By John Short
Atonement was sweet on Tuesday night for the Edmonton Prospects. Two days after being defeated by the Fort McMurray Giants in both ends of a double-header with a playoff spot on the line for both teams, the Prospects rebounded with a hard-fought 5-4 victory at the home park of the fourth-place Giants, who now own a one-half game edge over their rivals for the fourth and final post-season berth in the Western Canadian Baseball League’s Western Division.
Through the sixth and seventh innings, there were clear signs that doom was in store for the Prospects, who have struggled with terrible weather conditions for home games all season. A two-run double by Peyton Crispin and a sacrifice fly by Tanner Hess followed singles by Cam Sanderson and Max Hewitt were enough to destroy Edmonton’s early three-run lead and chase starting pitcher Trever Berg. In the seventh, Eric Meyer was hit by a pitch and came around to score on Hewitt’s double.
But the Prospects did not fold.
Matt Erickson provided some excellent relief work on the mound and the bats – dormant for much of the season – came to life again. A walk to Travis Hunt and the second double of the game by Javier Ramirez scored the tying run in the eighth inning. In the ninth, versatile Katsu Takahashi drew a walk as the lead-off man, then Nolan Walker hammered a triple to give Edmonton a slight edge once more.
The run was scored against Keith Manby, who has been effective against the Prospects in previous outings.
Erickson, credited with the win, kept the potent Fort McMurray offence under control until the ninth inning, when head coach Jordan Blundell went to David Wylie, the ranking fireman in Prospects gear for most of the season, and he kept the door shut although the potential tying run was on base.
Edmonton’s opening run was generated by Beaux Guilbeau on a single to score Hunt in the first inning. Pierce Blohowiak’s double became the second run in the fifth inning on the first Ramirez two-bagger of the evening.