First Homer At RE/MAX Field Launches Prospects Into 1st Place

By Len Nunes

Like we all have all seen the Baseball Gods do so many times, a rain-filled day in Edmonton turned into a wonderful night for baseball. First pitch was bumped to 7:20 but by the time the last pitch of the night was thrown, the first ever homer was hit at RE/MAX Field and your Prospects would move into first place in the West. A come-from-behind 5-2 victory over the Fort McMurray Giants puts the Prospects record at 8-2.

Prospects' starter Andrew Grieder would load the bases in the opening frame issuing a hit-by-pitch and two walks but would escape the inning with two strikeouts for the final two outs. Grieder would allow the leadoff batter on base each inning except for his fifth and final frame thanks to a great play by second baseman Tony Olson to rob Tyler Friis of a sure-fire hit. For a young man that played with fire most of the evening, Grieder’s final line was a respectable 5IP 3H 2R 4BB 4k. 

While a defensive error contributed to the first Giants run of the game in the 3rd inning, the Prospects' defence was on point Wednesday night. Catcher Andrew Cusati would throw out Joey Nicastro trying to steal 2nd to end the second inning but the true spotlight belongs to left fielder Derek Shedden. In the top of the 4th inning with 1 out, Shedden charged in to catch a fly ball dipping toward the ground inches before it hits the ground. Next play Shedden again gets on his horse to chase a ball fading away from him.

The offensive highlight of the early innings was in the bottom of the 3rd inning when Dean Olson extended his personal hitting streak to 8 games with a 1-out single.

Trailing 2-0 in the bottom of the 5th, Shedden and Dean Olson drew 1-out walks. Jake Lanferman put the Prospects on the board with a RBI single. In what was described as a “comedy of errors” by guest announcer Tyler Yaremchuk, a ball hit off of the bat of Michael Gahan directly at the Giant’s third baseman scored Olson and Lanferman making it 3-2 for the home team.

The bullpen for your Prospects was nothing short of brilliant over the course of the final four innings. Zaine Foth-Thomas took over on the Prospects mound in the top of the 6th inning and pitched a 1-2-3 inning with a leadoff single in the 7th being the only blemish during his quality two innings of work.  Taran Oulton pitched the 8th inning for your Prospects allowing only a single and striking out Richard Ortiz. Fireballer Andrew Mirasty would earn the save in the 9th in the most impressive of ways, he struck out the side!

With the score still 3-2 in the bottom of the 8th inning, Erik Sabrowski would lead off the inning for your Prospects with a bang - a first pitch home run!! The first ever at RE/MAX Field and the second of the Prospects season following Caeden Harris’ homer last Sunday in Medicine Hat. The offence was not quite done yet as Tony Olson, who extended his personal hitting streak to the 5-game plateau, singled home Nick Spillman to bring us to our final score of 5-2.

Play Of The Game: There were many worthy defensive candidates for this honour but one must go with the Erik Sabrowski HR because everybody digs the long ball!

Player Of The Game: The Edmonton Prospects Bullpen. Zaine Foth-Thomas, Taran Oulton, and Andrew Mirasty would combine for the following impressive pitching line – 4IP 2H 0R 0BB 4K.

Next game: A battle to stay in first place versus the Lethbridge Bulls Thursday night at RE/MAX Field, first pitch 7:05. Thursday’s are always Thirsty Thursday’s, save $1 on your beverages!

Prospects Win BIG

By Len Nunes

Your Edmonton Prospects returned home Tuesday night from a successful 3-game series in Medicine Hat and did not let a little bit of rain dampen their enthusiasm of being in front of their RE/MAX Field faithful. A 7-run 3rd inning plus a 5-run 5th inning powered the Prospects to a 15-1 win over the Fort McMurray Giants. The win improves the Prospects record to 7-2, 0.5 games behind the Lethbridge Bulls (our opponent on Thursday) for first place in the West.

Sometimes in a blowout victory you can overlook the performance of your pitchers but that would be travesty in Tuesday night’s case. Finnigan Duffield was your hometown home team starting pitcher and was very impressive retiring the first 7 batters he faced. In six innings of work, Duffield would only allow 4 base runners, none of which got further than second base. The final line for our starter - 6IP 1H 0R 3BB 9K. His season ERA, a miniscule 0.93.

Another hometown, University of Edmonton, young man would come in to relieve Duffield in Scott Kramers. Kramers would allow a run against in his first WMBL inning but would settle in to pitch the final two innings faced only one batter over the limit. Kramers final line in is debut – 3IP 3H 1R 1BB 2K.

The Prospects opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning via an Erik Sabrowski RBI single. Also of note in the first inning, Michael Gahan extended his personal hitting streak to 7 games.

Sabrowski would collect two more RBI in the bottom of the 3rd with a bases loaded single scoring Dean Olson and Jake Lanferman. With the bases re-loaded, Tony Olson and Derek Shedden would hit RBI singles before the big hit of the game was delivered. Dean Olson, who extended his personal hitting streak to 7 games, hit a triple to clear the bases and cap off a 7-run inning making the score 8-0 Prospects.

A RBI hit-by-pitch by pinch hitter Matt Quartel, RBI single by Mackenzie Parlow and bases loaded error by the Giants with Aidan Huggins at the plate ballooned the score to 13-0 during the 5th inning.

Caeden Harris, who hit a home run Sunday in Medicine Hat that you could watch over and over again on the Prospects Twitter Page (@EdmProspects), would once again swing the big bat and hit a 2-RBI triple in the 8th inning to bring us to our final score of 15-1.

Play Of The Game: Going to call this one a tie because how often do you have two running scoring triples in a game? Dean Olson’s bases clearing triple in the 3rd inning will share the spotlight with Caeden Harris’ 2-RBI triple in the 8th inning.

Player Of The Game:  There are many options here but this honour will be bestowed upon the man who drove in the first three runs of the night for our Prospects. Erik Sabrowski went 2-for-2 at the dish with singles in the 1st and 3rd inning collecting a total of 3 RBI.

Next Game: Wednesday June 14th vs Fort McMurray 7:00PM Minor Baseball Day (All kids in minor baseball receive FREE admission)

Don’t Forget: Thursday June 15th vs Lethbridge Bulls 7:00PM Thirsty Thursday (Save $1 on beverages)


Prospects Lose Sunday, Still Off To Best Start In Franchise History

 “Losing is a learning experience. It teaches you humility. It teaches you to work harder. It’s also a powerful motivator.” Yogi Berra

As our Edmonton Prospects travel back home from Medicine Hat after suffering a blowout loss to the Mavericks, it is important to look at the bright side of what has been a great year thus far.

The Prospects record now sits at 6-2 which is the best start in franchise history. Two of those wins happened this past weekend in the traditionally difficult to play in Athletic Park in Medicine Hat. 

As a team, the Prospects offence ranks 1st in the league in getting on base via the hit-by-pitch (19), 2nd in stolen bases (24), and 4th in batting average (.286). While drawing the 4th most walks in the league (44), our Prospects have only struck out 53 times which is the 4th least in the league.

On the mound, the Prospects have allowed the 4th least amount of runs (40), hits (72), and walks (30). While the bats lead the league in collecting free bases via the hit-by-pitch, the arms have allowed the second least amount hit batters to reach first (5). With 63 strikeouts, the Prospects pitching staff sits 5th overall in the league.

One last team stat but definitely not the least important: The Prospects have a league best fielding percentage of .982.

Individually, Noah Gapp has pitched the ONLY two complete games in the entire league! In what is likely not a coincidence, Gapp also leads the WMBL in strikeouts with 22. Teammate Erik Sabrowski sits tied for 5th in league in strikeouts with 13. Gapp 1.00 ERA sits 3rd overall in the league.

Jake Lanferman’s name is seen in many top 10 offensive categories: tied for 3rd in runs (9), tied for 2nd in doubles (3), tied for 9th in RBI (8) and is the league leader in hit-by-pitch (6).

Dean Olson, who is on a 6-game hitting streak, has 6 stolen bases which place him in a tie for 4th in the league. Teammate Derek Shedden is one stolen base behind him. Shedden is also tied for 7th in the lead in runs (8).

The Prospects leader in batting average Aidan Huggins (.381) also sits top ten in the league in that category and is tied for 4th in most walks (7).

Upcoming Home Games and Promotions:

Tuesday June 13th vs Fort McMurray 7:00PM “Strikeout Hunger” with the Edmonton Food Bank. Toonie Tuesday (buy one regular price ticket, get one for a toonie)

Wednesday June 14th vs Fort McMurray 7:00PM Minor Baseball Day (All kids in minor baseball receive FREE admission)

Thursday June 15th vs Lethbridge Bulls 7:00PM Thirsty Thursday (Save $1 on beverages)

Prospects Win Streak Now At 5

 By Len Nunes

 After narrowly escaping the series opener in Medicine Hat on Friday with a win, our Edmonton Prospects made sure Saturday’s game was much less dramatic. A 3-run first inning paved the way for our boys to extend the early season win streak to 5 games and improve the season record to 7-1. In the 8-2 victory over the Mavericks, Michael Gahan’s hit streak reached six games while Dean Olson and Aidan Huggins personal hit streaks reached the 5-game plateau.

The Prospects loaded the bases in the top of the first inning via a Mavericks error by their shortstop, Jake Lanferman’s league leading 6th hit-by-pitch, and a Michael Gahan single. All three would come around to score.

 Taran Oulton was your starting pitcher for the Prospects and was looking to put behind him a tough season debut on June 4th. Mission accomplished! Allowing a 2-out home run in the bottom of the 1st did nothing to sway the confidence of Oulton. He pitched a clean 1-2-3 2nd inning and with the bases loaded 2-out in the bottom of the 3rd, struck out Tanner Helms to end the threat. The Mavericks were able to put up one more run against Oulton in the bottom of the 4th but that would be all they could push across the plate. The final line on Oulton – 6IP, 9H, 2R, 1BB, 3K.

 Scott Gillespie relieved Oulton and simply put was magnificent. Gillespie retired the first four batters he faced and finished the game allowing only 3 hits in his 3 innings of work.

 With the score 3-1 in the top of the 2nd, Huggins would hit a leadoff single and come around to score with Zane Takhar at the plate when a pitch went to the backstop.

 Lanferman would collect his team leading 9th RBI in the top of the 4th with a sacrifice fly bringing home Derek Shedden. This made the score 5-1 for the Prospects.

 With the score 5-2 for our Prospects in the top of the 6th, Dean Olson would hit a RBI single to restore the 4-run lead.

 Insurance runs were scored in the top of the 8th and 9th inning to ensure the Mavericks did not return the favour from Friday night when the Prospects scored six runs in the final two frames. Shedden would score in the 8th on a fielder’s choice and Takhar would hit a RBI single in the bottom of the 9th to bring us to our 8-2 final score.

 Play Of The Game:  With the bases loaded in the top of the first inning for our Prospects, Marion McLean would step up to the plate. Yes he did strike out but the ball went through the 5-hole of the Mavericks catcher and the ever-aware base running of the Prospects (we lead the league in stolen bases)Dean Olson was able to race home and score to open the scoring.

 Player Of The Game: With the score 6-2 for our Prospects, Scott Gillespie would come in relieve starter Taran Oulton. Gillespie would pitch 3 shutout innings.

 Next Game: Sunday matinee in Medicine Hat to finish of the three game series.  2:05PM first pitch.

 Next home game: “Strike Out Hunger” with the Edmonton Food Bank Tuesday June 13th. Tuesday’s are always “Toonie Tuesday” when you can buy one ticket and get a second one for only a toonie. The opponents, the Fort McMurray Giants. First pitch 7:05PM

Down 5-1, Prospects Rally To Win

Our Edmonton Prospects, enjoying a 3-game win streak, began a three game series in Medicine Hat Friday Night against the Mavericks. The Mavericks finally notched their first win of the season Thursday improving to 1-5 and looked destined to collect their second victory, but the never say die Prospects overcame a 4-run deficit to win 9-6.

Spruce Grove native and University of Alberta student Andrew Grieder made his first career start for the Prospects. A leadoff single was followed up by a RBI double before he collected his first two outs. The emphasis goes on the second out as right fielder Jake Lanferman caught a fly ball and threw behind the runner at 2nd base catching him off the bag. An unearned run would score against Grieder in the 2nd inning as Frank Podkul got on base via an error and made his way around the diamond to score. Grieder pitched a powerful 3-up-3-down 3rd inning before running into trouble in the 4th.

The Prospects would hit the scoresheet in the top of the 3rd inning when Michael Gahan, who later in the game would extend his personal hitting to streak to 5, would send a chopper down to third base and hustled down the line forcing an error. The error would allow Dean Olson to score. This cut the Mavericks lead to 2-1.

The bottom of the 4th was not kind to our Prospects but the good teams learn how to minimize damage.  The Mavs loaded the bases with none out but only managed to score three runs. Another University of Alberta student would take the mound for our Prospects and slammed the door shut. Finnigan Duffield would come in with 1-on, 1-out to strike out Zack Kunkel and get Louie Canjura to fly out. 5-1 Mavericks after 4.

Duffield would pitch a scoreless 5th thanks in part to the strong arm of left fielder Derek Shedden! Caleb Longley tried to score from second base on single by teammate Podkul but would become the third and final out. Duffield would pitch a scoreless 6th inning this time using the more traditional 3-up-3-down method.

In the top of the 7th the Prospects would cut the lead to 5-3 all with two out. An error by the Mavericks shortstop allowed Shedden to reach base and extend the inning and our Prospects took full advantage. Gahan would hit a single to left field cashing in Shedden and Lanferman before being caught in a rundown.

The Mavericks would make it 6-3 in the bottom of the 7th but our Prospects would tie the game in the top of the 8th. Caeden Harris would hit a RBI double, Aidan Huggins would hit a RBI single and Anthony Cusati would cross the plate to bring the score to 6-6.

Zaine Foth-Thomas would come in to pitch the bottom of the 8th for our Prospects. He would allow a leadoff single but then proceed to pick him off at first bat to face the minimum throw batters.

In the top of the 9th, the Prospects took their first lead of the game when Harris tested the Mavericks third baseman again and induced an error by the fielder allowing Gahan to score making it 7-6. Huggins drew a bases loaded walk and Tony Olson would finish the scoring with a single to make the score 9-6.

Fireballer Andrew Mirasty would come in to pitch the bottom of the 9th and earn the save.

Play Of The Game: Having trailed the entire game until they tied the game at 6 in the top of the 8th inning, our Prospects needed a clean inning by their pitcher in the bottom half. Zaine Foth-Thomas allowed a leadoff single to Colton Wright (whom the Mavericks pitch run for with Taylor Van Ham) but more than made amends for it by striking out Colton Wright and then picking off Van Ham. Foth-Thomas would strike out Rock Jordan and deliver exactly what the Prospects needed!

Player Of The Game: Michael Gahan not only extended his personal hitting streak to 5 games, he also collected 3 RBI on Friday night.

Next game: Game 2 of 3 at Medicine Hat goes Saturday night at 7:05PM

Next home game: “Strike Out Hunger” with the Edmonton Food Bank Tuesday June 13th. Tuesday’s are always “Toonie Tuesday” when you can buy one ticket and get a second one for only a toonie. The opponents, our friends turned foes the Fort McMurray Giants.