Downs and Ups
By John Short
Everything changed in the bottom of the sixth inning.
At that point, Keith Manby came in to relieve starter Ike Buxton for the Fort McMurray Giants and the Edmonton Prospects responded by scoring four runs, enough to win their first Western Canadian Baseball League game since they played at home last weekend.
The 6-2 victory was constructed on eight solid innings on the mound by Hunter Boyd and walks by Nolan Walker and Beaux Gilbeau ahead of run-scoring hits by Jake Gehri and Tyler Maskill. Gehri’s double provided two RBIs, boosting, his team-top total to 10 in the young season.
Two more runs came in the eighth when Travis Hunt laced a a double down the left-field line to chase Pierce Blohowiak and Tanner Roundy across the plate.
A two-bagger by Rich Ortiz in the third inning and a successful squeeze bunt by Cam Sanderson in the fourth accounted for the Giants runs.
It was the third consecutive top start for Boyd, a Washington State product who served as Edmonton’s Day One starter this season. He escaped serious trouble in the fourth when Davis Pratt made an outstanding play to foil another squeeze attempt.
Relief specialist Trever Berg took over in the ninth.
Shortstop Javier Ramirez’s two errors caused some early issues, but he rebounded with several brilliant defensive plays and was instrumental in three double plays.
As part of their late rally, the Prospects ran wild on the bases, swiping at least seven bases – four of them in the sixth inning.
Downs and Ups
A pair of three-run innings carried the Regina Red Sox to their third consecutive victory over the Edmonton Prospects Thursday night, an 8-6 decision that was interrupted briefly by rain in the seventh inning.
Tanner Roundy, the third Edmonton pitcher, accepted the loss after taking over for Scott Gillespie, who hit Erik Crossman with a pitch and walked Chris Diehl leading off in the sixth. Those passes led to a two-run single by Adam De La Cruz. The rally erased a brief 4-3 Edmonton lead.
Adam and Samuel De La Cruz were both featured in Regina’s three-run fourth inning when Ricky Wilkes slapped a bases-loaded single off Austin Herrington to cap a three-run inning. Outfielder Riki De Sa drew three walks and scored three runs.
Forced to face several pitchers in their 5-4, 14-inning loss at Currie Field on Wednesday, the Prospects went up against six Regina hurlers on this night. They collected 11 hits but struck out 13 times for the second night in a row.
Clay Loranger and Travis Hunt each had a pair of hits for Edmonton. Tyler Maskill and Katsu Takahashi collected one triple each while Travis Hunt and Nolan Walker had a double apiece. Davis Pratt drove in two of the Prospects runs.
The defeat followed a four-game Edmonton winning streak at their RE/MAX Field headquarters. The Prospects return home Saturday and Sunday to face Fort McMurray.
By John Short
By John Short
Nearly four full hours of top-level pitching by the Edmonton Prospects and Regina Red Sox resulted in a 14-inning marathon victory for the Sox, whose 3-2 victory handed the Prospects their second straight loss after an impressive four-game winning streak.
A triple by Griffin Keller and a single by Adam De La Cruz in the fourth inning of relief work by Trever Berg was enough to settle the issue and get both teams prepared for a Thursday rematch at Currie Field in Regina.
Edmonton got a three-inning start from newcomer Andrew Lowe. Although his effort was marred by five bases on balls, he surrendered only one run. The other Red Sox tally was registered against David Wylie, who fanned five in his three-inning stint. Jesse Poniewozik continued his excellent work in relief before giving way to Berg.
Of Edmonton’s nine hits against six Sox pitchers, two each came from Tanner Roundy and Eric Crain. In all, the Prospects fanned 13 times and stranded 10 runners.
By contrast, Regina collected 12 hits and failed to move 15 runners across the plate, a tribute to some good pitching by Edmonton’s relievers with men on in the extra innings.
Local product Clay Loranger and import Katsu Takahashi drove in the Prospects runs.
A Loss in Regina
By John Short
The first visit to the Saskatchewan wing of the Western Canadian Baseball League was less than successful for the Edmonton Prospects.
It was equally difficult for Austin Cannedy, who absorbed a 5-2 defeat from the Regina Red Sox in his first 2019 appearance on the mound. He gave up four runs – two of them unearned – in a five-inning stint before being replaced by Zac Herrington.
The reliever struggled as soon as he took over in the sixth inning. Five hits, including doubles by Erik Crossman and Sam De La Cruz, put him on the hook for the final three runs. Wesley Moss was the Red Sox RBI leader with three.
Errors were a factor in two of the Regina tallies: Cannedy’s error led to the opening run and second baseman Katsu Takahashi’s bobble made way for Ryan Eastburn and Riki De Sa to score in the fifth.
The Prospects managed only five hits in an impressive start by Regina’s Branden Redfern. Pierce Blohowiak drove in one Edmonton run and Javier Ramirez used his speed to score the other.
The Prospects will continue their 3-game stand in Regina until they return to RE/MAX Field for games next weekend.
They stand off against the Red Sox again tonight and tomorrow night.
Prospects Down The Dawgs Again!
By John Short
All the scoring was compressed into one inning on Sunday, but the four-run rally was enough for the Edmonton Prospects to down the Okotoks Dawgs 4-2 for Edmonton’s fourth consecutive victory and only the Dawgs’ second loss of the Western Canadian Baseball League season.
Seven excellent innings on the mound for Colorado product Matt Erikson and two in relief by Alberta’s Jesse Poniewozik held the potent Okotoks offence in check. It was the third top starting performance within the last week for the Prospects, who ended the Dawgs’ hot start with a 10-1 victory behind Hunter Boyd on Saturday.
The biggest blow of the decisive fifth inning was a two-run single by Tanner Roundy, who won a spectacular one-on-one duel with losing pitcher Graham Brunner – six consecutive fouls were featured – to drive home Davis Pratt and Javier Ramirez with none out. Brunner was relieved at that point by Tanner Simpson, who gave up a run-scoring single to Travis Hunt and a sacrifice fly to catcher Beau Guilbeau, playing only his second game of the season.
Erikson’s performance was highlighted by his control. In seven full innings, he threw barely 100 pitches, forcing routine ground balls and flyouts with apparent ease. Taran Oulton’s comfortable start last week marked the third top mound effort by a Prospect starter in the current streak.
Defensive plays were especially valuable for Erikson. Two first-inning errors, including his own errant pick-off attempt, allowed Liam Rihela to open scoring in the first inning. A brilliant catch by Roundy in deep centre averted further trouble. Jacob Melton gave the Dawgs a brief 2-0 edge in the fourth before shortstop Javier Ramirez ended the threat by starting a double play.
Brett Esau, victimized on the Roundy play, was also robbed on a hot grounder to Ramirez leading off the third inning. A double play involving Ramirez and second baseman Katsu Takahashi in the ninth helped Poniewozik earn the save in relief.