Prospects Rebound For Split of Twin-Bill
By John Short
Whatever the sport, proven leaders know in painful detail what can happen when schedules change on short notice. One who had ample experience in such difficult circumstances, and spoke about it often, was Jack Donahue, who ran Canada’s national men’s basketball program to World University Games and considerable Olympic experience decades ago.
“Don’t take days off when you’re going good and don’t avoid days off when you’re team is struggling,” was an ongoing mantra.
The Edmonton Prospects learned the same difficult lesson this week.
Riding a hot streak and comfortable both at bat and in the field, Edmonton’s Western Canadian Baseball League team faced a scheduled two-day respite last week – okay.
But the layoff was followed by two days of rain at RE/MAX Field and one at Lethbridge, home of the capable Bulls. Not okay.
The immediate result was a pair of narrow losses at Lethbridge – eerily-similar 2-1 setbacks on Friday night and in the opening seven-inning game of a doubleheader on Sunday. Fortunately, things improved in the nightcap when the Prospects continued their drive toward a playoff spot by handling Lethbridge 7-1.
Reliable southpaw Taran Oulton took the loss in the opener when Dylan Borman delivered a lead-off home run in the bottom of the seventh inning. His long ball erased a 1-1 tie that developed on a single and stolen base by Edmonton’s Eric Crain in the top of the seventh. His attempted theft led to a throwing error for catcher Roger Riley and Crain continued around the bases to create the threat of extra innings that disappeared on Borman’s blast.
Back-to-back errors by Javier Ramirez and centre fielder Tanner Roundy allowed Lethbridge to go ahead in the top half of the first inning.
Lethbridge managed only three hits off Oulton.
Six bases on balls and a two-run homer in the second inning by Pierce Blohowiak were the keys to Edmonton’s success in the second game. Tyler Maskill scored in front of the speedy Blohowiak as Edmonton took a 3-0 lead off starter Chase Florendine before Kyle Poapst came on to relieve him. A sacrifice fly by Jake Gehri was part of the four-run second inning. Ramirez scored two of Edmonton’s seven runs and Crain earned the other run-batted-in in the second inning.
Beaux Guilbeau scored an unearned Edmonton run in the fourth inning and Zach Thomas tallied the final run in the seventh when he earned a walk and later came across on a passed ball.
Borman’s sacrifice fly against winning pitcher Trever Berg in the first inning provided the only Lethbridge run. He was excellent for six innings and David Wylie was perfect in one inning of relief.