Nobody Said This Would Be Easy
By John Short
The Fort McMurray Giants got a solid offensive display and excellent starting pitching Wednesday night to defeat the Edmonton Prospects 11-2 and stretch their margin over Edmonton in the race for a Western Division playoff berth to 1.5 games as the Western Canadian Baseball League regular season enters its final week.
Nick Cardinal handled the mound chore neatly, surrendering only six hits and fanning nine in eight innings. Outfielder Travis Hunt whacked a fourth-inning homer for Edmonton’s first run and collected the last one in the ninth on a sacrifice fly by Jake Gehri.
Before Hunt connected, the Giants had registered a first-inning run on doubles by Rich Ortiz and Gunner Rainey against starting Prospects pitcher Austin Herrington, then struck for three more in the third on an Ortiz single following consecutive hits by Cam Sanderson, Max Ortiz and Brady Wood, who earned two runs-batted in for his sharp double.
Every Edmonton pitcher had trouble with the potent Fort McMurray lineup. Zac Herrington gave up four runs, three of them earned, in the sixth inning. By the time he was pulled by head coach Jordan Blundell, the game was clearly well in hand for the Giants, playing at home.
Edmonton tonight opens an essential three-game series at RE/MAX Field against the Yorkton Cardinals, who hold down sixth and last place in the WCBL’s Eastern Division. The Giants open a similar series with the capable Medicine Hat Mavericks. In their final scheduled tests, Fort McMurray faces Yorkton while the Prospects – who have one game in hand – close out against the Brooks Bombers.