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.
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.