Giant Win For Edmonton Prospects

By Len Nunes

With a playoff spot freshly clinched, the Edmonton Prospects hosted the Fort McMurray Giants Saturday night. After having one of the worst weather months in team history having three home games rained out, Mother Nature finally gave the club a textbook "beautiful night for baseball". Edmonton baseball fans responded as the Prospects got their 3rd biggest crowd of the season, a boisterous 3,251 fans. Everyone went home happy as the Prospects won the game 3-1.

Tony Olson led the game off with a single and would come around to open the scoring.

Daylen Calicdan, Michael Gahan, and Jake MacDonald loaded the bases in the bottom of the second with no-outs. Tony Olson's 26th RBI of the season was a painful one as he was hit by a pitch. The Prospects led 2-0 after two innings.

After a rough last outing in Okotoks, Prospects starter Taran Oulton wanted to have a strong start heading into the playoffs. Mission accomplished! Facing the minimum amount of batters through three innings, the Giants got their first hit of the game in the 4th inning which drove a runner that had reached base on an error. Oulton ran into some trouble in the 5th inning issuing two walks and single to load the bases but his defence bailed him out. A dying ball hit to center field was caught by a sliding Percy Liu. Liu had the presence of mind to immediately throw the ball to second base to turn the double play and end the inning. Oulton left the game after 5 innings with a 2-1 lead allowing only 2 hits and striking out 5.

The Prospects made it 3-1 in the 6th inning and once it again it was Tony Olson collecting the RBI. With MacDonald at third base a routine groundball to second was enough to bring him home.

Scott Gillespie took over on the mound for the Prospects pitching two shutout innings allowing only 2 hits and 1 walk. After posting a strong 3.21 ERA in 14 appearances last season, Gillespie has struggled in 2018. After this strong showing, the hope is that Gillespie is peaking just in time for the playoffs which start on Tuesday.

Jordan Smith entered the game in the 8th inning and retired the Giants in order. With the bases loaded and 2-out, Coach Ray Brown brought in Chase Morris to get the final out. It was Morris' second save in three nights.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Tony Olson scored one of the runs and knocked in the other two. Congratulations Mr. Olson you deserve the Player of the Game nod!

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

FAN APPRECIATION DAY - Sunday July 29 vs Fort Mac 2PM (*last chance to use any ticket from previously rained out games)

Playoff Schedule – 1st Round will be vs the Okotoks Dawgs. Games will start at 7PM.

Tuesday July 31 and Wednesday August 1st – Road Games in Okotoks.

Thursday August 2nd – RE/MAX Field

(if necessary) Friday August 3rd – RE/MAX Field

(if necessary) Saturday August 4th – Road Game in Okotoks.

*Friendly reminder, no outside food or drink is permitted at RE/MAX Field*

Prospects Sweep Bulls, Clinch Playoff Spot

By Len Nunes

The Edmonton Prospects, and their 5-17 road record, entered a 2-game set in Lethbridge fighting to control their own destiny. One win would clinch a playoff spot, two wins would clinch third place. The Prospects busted out to a 6-0 lead on Thursday on their way to clinching a playoff spot. On Friday, Rich Walker turned in his third complete game shutout of the season to lock up third place for the Prospects!

Game One:

The Prospects wasted little time hitting the scoreboard in the opening game of the mini-series as in the second inning Aidan Huggins drove in Daylen Calicdan to make it 1-0.

The third inning began with a Tony Olson triple, two pitches later Zane Takhar drove him in. Nick Spillman hit a double to join Takhar on base. Eric Crain then hit a double of his own emptying the bases. A Michael Gahan sacrifice fly would plate Crain and make the score 5-0 Prospects.

Spillman's second double of the game, his 8th of the season, drove in the Prospects final run of the night. A 6-0 lead after 4 innings ended in a 6-3 victory.

Josh Sieglitz, making only his 2nd start in 10 appearances, was excellent. Through 8 innings of work, Sieglitz held the Bulls off the board allowing only three hits. The attempt to complete the game broke the shutout but does not diminish the great start.

Game Two:

Olson's second triple in two nights, giving him a team high 4 on the season, drove in the first run of the game in the top of the 8th inning. Gahan tripled in the 9th inning and scored an insurance run on a passed ball. It was more than enough offence for Prospects starting pitcher Rich Walker.

Walker’s final pitching line shows a complete game, 3-hit mastery of the Bulls. 8 strikeouts his highest total since his Perfect Game back on June 29th. Walker leads the WMBL in complete games with 3.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Playoffs are mere days away and the old mantra is true, pitching wins championships. Prospects starters Josh Sieglitz and Rich Walker win Player Of The Game nods for their respective starts in Lethbridge.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

The final two home games of the regular season which means your final two chances to use your tickets from one of our three rained out ball games:

CISN Country Night - Saturday July 28 vs Fort Mac 7PM

Fan Appreciation Day - Sunday July 29 vs Fort Mac 2PM

Playoff Schedule - Opponent yet to be determined to be determined. Games will start at 7PM.

Tuesday July 31 and Wednesday August 1st – Road Games

Thursday August 2nd – RE/MAX Field

(if necessary) Friday August 3rd – RE/MAX Field

(if necessary) Saturday August 4th – Road Game

*Friendly reminder, no outside food or drink is permitted at RE/MAX Field*


*Please note that the schedule can change for the 3rd round depending on how many games it takes each series to play out.

The Prospects have won their match-up in the 1st Round for the Western Conference Semi-Finals.  They are currently facing off against the Medicine Hat Mavericks who won their match-up in the 1st Round as well.

The 2 winners of the 1st Round face off against each other for the Conference Final in each of the 2 Conferences (East-Sask. & West-AB)

The 2 Conference Finalists face off against each other in the 3rd and final round to determine the WMBL Championship

ALL PLAYOFF SERIES ARE BEST OF 5

 

Double Trouble In Medicine Hat

By Len Nunes

The Edmonton Prospects have two big wins this season versus the Medicine Hat Mavericks. One ended a Mavericks 10-game win streak; the other ended a 13-game win streak. Wednesday night the Prospects played a doubleheader in Medicine Hat and walked away empty handed.

Game one of the double-bill originally started on Thursday July 19th at RE/MAX but the weather forced the game to be stopped after 4 innings. Playing as the "home team", the Prospects started the night behind by a score of 3-1 and finished the night losing 9-4.

Michael Gahan's final combined pitching line between July 19th's work and last night's work shows 9 runs against on 17 hits allowed while collecting 6 strikeouts. His pitching line will also show a gaudy 139 pitches thrown (97 strikes). Gahan now leads the Prospects pitching staff in strikeouts (40). Matt Brisson made his 3rd appearance of the season on the mound for the Prospects finishing out the game.

Offensive highlights of game included Daylen Calicdan and Aidan Huggins both going 3-for-4 at the plate. Calicdan hit two doubles while Huggins hit one. Huggins, along with Liu and Spillman (2), collected the RBI on the evening for the Prospects.

Game two of the double-bill had the hottest Prospects starting pitcher take the mound in Connor Burns. Burns had pitched back-to-back shutout five inning appearances. The Mavericks ended Burns' 14 scoreless inning streak putting up 3 runs in the 2nd inning. Burns pitched into the 7th inning leaving with 2-outs after the Mavericks hit their 2nd home run of the evening making it 6-0.

The Prospects only run came in the top of the 8th with Eric Crain at the plate. A wild pitch by Tyler Shumpert allowed Tony Olson to cross the plate. Olson finished the game 2-for-4 at the plate with his double being the only Prospects extra-bases hit.

The two losses drop the Prospects record to 19-23 placing them in 3rd place in the Western Division one game ahead of the Lethbridge Bulls. The next two Prospects games are against those Bulls in Lethbridge. With only 4 games left in the season, two wins at Spitz Stadium would lock up third place for the Prospects.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

For the first game it truly is a coin toss between Daylen Calicdan and Aidan Huggins. Both 3-for-4 at the dish the deciding factor depends on your view of whether the 2nd double by Calicdan is more important than the RBI by Huggins. I don't have a coin handy so Calicdan and Huggins will share the Player of the Game nomination.

For the second game Tony Olson earns the nomination.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

July 26 and 27 in Lethbridge

FINAL WEEKEND OF THE REGULAR SEASON

Saturday July 28 - CISN Country Night - hosting Fort McMurray 7PM

Sunday July 29 - Fan Appreciation Day - hosting Fort McMurray 2:05PM

PLAYOFFS BEGIN JULY 31 - STAY TUNED FOR SCHEDULE!

9th Inning Comeback Falls Just Short

By Len Nunes

The Prospects scored the first run of Tuesday night's game and the last two runs. Sandwich in the middle was an Okotoks Dawgs 5-run 7th inning. With the bases loaded and two out in the bottom of the 9th, the Dawgs had to bring in their closer Craig Smith to get the final out.

2,103 Prospects fans were treated to heck of a performance by starting pitcher Edgar Barclay. Barclay pitched 6 innings allowing only two hits and two walks. Both hits against him were singles in the 2nd inning. A mid-season acquisition, Barclay's ERA now sits at 1.54 which would sit 2nd lowest in the WMBL if he had enough innings pitched to qualify.

The Prospects opened the scoring in the bottom of the 6th. Tony Olson drew a 1-out walk and promptly stole his 7th base of the season. Zane Takhar picked up his 14th RBI of the season bringing home Olson.

Drew Scott took over on the Prospects mound in the 7th inning making his 7th appearance of the season. Scott's first three appearances were used to get acquainted with the league leading into his last three appearances being stellar. Wednesday night was a speed bump for Scott has the Dawgs scored 5 runs on 4 hits and an error in his opening frame. Coach Ray Brown trotted Scott back out there for the 8th inning to see if the young man could regain some of his confidence. Scott ended up pitching the final two innings of the night only allowing one more hit.

With the score 5-1 in the bottom of the 9th, the Prospects came heartbreakingly close to pulling off a comeback victory. Beaux Guilbeau, Daylen Calicdan and Michael Gahan loaded the bases with 2-out. Anthony Cusati handcuffed Dawgs first baseman William Hollis allowing him to reach base and Guilbeau to come home. Percy Liu drew his 17th walk of the season for his 21st RBI pulling the Prospects to within two at 5-3. Alas, that is where the story ends.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

6 shutout innings gives Edgar Barclay the Player of the Game nod.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

Wednesday July 25 in Medicine Hat (conclusion of July 19 game also scheduled to be played previous to this game starting at 5pm)

July 26 and 27 in Lethbridge

FINAL WEEKEND OF THE REGULAR SEASON

Saturday July 28 - CISN Country Night - hosting Fort McMurray 7PM

Sunday July 29 - Fan Appreciation Day - hosting Fort McMurray 2:05PM

PLAYOFFS BEGIN JULY 31 - STAY TUNED FOR SCHEDULE!