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.

 

Unfortunate Blowout
By John Short

Behind the almost-perfect no-hit pitching of Christian Vick, the Weyburn Beavers showed most of the reasons they are first in the Saskatchewan wing of the Western Canadian Baseball League Friday night, hammering the Edmonton Prospects 12-0.

The result was a far cry from Thursday’s match, when the Prospects got excellent relief pitching and two late runs to stop Weyburn 8-6.

This time, the Beavers showed no mercy to starter Andrew Lowe and relievers Jackson Bandow and Tanner Roundy, who all were pounded. Lowe was the losing pitcher.

Cory Wills, Jack Barrie and James McCallum all homered for hometown Weyburn which struck for five runs in the second inning and never looked back.

In his route-going performance, Vick, a 195-pound righthander from Southeast Missouri State, fanned 14 Prospects hitters and did not walk anyone. Two fielding errors by his Weyburn mates forced him to face only two batters beyond the nine-inning minimum of 27.

Exciting Win In Weyburn
By John Short

Top-level relief pitching by Zac Herrington, Brendan Owens and David Wylie allowed the Edmonton Prospects to overcome an early deficit and defeat the Weyburn Beavers 8-6 in a Western Canadian Baseball League game in Weyburn before about 500 fans.

Herrington took over for starter Matt Erikson with none out and the bases loaded in what became a four-run Weyburn rally and a temporary 6-2 margin. The third-inning problem began with walks to Justin Summers and Jack Barrie and a single by Drake Pilat. After winning pitcher Herrington took over, he was touched for singles by Marcus Catalano and Dominic Sere before taking control. From that point, he was not seriously threatened. Owens and Wylie shared perfect 1-2-3 innings in the eighth and ninth.

Edmonton’s first runs came in the third when Javier Ramirez scored on Travis Hunt’s infield hit and Brendan Luther came across on a two-out, bases-loaded walk by Weyburn’s starter, Sawyer Strickland.

The Prospects continued their habit of relying on the big scoring burst; this time it was a four-run splurge in the fourth inning, keyed by a Ramirez home run after Pierce Blohowiak’s lead-off walk. Then came a walk to Brendan Luther and a double by Edgar Harrell. Nolan Walker added another double to rescue both runners.

A single by Harrell and a double by Gehri created the go-ahead run in the seventh inning and the insurance tally was registered when pinch-runner Tanner Roundy strolled across as Harrell was hit by a pitch with two out.

The victory was potentially a big step for the Prospects, whose bats have been silent recently. They entered the game below .500 in standings while the Beavers had lost only three games and held a clear lead in the WCBL’s Saskatchewan area code.