walk. After posting a strong 3.21 ERA in 14 appearances last season, Gillespie has struggled in 2018. After this strong showing, the hope is that Gillespie is peaking just in time for the playoffs which start on Tuesday.

Jordan Smith entered the game in the 8th inning and retired the Giants in order. With the bases loaded and 2-out, Coach Ray Brown brought in Chase Morris to get the final out. It was Morris' second save in three nights.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Tony Olson scored one of the runs and knocked in the other two. Congratulations Mr. Olson you deserve the Player of the Game nod!

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

FAN APPRECIATION DAY - Sunday July 29 vs Fort Mac 2PM (*last chance to use any ticket from previously rained out games)

Playoff Schedule – 1st Round will be vs the Okotoks Dawgs. Games will start at 7PM.

Tuesday July 31 and Wednesday August 1st – Road Games in Okotoks.

Thursday August 2nd – RE/MAX Field

(if necessary) Friday August 3rd – RE/MAX Field

(if necessary) Saturday August 4th – Road Game in Okotoks.

*Friendly reminder, no outside food or drink is permitted at RE/MAX Field*

Prospects Sweep Bulls, Clinch Playoff Spot

By Len Nunes

The Edmonton Prospects, and their 5-17 road record, entered a 2-game set in Lethbridge fighting to control their own destiny. One win would clinch a playoff spot, two wins would clinch third place. The Prospects busted out to a 6-0 lead on Thursday on their way to clinching a playoff spot. On Friday, Rich Walker turned in his third complete game shutout of the season to lock up third place for the Prospects!

Game One:

The Prospects wasted little time hitting the scoreboard in the opening game of the mini-series as in the second inning Aidan Huggins drove in Daylen Calicdan to make it 1-0.

The third inning began with a Tony Olson triple, two pitches later Zane Takhar drove him in. Nick Spillman hit a double to join Takhar on base. Eric Crain then hit a double of his own emptying the bases. A Michael Gahan sacrifice fly would plate Crain and make the score 5-0 Prospects.

Spillman's second double of the game, his 8th of the season, drove in the Prospects final run of the night. A 6-0 lead after 4 innings ended in a 6-3 victory.

Josh Sieglitz, making only his 2nd start in 10 appearances, was excellent. Through 8 innings of work, Sieglitz held the Bulls off the board allowing only three hits. The attempt to complete the game broke the shutout but does not diminish the great start.

Game Two:

Olson's second triple in two nights, giving him a team high 4 on the season, drove in the first run of the game in the top of the 8th inning. Gahan tripled in the 9th inning and scored an insurance run on a passed ball. It was more than enough offence for Prospects starting pitcher Rich Walker.

Walker’s final pitching line shows a complete game, 3-hit mastery of the Bulls. 8 strikeouts his highest total since his Perfect Game back on June 29th. Walker leads the WMBL in complete games with 3.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Playoffs are mere days away and the old mantra is true, pitching wins championships. Prospects starters Josh Sieglitz and Rich Walker win Player Of The Game nods for their respective starts in Lethbridge.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

The final two home games of the regular season which means your final two chances to use your tickets from one of our three rained out ball games:

CISN Country Night - Saturday July 28 vs Fort Mac 7PM

Fan Appreciation Day - Sunday July 29 vs Fort Mac 2PM

Playoff Schedule - Opponent yet to be determined to be determined. Games will start at 7PM.

Tuesday July 31 and Wednesday August 1st – Road Games

Thursday August 2nd – RE/MAX Field

(if necessary) Friday August 3rd – RE/MAX Field

(if necessary) Saturday August 4th – Road Game

*Friendly reminder, no outside food or drink is permitted at RE/MAX Field*


*Please note that the schedule can change for the 3rd round depending on how many games it takes each series to play out.

The Prospects have won their match-up in the 1st Round for the Western Conference Semi-Finals.  They are currently facing off against the Medicine Hat Mavericks who won their match-up in the 1st Round as well.

The 2 winners of the 1st Round face off against each other for the Conference Final in each of the 2 Conferences (East-Sask. & West-AB)

The 2 Conference Finalists face off against each other in the 3rd and final round to determine the WMBL Championship

ALL PLAYOFF SERIES ARE BEST OF 5

 

Double Trouble In Medicine Hat

By Len Nunes

The Edmonton Prospects have two big wins this season versus the Medicine Hat Mavericks. One ended a Mavericks 10-game win streak; the other ended a 13-game win streak. Wednesday night the Prospects played a doubleheader in Medicine Hat and walked away empty handed.

Game one of the double-bill originally started on Thursday July 19th at RE/MAX but the weather forced the game to be stopped after 4 innings. Playing as the "home team", the Prospects started the night behind by a score of 3-1 and finished the night losing 9-4.

Michael Gahan's final combined pitching line between July 19th's work and last night's work shows 9 runs against on 17 hits allowed while collecting 6 strikeouts. His pitching line will also show a gaudy 139 pitches thrown (97 strikes). Gahan now leads the Prospects pitching staff in strikeouts (40). Matt Brisson made his 3rd appearance of the season on the mound for the Prospects finishing out the game.

Offensive highlights of game included Daylen Calicdan and Aidan Huggins both going 3-for-4 at the plate. Calicdan hit two doubles while Huggins hit one. Huggins, along with Liu and Spillman (2), collected the RBI on the evening for the Prospects.

Game two of the double-bill had the hottest Prospects starting pitcher take the mound in Connor Burns. Burns had pitched back-to-back shutout five inning appearances. The Mavericks ended Burns' 14 scoreless inning streak putting up 3 runs in the 2nd inning. Burns pitched into the 7th inning leaving with 2-outs after the Mavericks hit their 2nd home run of the evening making it 6-0.

The Prospects only run came in the top of the 8th with Eric Crain at the plate. A wild pitch by Tyler Shumpert allowed Tony Olson to cross the plate. Olson finished the game 2-for-4 at the plate with his double being the only Prospects extra-bases hit.

The two losses drop the Prospects record to 19-23 placing them in 3rd place in the Western Division one game ahead of the Lethbridge Bulls. The next two Prospects games are against those Bulls in Lethbridge. With only 4 games left in the season, two wins at Spitz Stadium would lock up third place for the Prospects.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

For the first game it truly is a coin toss between Daylen Calicdan and Aidan Huggins. Both 3-for-4 at the dish the deciding factor depends on your view of whether the 2nd double by Calicdan is more important than the RBI by Huggins. I don't have a coin handy so Calicdan and Huggins will share the Player of the Game nomination.

For the second game Tony Olson earns the nomination.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

July 26 and 27 in Lethbridge

FINAL WEEKEND OF THE REGULAR SEASON

Saturday July 28 - CISN Country Night - hosting Fort McMurray 7PM

Sunday July 29 - Fan Appreciation Day - hosting Fort McMurray 2:05PM

PLAYOFFS BEGIN JULY 31 - STAY TUNED FOR SCHEDULE!