Back-and-Forth Game
By John Short

For the second night in a row, the Moose Jaw Miller Express held off the Edmonton Prospects for a narrow and intense victory in an error-filled, 10-inning Western Canadian Baseball League game at RE/MAX Field.

On the way to Moose Jaw’s 6-5 victory, Darrell Doll and Geordie McDougall each scored in the 10th after opening with singles off David Wylie. A wild pitch allowed Doll to score and Wylie’s error then made it possible for McDougall to score what would prove to be the winning run.

Clay Loranger replied for the Prospects in their half of the final inning after an infield grounder that could have gone as a hit but instead became the 10th error of the night. Surprisingly, only one of Moose Jaw’s total was unearned; Edmonton scored four of its five runs without the aid of an error.

Despite the numbers, a pair of brilliant outfield catches – by left fielder Tucker Zdunich in the ninth and right fielder Michael Borst in the 10th as Edmonton rallied – did much to provide the Miller Express victory. By sad contrast, outstanding outfielder Pierce Blohowiak mishandled a two-out, wind-blown fly by Zdunich as Moose Jaw scored an unearned run against Edmonton starter Taran Oulton.

Oulton and Moose Jaw’s Matt Jackson were outstanding despite adverse conditions until both left in the seventh inning.

Edmonton opened scoring in the first inning on bobbles by McDougall at third base. A triple by Zach Campbell and Zdunich’s single tied the game in the fifth inning and catcher Morky Melendez poled a long sacrifice fly to give his mates the go-ahead run two innings later.

A two-run burst in the ninth, featuring a Melendez double, created desperate circumstances for the Prospects, who battled back Singles by Davis Pratt and hot-hitting Travis Hunt and a double by Brendan Luther sparked Edmonton to a three-run rally, forcing both teams into extra innings but the deadlock lasted only long enough for Doll and McDougall to reach the batters’ box in the 10th.



Moose Jaw Comes From Behind
By John Short

Although the Moose Jaw Miller Express battered three pitchers for 17 hits Tuesday night at RE/MAX Field, the margin in a 6-4 victory over the Edmonton Prospects defeat was directly tied to shoddy play in the infield.

A poor throw by shortstop Javier Ramirez opened the door to one unearned run and three Moose Jaw runs in the seventh inning, erasing a 4-1 Edmonton lead. Two innings later, the same player’s error provided the ultimate two-run margin.

Moose Jaw earned the victory by putting at least two runners on base in every inning but the third and the eighth. Starting pitcher Austin Cannedy persevered through the first six innings by stranding 11 Express players. Zac Harrington was called in with one out in the seventh but was touched for Zach Campbell and Darrell Doll. Harrington was a perfect 1-2-3 in the eighth but the roof fell in when Cole Warken and Campbell led off with successful bunts in the ninth.

The decisive error on a grounder by Blake Gallagher scored Markus Melendez and Andres Garza, setting up reliever Jack Gamba to earn the save. He and Michael Ross retired the last five Prospects in succession.

Hard-hitting Travis Hunt smashed a long home run to the left in the first inning for the Prospects. Davis Pratt’s single scored Brendan Luther in the third and Edmonton padded its margin with two in the sixth on singles by Pratt, Hunt and Jake Gehri. Ramirez and Greyson Barrett were both hit by pitches in the same inning but did not come around to score.

With the victory, Moose Jaw evened its Eastern Conference record at .500, while the Prospects fell one game below that level with the loss. The three-game Western Canadian Baseball League series, in which Edmonton won the Canada Day opener 12-2, wraps up tonight at RE-MAX Field.

Canada Day Win!
By John Short

Presenting their own brand of fireworks for a crowd of 5,000 at RE/MAX Field on Canada Day, the Edmonton Prospects evened their Western Division record at 14-14 by downing the Moose Jaw Miller Express 12-2 in a Western Canadian Baseball League clash that stayed close until an offensive explosion that netted eight runs in the last two innings.

Once again, head coach Jordan Blundell’s youthful team used the “big inning” to their advantage.

Trailing 1-0 after starter and winner Hunter Boyd was tagged with a second-inning RBI single by Tucker Zdunich, Edmonton took control by stringing together four hits – two of the infield variety – and a Jake Gehri sacrifice fly for three runs in the fourth.

An error – one of several by each team on a chilly night when conditions were exceedingly damp – led to Moose Jaw’s final run in an inning marked by a spectacular two-out catch by centre fielder Tanner Roundy.

Boyd completed seven effective innings by scattering seven hits and fanning 10. Scott Gillespie and Jesse Poniewozik mopped up with no trouble.Third baseman Geordie McDougall and catcher Cole Warken combed him for three hits apiece.

Losing pitcher Blake Gallagher was almost as effective. Only three of the four runs he conceded in six innings were earned.

Hurlers Nathan Slobodian and Ethan Soroka were much less fortunate.

Javier Baez and Nathan Walker had three hits each for the winners, who face the Miller Express in a rematch tonight. Gehri, a promising freshman with the Yale Eli, punched two hits and added three assists to his WCBL total this year.


2 Wins In 3 Games
By John Short

One night after being handled 12-0 in a no-hitter, the Edmonton Prospects rebounded Friday with a hard-fought 6-5 victory over the Weyburn Beavers.

The win marked a healthy end to a difficult road trip through the Saskatchewan precincts of the Western Canadian Baseball League and set up Edmonton for a home-stand that features the Moose Jaw Miller Express in a Canada Day meeting Monday night, followed by the City of Edmonton's now-traditional fireworks display.

Winning pitcher Trever Berg was excellent for Edmonton, surrendering only two hits through seven innings and allowing his mates to construct a 6-0 margin that David Wylie’s relief effort helped stand up for the win.

A solo home run by Drake Pilat in the seventh inning ended Berg’s shutout attempt, before Jack Barrie’s three-run homer highlighted a four-run eighth for Weyburn against Brendan Owens – but Edmonton’s run-scoring had already been done.

The big burst – part of the Prospects’ season-long record – came in the third inning. Pesky outfielder Pierce Blohowiak started things with a base on balls. Javier Ramirez and Edgar Harrell added singles around another walk by losing pitcher Liam Rosebeck, who was touched for two runs-batted-in by Harrell in the game.

Hot-hitting Travis Hunt provided his vital three-run blast to cap the highlight inning. He also scored what proved to be the winning run in the fifth, roaring home from first base on a double by Jake Gehri, who kept his batting average above .300 by collecting three of Edmonton’s eight hits.