The One That Got Away

By Len Nunes

The Edmonton Prospects scored in the first inning of Thursday night’s game and never trailed through nine innings of play. With a 5-3 lead heading into the bottom of the 9th, the Lethbridge Bulls tied the game forcing extra innings. It feels like the Bulls stole the walk-off victory in the 11th inning. With the Prospects pitchers combining to give up 20 hits, if the Prospects would have held onto win rest assured the Bulls would be writing about how one got away from them.

Prospects second baseman Zane Takhar likely wishes every game was against the Bulls. Entering the 6th meeting of the season between the two teams, Takhar had gone 6-for-15 with 4 doubles (his only 4 of the season), 3 RBI and 6 walks. With 1-out in the first inning, Takhar singled and scored on a Nick Spillman groundout.

The Bulls tied the game in the bottom of the first but the Prospects quickly took back the lead in the top of the second. Eric Crain extended his personal hitting streak to 5 games with a 1-out single. Crain came around to score on a 2-out Percy Liu RBI single making it 2-1 Prospects.

Lachlan Mayo had Prospects starting pitcher Dylan Emmons’ number on Thursday. Mayo drove in the Bulls first inning run and led off the third with a single. Mayo came around to score the game tying run making it 2-2. In the fourth inning with 2-on and 2-out, Emmons took no chances and intentionally walked Mayo to load the bases. The tactic worked as the Bulls next batter Kaleb Warden grounded out. Emmons came out to start the 5th inning but after a lead-off single Head Coach Ray Brown went to his bullpen.

Making his Prospects mound debut, Chase Morris retired the Bulls 1-2-3.

This must have sparked the Prospects offence as in the top of the 6th, three runs crossed the plate. Takhar and Daylen Calicdan led the inning off with back-to-back singles. Michael Gahan reached on an error pushing across the first run of the inning. Crain accounted for the other two runs with a single to right field.

Morris, with his team now leading 5-2, ran into a little bit of trouble in the bottom of the 6th punctuated by another Mayo RBI. In the 7th and 8th inning Morris had two runners on board and both times was able to induce groundballs that the defense converted into double-plays.

Making his 8th appearance of the season, Jordan Smith came in to pitch the 9th inning looking to save the 5-3 lead. The Bulls had other ideas and off to extra innings the game went. With 2-out and 2-on in the bottom of the 11th, a Hank Forrest single gave the Bulls a 6-5 win.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Eric Crain wins the Player Of The Game nomination driving in two runs and extending his personal hit streak to 5.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

July 6 and 7 – visiting the 22-3 Medicine Hat Mavericks

The only meeting this season between the two teams, the Prospects snapped the Mavericks 10-game winning streak. The Mavericks have not lost since that meeting back on June 18th!

July 8 – visiting Okotoks

NEXT HOME GAMES

Tuesday, July 10 vs Yorkton Cardinals

Friday, July 13 vs Yorkton Cardinals - Be sure to check out social media channels for a preview of our Stars Wars themed jersey’s to be worn on and auctioned off.  Silent Auction bids will be taken across from the Merchandise Booth on the main concourse behind Section H.

 

 

The Game Was Closer Than The Score

By Len Nunes

The 4-game winning streak for the Edmonton Prospects is over. Let's reminisce about those four wins because they were not just four ordinary mid-season wins. The win streak started with the Rich Walker perfect game. Win number two was unofficially the Prospects highest offensive output in franchise history scoring 21 runs. The majesty that is the Canada Day game marked win number three. Exhausted from all that adrenaline the Prospects managed to gut out their fourth win in a row in less than ideal weather conditions.

Wednesday night was the 5th meeting of the season between the Prospects and Lethbridge Bulls. The teams split the first four games. It was the first meeting outside the friendly confines of RE/MAX Field. The Bulls won 9-0 improving their record to 10-16 moving within 1.5 games of the Prospects (12-15) in the Western Division.

Edgar Barclay made his second start of the season for the Edmonton Prospects. After issuing a lead-off walk, Barclay struck out the side! The lead-off batter got on board each of Barclay's 5 innings pitched but it never came back to hurt him. Leaving the game still tied at zero, Barclay gave up a total of 3 hits, issued 3 walks and struck out 7 batters.

Mid-season acquisition Drew Scott joined the Prospects at same time Barclay did. While Barclay's transition to the WMBL has been smooth, Scott has had a steeper learning curve. Entering the game in the sixth inning, the Bulls opened the scoring against him via Blake MacDonald single. With the bases loaded and only 1-out, third baseman Matt Coutney threw to home on a grounder for out number two. A strikeout of Hank Forrest ended the 6th.

A weird 7th inning saw a Bulls runner advance along the bases on a wild pitch and a passed ball. Another Bull reached base on an error. Just when you thought everything was going wrong, the Prospects defence turned a beautiful around-the-horn double-play! The third out of the inning came when catcher Anthony Cusati threw out Jesse Hilyard trying to steal second base.

The Bulls had a 3-0 lead heading into the bottom of the 8th when everything did go wrong. 6 runs on 5 hits and 2 errors for the Bulls gave a close game a lopsided score of 9-0.

The Prospects offence had runners on second and third in the 4th inning when Zane Takhar got a lead-off walk and Cusati hit a 2-out double. Tony Olson, who had been 8-for-15 at the plate the past three games, struck out to strand the runners. The Prospects loaded the bases in the 6th on the strength of a Takhar double and walks by Eric Crain and Cusati but came up empty handed. Singles by Coutney and AJ Nitzschke followed by another walk by Takhar loaded the bases again in the 7th inning. With his 8-game hitting streak on the line, Nick Spillman struck out swinging.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Edgar Barclay earns the "Player of the Game" nomination for pitching 5 shutout innings.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

July 5 - Lethbridge

July 6 and 7- Medicine Hat

July 8 - Okotoks

NEXT HOME GAME - Tuesday, July 10 vs Yorkton Cardinals

Be sure to check out social media channels for a preview of our Stars Wars themed jersey’s to be worn on Friday July 13th and auctioned off.  Silent Auction bids will be taken across from the Merchandise Booth on the main concourse behind Section H.

Edmonton Prospects Win Streak Hits Four

By Len Nunes

Whenever a team experiences the highest of highs, one always worries that they will come out flat for the next game. After defeating the Melville Millionaires 21-3 on Saturday June 30th and after all the pomp and circumstance that was another amazing Canada Day experience at RE/MAX Field, the Edmonton Prospects players had to make sure they did not fall into the "big game hangover". With the Millionaires back in Edmonton on a soggy Tuesday night, the Prospects stayed focused, and hot, extending their win streak to four games.

The Prospects offence, which left the bases loaded in the first inning, opened up the scoring in the second inning. With 2-out, Aidan Huggins and Tony Olson hit back-to-back singles. Daylen Calicdan collected RBI number 16 of the season bringing home Huggins. Spillman collected RBI 22 of the season bringing home Olson. Spillman and Calicdan sit 1-2 on the team in RBI and batting average, .393 and .369 respectively.

The 2-0 lead was extended to 3-0 in the bottom of the 6th. Once again with Olson on base, Spillman ripped a single to left field to cash him in. Olson sits 3rd on the team in runs scored (21), batting average (.333) and RBI (16).

Michael Gahan, the Prospects workhorse pitcher so far this season, earned his first win. The 6 2/3 innings on Tuesday brought his season total to 39 innings played which sits as the 2nd most in the WMBL. Gahan cruised along until the 6th inning when the Millionaires were able to score their only two runs of the night. The 7 strikeouts Gahan collected puts in a tie for 3rd most in the league.

Scott Gillespie came into the game and got Kole Kaler to fly out to center to end the 7th inning preserving the Prospects 3-2 lead. Gillespie gave up a lead-off single to start the 8th inning but induced a double-play with the next batter to snuff out any trouble before it started.

The Prospects added an insurance run in the bottom of the 8th when Matt Coutney busted out of an 0-11 funk at the plate and singled home Calicdan.

Marion McLean played the role of closer for the Edmonton Prospects trying to protect the 4-2 lead. A lead-off double by Noah Freimuth would be the only hiccup along the way to McLean's second save of the season. With the win the Prospects improve to 12-14 on the season as they embark on a 5-game road trip.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Nick Spillman sometimes gets overlooked for this nomination as he has had such a steady season. Going 2-for-4, Spillman is now on a 8-game hitting streak.His RBI in the 6th became the eventual game-winning knock. Congratulations Mr. Spillman on the "Player of the Game" nod.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

As Willie Nelson famously sang, "On the Road Again!"

July 4 and 5 - Lethbridge

July 6 and 7- Medicine Hat

July 8 - Okotoks

NEXT HOME GAME - Tuesday, July 10 vs Yorkton Cardinals

Be sure to check out social media channels for a preview of our Stars Wars themed jersey’s to be worn on Friday July 13th.

Canada Day Done Right, Prospects Win!

By Len Nunes

The Edmonton Prospects Canada Day Fireworks Game tradition hit year 6 on Sunday night. The Prospects improved their Canada Day home record to 5W-1L with an exciting 7-6 win over the Brooks Bombers. The Prospects are now on a 3-game winning streak and have improved their record to 11-14.

The ballgame started off with style as the Prospects donned special Canada jerseys that were auctioned off during the game. Team Canada Woman's Rugby 7's legend Jen Kish threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Robert Clark stepped out of the hockey rink and onto the baseball diamond to sing the Canadian National Anthem to get the ball rolling.

After making a rare relief appearance earlier this week, Taran Oulton made his 5th start of the season for the Prospects. Oulton struggled allowing 5 runs in the first two frames. The Daylen Calicdan catch to end the second inning which inspired Prospects internet voice Jimmy Morrison to exclaim, "Superman, he wants his cape back!" also set Oulton onto the right track. Oulton cruised through the 3rd through 5th inning allowing only one hit (which got erased by a double-play). He had retired 11 of 12 batters before the Bombers loaded the bases with 2-out in the bottom of the 6th inning. A Riley MacDonald grounder ended the inning without harm and Oulton's night on a positive note.

Down 2-0 going into the home half of the first inning, the Prospects wasted no time getting onto the scoreboard. Percy Liu led off with a single and was brought home 3 pitches later via a Tony Olson triple! The triple is Olson's second of the season. Calicdan drove a ball deep enough to right field to bring Olson home and tie the game at 2. Michael Gahan hit a ball to deep center field to score Nick Spillman and give the Prospects a 3-2 lead. Spillman, who had reached on a single, sits 6th in the league with his impressive .388 batting average.

Down 5-3 in the bottom of the fourth inning, Tony Olson brought in the game-tying runs. A lead-off double by Eric Crain and a 2-out walk by Percy Liu, both players scampered home on the Olson hit to right field with some assistance by one of the Bombers 3 fielding errors being made on the throw back into the infield.

Jordan Smith entered the game in the 7th inning to take over on the Prospects mound. Tied for second on the team in appearances with eight, Smith pitched the final three innings of the game. Two of three hits against him came in his opening frame and resulted in the Bombers taking a 6-5 lead.

The Prospects would not trail for long! Calicdan and Spillman with back-to-back singles in the bottom of the 7th forced the Bombers to go their bullpen. Reliever Jonny Chavez gave up a double to Gahan that scored both base runners and put the Prospects out in front 7-6. After getting 6 RBI on Saturday night, Gahan finished with 3 on Canada Day.

For a game that seemed to get on track for the Prospects with a great defensive play in the second inning, it seems only fitting that the game ended on a double-play by the team.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Michael Gahan with the game-winning RBI seems the obvious choice but tonight the Player Of The Game nomination goes to Daylen Calicdan. 1-for-3 at the plate with 1 RBI may not be outstanding but his second inning catch in right field was! If Calicdan did not make that catch, the Bombers would have taken a 7-3 lead and Prospects starter Taran Oulton's night would likely have been over. However, Calicdan does make the catch, Oulton finds his groove on the mound and all ends well on Canada Day.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

HOME GAMES:

Tuesday July 3rd vs Melville 7PM

Tuesday July 10th vs Yorkton 7PM

Sandwiched in the middle, a 5-game road trip through Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and Okot

Edmonton Prospects Put Up 21 Runs, Win Easily

By Len Nunes

An hour rain delay did not dampen the enthusiasm shown by the fans when Rich Walker was given his moment to bask in the glory of his Perfect Game Friday night in Fort McMurray. The Prospects offence seemingly took it as a challenge. A 4-run first followed by a 6-run second inning was just the tip of the offensive explosion on Saturday night. When it was all said and done, 21 runs crossed the plate for the Prospects. The WMBL stats page only goes back to the 2010 so unofficially, this is the highest run total put up by the Prospects in franchise history.

Before we go into the plethora of offensive exploits, let us first give due credit to the pitching performance of Prospect starter Connor Burns. His longest and arguably best start of the season saw him go 7 1/3 innings, allowing 3 runs on 7 hits while fanning 7 batters. Burns retired his first 6 batters faced before giving up only 3 runs of the night in the 3rd inning. Recovering from the runs against, Burns would retire 7 consecutive Melville Millionaires.

Mathieu Brisson made his 2018 debut for the Prospects relieving Burns on the mound. Only Nate Doleman reached base during Brisson's 1 2/3 innings played. Now let's talk about the offence.

Seven (7!) starters and two pinch-hitters collected RBI! Michael Gahan led the team with 4 hits and 6 RBI. Eric Crain hit a rare RE/MAX Field home run. Daylen Calicdan and Anthony Cusati both drew 3 walks!

First Inning:

With the bases loaded, Cusati walked, bringing home the first run of the night. Gahan singled bringing home two then Crain hit a sacrifice fly making it 4-0.

Second Inning:

The Prospects loaded the bases again. Spillman walked bringing home the fifth run of the night. Gahan would again single home two runners making it 7-0 Prospects. Crain would clear the bases with a 3-run homer.

Fifth Inning:

A Percy Liu double scored two runs. Three batters later Liu scored on a fielder's choice. Gahan collected RBI number 5 singling home Daylen Calicdan making the score 14-3.

Sixth Inning:

With the bases loaded, a Tony Olson hit ball caused one of 5 Melville errors in the game and brought home two more runs. Spillman took the team in lead in sacrifice flies with 3 and made the score 17-3. Gahan drew a bases-loaded walk. The first at-bat in a Prospects uniform for Beaux Guilbeau was a RBI out making it 19-3.

Eighth Inning:

Once again the Prospects loaded the bases. With 2-out, Gio Villaneuva singled bringing home Spillman and Jake MacDonald. That would end the scoring on a historic 21-3 game.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

The leader of the offensive charge with 4 hits and 6 RBI Michael Gahan earns the “Player Of The Game” nod.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

CANADA DAY: vs Brooks Bombers 7pm, gates open at 5pm

IMPORTANT REMINDER to all fans coming to the Canada Day game. Even though it is on a Sunday, the game will be held in the evening with a 7pm start in order to accommodate the City of Edmonton's fireworks after the game. A live band will entertain the crowd after the game until the fireworks start! Many other festivities are involved. Be sure to get there early and avoid the line-ups! Tickets can still be purchased online at BUY TICKETS NOW!