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.