Prospects Win Big, Tie Franchise Best Start To A Season

For the second time in Edmonton Prospects franchise history the team has won four out of its first five games to start a season. The latest win was by decisive 11-2 margin over the only team to put a blemish on our record thus far, the Okotoks Dawgs.

Reigning WMBL Pitcher Of The Week Noah Gapp took the mound Thursday night at RE/MAX Field and was more than the Dawgs could handle. Gapp struck out the Dawgs leadoff batter Peter Hutzel to start the game, his first of 8 K’s on the night, and would record the 27th out when Aidan Huggins made a play of the game worthy snag off a sharply hit ball by John Hawk. It is already Gapp’s second complete game of the season. His final line for this game looks like this: 9IP 5H 2R 3BB 8K.

Leadoff batter Dean Olson greeted the fans with a single and would come around to score on a Jake Lanferman single.

With the score tied at 1 in the bottom of the 3rd inning, the Prospects took control of the game.  We once again saw a Lanferman single score Olson but his one opened the flood gates. A Michael Gahan single scored Derek Shedden then Lanferman would come home to score on a pitch that got past the Dawgs catcher to make it 4-1 for the Prospects. Now for the big hit! Marion McLean with a bases loaded triple gave our Prospects a 7-1 lead.

Any hope the Dawgs tried to create by scoring a run in the 5th inning was snuffed out in the 7th inning when Tony Olson drove home Matt Quartel to restore the 6-run lead. The Prospects bats were not done yet!

In the 8th inning, Shedden would earn a walk after facing 11 pitches during his at-bat and Lanferman would once again take the painful way to first base by being hit a pitch. Huggins would bring them both home with a double and then be brought home by a Quartel single to bring us to our 11-2 final.

Play Of The Game: With Michael Gahan on third, Aidan Huggins on second and Mackenzie Parlow on first, Marion McLean would bring them all home with a triple.

Player Of The Game: Usually pitching a complete game would earn this spot for Noah Gapp but the nod here goes to Marion McLean. 3-for-5 at the dish with his 3-RBI triple being the piéce de résistance!

Next game: Friday night in Medicine Hat 7:05PM

Next home game:  “Strike Out Hunger” with the Edmonton Food Bank on Tuesday June 13th. Of course Tuesday means Toonie Tuesday (buy 1 regular price ticket, get 1 for only a toonie). Game time is 7:05PM as welcome back the former co-tenants the Fort McMurray Giants.

Prospects Return Home 3-1

After winning the season/home opener on June 2, our Prospects ventured onto the road for three games. After dropping to Okotoks last Sunday, Wednesday night marked the end of the successful 2-game road trip up North as the Prospects defeated the Fort McMurray Giants 6-2.

Prospects starting pitcher Erik Sabrowski struck out two batters in each of the first five innings and finished with 13 K’s. Spoiling the shutout was Ryan Villarreal in the bottom of the 4th with a RBI single. The final line on a WMBL Pitcher Of The Week nomination worthy performance – 7 IP 5 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 13 strikeouts.

Matt Quartel led off the top of the 4th inning with a bunt single. A balk by Giants starter Alex Nolan moved Quartel to second and Giants Coach Pat Riley to the showers as he was ejected for arguing the call. One passed ball later and Travis Ouellet would collect a RBI with a groundout putting the Prospects up 1-0.

Dean Olson led off the 5th inning with a single and would steal 2nd base. Jake Lanferman would hit a RBI double off of the outfield wall to give the Prospects a 2-1 lead. Michael Gahan would cash in Lanferman with a single growing the lead to 3-1.

Lanferman led off the 7th inning by getting on base the hard way via the hit-by-pitch.  With Gahan on base, Coach Brown would call for a double steal. Lanferman awkwardly slid into third base but when Quartel grounded a ball into a drawn-in infield, Lanferman’s slide to avoid the tag at home was magnificent. 4-1 lead at this point for the Prospects.

Aidan Huggins led off the 8th inning with a 4-pitch walk. Huggins would steal 2nd and then come around to score on a Giants error trying to throw out Derek Shedden at first base. The final score of yesterday’s game was now the score of this game going into the bottom of the 8th.

Scott Gillespie would come in to pitch the bottom of the 8th for the Prospects and would leave with the bases loaded and two out. Jye Deeble would come into the high stress situation, run the count full and induced a pop out to protect the 4-run lead.

The lead would be extended to 6-1 in the top of the 9th inning when the Giants Keegan Marsden lost a Huggins pop fly in the lights scoring Gahan.

Play Of The Game – In the bottom of the 5th inning, Prospects center fielder Dean Olson went “full Superman”, or if you are a Toronto Blue Jays fan “full Kevin Pillar”, catching a Travis Turner fly ball.

Player Of The Game - Despite multiple hit games by Michael Gahan (2), Aidan Huggins (3) and Derek Shedden (2) the no-brainer choice here is Erik Sabrowski. A quality start by Sabrowski with an impressive 13 strikeouts.

Next Game – Thirsty Thursday June 8th versus the Okotoks Dawgs. 7:05 first pitch at RE/MAX Field

Noah Gapp Earns WMBL Star Of The Week

By Len Nunes

A well-earned pat on the back was given out yesterday to Edmonton Prospects starting pitcher Noah Gapp by the WMBL office. Congratulations to Gapp who earned himself the Pitcher of the Week Star.

The “Star” performance was the season opener back on Friday June 2nd when Gapp pitched a complete game allowing just one run and racking up 14 strikeouts!

Gapp has been with the Prospects since the summer of 2014. With each passing season, Gapp’s dominance on the mound has reached new levels. During last season’s playoff run, he showed that an extra bright spotlight does not intimidate him as he pitched not 1, not 2, but 3 complete games.

MLB teams have taken note of 6’5” pitcher as his name has been bandied about in MLB draft talks. The MLB Draft is on June 12th

Prospects Knock Down Giants

By Len Nunes

Last June, the Fort McMurray Giants were forced out of their hometown due to raging forest fires and were welcomed into the now named REMAX Field by our Edmonton Prospects.  Last night, the Giants hosted the Prospects in their home opener. A highly entertaining defensive battle saw our Prospects win by the score of 5-1.

A telltale sign that we were going to be treated to some good defence was offered in the first inning. Both teams were able to get their leadoff runner aboard and both teams saw that runner become a part of a doubleplay.  In the bottom of the 3rd, Prospects catcher Mackenzie Parlow would gun down Max Hewitt trying to steal second base. In the top of the 4th, Jake Lanferman would get the Prospects first hit of the game and would promptly be mowed down trying to steal second base.

Prospects starter Jordan Parranto would pitch 5 innings plus one batter working around some control problems issuing 5 walks but only allowing 2 hits. Parranto would strand two runners in the second inning with a strikeout (one of his 4) and escape walking the first two batters of the 5th inning in part to a great play by first baseman Erik Sabrowski. With Ryan Dunn at-bat, his bunt attempt went straight up. Sabrowski charged the plate, caught the ball for one out and threw it to second base for the second out catching the runner off the bag.

Veteran Prospect Dean Olson would open the scoring in the top of the 5th. Olson would hit a single down the first base line scoring Parlow.

In the top of the 7th, Head Coach Ray Brown would pinch hit for Jordan Stickler (who had reached base twice, once via hit-by-pitch and the other by walk) with Michael Gahan. Brown was rewarded with a bloop single that would score Aidan Huggins.

The Prospects 2-0 lead was cut in half in the bottom of the 8th inning but the Prospects offense would come alive in the top of the 9th to relieve the pressure. Jake Lanferman would hit a 2-RBI double and then be brought home by Anthony Cusati to make it 5-1 Prospects.

Play Of The Game – In the bottom of the 8th with the score 2-1, Giants batter Richard Ortiz sharply hits a ball at Aidan Huggins. Huggins not only knocks it down to keep it in the infield but throws out Ortiz at first for the final out of the inning stranding the tying run at 3rd.

Player Of The Game - Jake Lanferman finished the game 3-for-4 at the dish. His 2-RBI double in the top of the 9th blew open a tight game.

Next Game: Wednesday night once again against the Giants, 7:35PM

Next Home Game: Thursday Thirsty at REMAX Field, 7:05PM vs Okotoks 

By Len Nunes

The playoff run to becoming the West Division Champions last season for our Edmonton Prospects started in Okotoks. Sunday afternoon the Dawgs extracted a little bit of revenge for unceremoniously having their year cut short in 2016 with a come from behind 9-6 win.

Our Prospects would open the scoring with 2-out in the first when Erik Sabrowski singled home Jake Lanferman. Lanferman had reached base by getting hit by a pitch and then stole second base to put himself into scoring position. Australian Michael Gahan would drive in Sabrowski to build up a 2-0 lead.

Prospects starting pitcher Taran Oulton’s first baserunner allowed was former Prospect Kody Funderburk to lead off the second inning. Funderburk would come around to score the first of three runs allowed in the bottom of the second giving the Dawgs a 3-2 lead. Oulton would pitch strong 3rd and 4th innings but would not be able to collect an out in the 5th before being removed the game, more on that in a moment.

Anthony Cusati would hit a 1-out 2-run double in the top of the 3rd inning to put the Prospects back out in front 4-3. In the top of the fifth inning, Caeden Harris and Matt Quartel would each hit RBI singles to grow the Prospects lead to 6-3.

With the score now 6-5 in the bottom of the 5th, Australian Jye Deeble would come in to pitch for the Prospects inheriting two runners with no out. Unfortunately both Dawgs runners would come around to score putting the bad guys up 7-6. Deeble would stay in the game and pitch scoreless 6th and 7th innings.

Dawgs relief pitcher Tyler Burdett would mystify Prospects batters for his three innings on the mound to close out the game while the Dawgs offense would score two insurance runs in the bottom of the 8th.

Play of the Game: In the bottom of the 7th with the score 7-6 in favour of the Dawgs, a 1-6-3 double play by our Prospects defense would prevent an insurance run scoring from third base.

Player of the Game:  Erik Sabrowski finished the night 2-for-5 at the plate and drove in the first run of the game for our Prospects.

Next game:  Tuesday in Fort McMurray 7:35PM

Next home game: Thirsty Thursday versus the Okotoks Dawgs 7:05PM