Edmonton Prospects Put Up 21 Runs, Win Easily

By Len Nunes

An hour rain delay did not dampen the enthusiasm shown by the fans when Rich Walker was given his moment to bask in the glory of his Perfect Game Friday night in Fort McMurray. The Prospects offence seemingly took it as a challenge. A 4-run first followed by a 6-run second inning was just the tip of the offensive explosion on Saturday night. When it was all said and done, 21 runs crossed the plate for the Prospects. The WMBL stats page only goes back to the 2010 so unofficially, this is the highest run total put up by the Prospects in franchise history.

Before we go into the plethora of offensive exploits, let us first give due credit to the pitching performance of Prospect starter Connor Burns. His longest and arguably best start of the season saw him go 7 1/3 innings, allowing 3 runs on 7 hits while fanning 7 batters. Burns retired his first 6 batters faced before giving up only 3 runs of the night in the 3rd inning. Recovering from the runs against, Burns would retire 7 consecutive Melville Millionaires.

Mathieu Brisson made his 2018 debut for the Prospects relieving Burns on the mound. Only Nate Doleman reached base during Brisson's 1 2/3 innings played. Now let's talk about the offence.

Seven (7!) starters and two pinch-hitters collected RBI! Michael Gahan led the team with 4 hits and 6 RBI. Eric Crain hit a rare RE/MAX Field home run. Daylen Calicdan and Anthony Cusati both drew 3 walks!

First Inning:

With the bases loaded, Cusati walked, bringing home the first run of the night. Gahan singled bringing home two then Crain hit a sacrifice fly making it 4-0.

Second Inning:

The Prospects loaded the bases again. Spillman walked bringing home the fifth run of the night. Gahan would again single home two runners making it 7-0 Prospects. Crain would clear the bases with a 3-run homer.

Fifth Inning:

A Percy Liu double scored two runs. Three batters later Liu scored on a fielder's choice. Gahan collected RBI number 5 singling home Daylen Calicdan making the score 14-3.

Sixth Inning:

With the bases loaded, a Tony Olson hit ball caused one of 5 Melville errors in the game and brought home two more runs. Spillman took the team in lead in sacrifice flies with 3 and made the score 17-3. Gahan drew a bases-loaded walk. The first at-bat in a Prospects uniform for Beaux Guilbeau was a RBI out making it 19-3.

Eighth Inning:

Once again the Prospects loaded the bases. With 2-out, Gio Villaneuva singled bringing home Spillman and Jake MacDonald. That would end the scoring on a historic 21-3 game.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

The leader of the offensive charge with 4 hits and 6 RBI Michael Gahan earns the “Player Of The Game” nod.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

CANADA DAY: vs Brooks Bombers 7pm, gates open at 5pm

IMPORTANT REMINDER to all fans coming to the Canada Day game. Even though it is on a Sunday, the game will be held in the evening with a 7pm start in order to accommodate the City of Edmonton's fireworks after the game. A live band will entertain the crowd after the game until the fireworks start! Many other festivities are involved. Be sure to get there early and avoid the line-ups! Tickets can still be purchased online at BUY TICKETS NOW!

The Perfect Game!

By Len Nunes

After losing 5-2 on Thursday in game one of the two game set, the story heading into Friday night’s re-match was the 6-game losing streak the team was on. Whenever you heard Coach Ray Brown speak, he would always emphasize keeping the game simple. Bring in your runners in scoring position, make your throws on defence, stay focused on the mound, etc.  These are all lines you are bound to hear from Coach Brown if you listen to any of his interviews. The Prospects followed his advice to “perfection”!

With 1-out in the top of the first, Tony Olson and Daylen Calicdan collected walks. Nick Spillman singled bringing in both men opening the scoring for the Prospects. Spillman now leads the team in batting average (.385) and RBI (18). AJ Nitzschke collected a 2-RBI single of his own to get the night started off on the right foot.

With the offence spotting Walker a 4-0 lead, Arizona native Rich Walker made his 4th start of the season. The first year Edmonton Prospect, Walker had a 6-pitch 1-2-3 inning to set the tone early. The tone being perfection, 27-up, 27-down!

The honourable thing to do here is to let him describe the win. Quotes are taken from Walker’s post-game interview on TSN 1260 Sports Night.

“A lot of credit to my shortstop Aidan Huggins…He was absolutely unreal for me today. I think he had 4 or 5 groundballs, some of them were not the easiest so he definitely picked me up there”

I think it was the 2nd inning, our leftfieder AJ (Nitzschke) got an amazing read on an off-the-end fastball and it really helped me out.

The number one play of the day came from Zane (Takhar), our second baseman. A little jam shot hit between him and the first baseman. He busted that through the outfield to make that play for me. Nick Spillman, you know, kinda took a couple steps at it and made he sure got back to the bag. I don’t think that it was the closest of plays but one the defence definitely picked me up.”

The only number in Walker’s pitching line that was not a zero was his strikeout total of 9.

"UNBELIEVABLE! I really can’t believe what I just witnessed. I’m still shaking. It’s an incredible individual and team accomplishment. There have been only 23 perfect games in 210,000 MLB Games. Do the math and you will realize how near impossible this is at any level." beamed Prospects Managing Partner Patrick Cassidy!

PLAYER OF THE GAME

After zero deliberation, this honour goes to the young man who threw a perfect game. Congratulations on making history Rich Walker!

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

Saturday, June 30 vs Melville Millionaires at 7 PM - Tickets just $10 for students and the band starts at 5pm. Get to the pre-game concert early and party in the Prospects' Pit in the stand-up 1st base area. Stay and enjoy the game that starts at 7pm. Cheap beer and cheap fun!

CANADA DAY – Sunday, 7 PM vs Brooks - AVOID DISAPPOINTMENT, BUY THESE TICKETS NOW!

*CANADA DAY UPDATE: Suites, Lounge and Balcony seats are SOLD OUT. The best sections for viewing fireworks are selling briskly.  

 

Edmonton Prospects Losing Streak Hits Five

By Len Nunes

The mid-season losing streak has hit five for the Edmonton Prospects. The highly anticipated return home from the Saskatchewan road trip, which the team finished 1-5, had 1,592 faithful fans at the beautiful RE/MAX Field trying to help the team turns things around. A newly acquired pitcher got the start for the Prospects. Head Coach Ray Brown used his bullpen differently than he has throughout the season in an effort to shake off the losing streak but to no avail. The Okotoks Dawgs walked away with a 6-2 win.

Edgar Barclay, the team's second native of Hilo, Hawaii joining Daylen Calicdan, made his first WMBL start for the Prospects. Barclay walked the first two batters he faced but a double-play avoided any damage being done. With 1 out in the 3rd inning Brandon Sparks reached base on an error. With Eddie Sanchez at bat the Prospects defensive turned another double-play!

The Dawgs broke Barclay's shutout in the 4th inning. Marcus Skundrich's single to right field scored one run and moved another runner over to third. With Ryan Humenuik at the plate, Skundrich would take off for second base. When he realized Prospects catcher Anthony Cusati's throw was going to catch him, Skundrich peeled back causing a rundown and bought enough time for the runner at third base to come home. The final pitching line for Barclay was 4 IP, 2 runs allowed on 2 hits with 3 walks issued and 5 strikeouts.

Connor Burns, 0-2 in three starts, made his first relief appearance of the season for the Prospects. Burns allowed a lead-off single before retiring 5 Dawgs in a row. He would strand two runners in the bottom of the 6th leaving the game just the way he found it with the Dawgs still up 2-0.

Rich Walker's last three appearances for the Prospects have been as a starter going 1-2. Walker came in as a relief pitcher in the 7th inning. The Dawgs scored a run against him in his opening frame but Walker put up a zero in the top of the 8th.

With the Prospects down 3-0, the offence put up their first two runs of the night. Zane Takhar, who broke out of a 6-game hitting slump going 2-for-2, singled to lead things off. Pinch-hitter Tony Olson drew a four pitch walk. Percy Liu, with what ended up being an important productive out advanced the runners. Michael Gahan laced a single to the Dawgs right fielder Sparks. Sparks’ throw to catch Takhar at home was wild allowing the run to score easily. Olson trotted home the last night ninety feet after being awarded home plate because of the wild throw.

Taran Oulton, the team co-leader in starts with four, came in to pitch the 9th inning with the Prospects down 3-2. His first three batters faced reached base via a single, a hit-by-pitch and an intentional walk. With the infield drawn in, the Prospects collected the first out of the inning at home plate getting the force on Skundrich. A passed ball scored the Dawgs 4th run of the night. A 2-RBI single by Abdiel Alicea made the score 6-2 in favour of the Dawgs.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Daylen Calicdan went 2-for-3 at the plate bringing his personal hit streak to four. Calicdan's batting average improved to .382 taking over the team lead from Nick Spillman (.380). Calicdan sits 5th overall in the league while Spillman sits 7th.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

Thursday June 28 and Friday June 29 AT Fort McMurray. 7:35 first pitch for both games.

Saturday, June 30 vs Melville Millionaires at 7 PM - Tickets just $10 for students and the band starts at 5pm. Get to the pre-game concert early and party in the Prospects' Pit in the stand-up 1st base area. Stay and enjoy the game that starts at 7pm. Cheap beer and cheap fun!

CANADA DAY – Sunday, 7 PM vs Brooks - AVOID DISAPPOINTMENT, BUY THESE TICKETS NOW!

*CANADA DAY UPDATE: Suites, Lounge and Balcony seats are SOLD OUT. The best sections for viewing fireworks are selling briskly.

Extra Innings Heartbreak In Swift Current

By Len Nunes

The Edmonton Prospects were looking to finish their crazy Saskatchewan road trip on a high note. Leading 3-0 after the first and 7-4 into the bottom of the ninth, it looked like the bus ride home would be a lively one. The front office even provided the boys something to chatter about on the bus with the twitter announcement that one of the best rugby female sevens players in the world, Jen Kish, would be throwing out the first pitch on Canada Day. Unfortunately, the defending champion Swift Current 57's played the role of heart-breaker tying the game in the bottom of the 9th and winning it in the bottom of the 11th. The Prospects end the road trip 1-5 after losing the last four.

Percy Liu led the game off with his 10th walk of the season. Liu was able to trot home as Daylen Calicdan hit his first home run of the season. Eric Crain earned his first RBI of the season driving home Nick Spillman and the Prospects had a 3-0 lead after one.

Michael Gahan, who had started the road trip opening game in Swift Current, drew the road trip closing start against the 57's. Gahan faced the minimum amount of batters through the first three innings before his first bit of adversity in the bottom of the 3rd. A 1-out single came around to score putting the 57's on the board. Another 1-out single in the bottom of the 4th came around to score drawing the 57's within one at 3-2.

Calicdan led the 5th inning off with his second home run of the inning. Spoiler alert, this means he has already wrapped up the "Player of the Game" nomination. Spillman doubled ending the night for 57's starter Mitch Guiberson. Matt Coutney's 10th RBI of the season restored the Prospects 3-run lead at 5-2.

The 57’s fought back in the bottom half of the 5th inning with a lead-off homer of their own.  Their first out of the inning drew them within one at 5-4. That out was also the first of 10 straight retired batters my Gahan!

The top of the 9th started with a Tony Olson walk. Spillman collected his 4th hit and 1st RBI of the night cashing in Olson. The RBI puts Spillman in the team lead with 15. An error on a ball hit by Coutney resulted in Spillman scoring and the Prospects once again having a 3-run lead at 7-4.

Gahan, having retired 12 of his previous 13 batters, returned to the mound in the bottom of the 9th to go for the complete game. Mitch Dean and Miles Miller hit back-to-back singles before Gahan struck out pinch hitter Jered Binsfield for the first out. The score was 7-5 when the 2nd out was collected. With 2-on, 2-out Ethan Hunter tied the game at 7 with a 2-run single. A valiant effort by Gahan to go the distance but Jordan Smith had to come in to get the final out.

Smith had a 1-2-3 10th before walking the lead-off batter in the bottom of the 11th. With 1-out, Will Baker hit a walk-off double giving the 57's an 8-7 victory. The loss drops the Prospects to 8-12 on the season.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

The 2-homerun automatic nomination rule was enacted by Daylen Calicdan. Calicdan finished 3-of-5 at the plate.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

HOME SWEET HOME: Wednesday June 27 vs Okotoks. 7PM. Theme is SCHOOLS OUT!

Thursday June 28 and Friday June 29 AT Fort McMurray.

Saturday, June 30 vs Melville Millionaires at 7 PM - Tickets just $10 for students and the band starts at 5pm. Get to the pre-game concert early and party in the Prospects' Pit in the stand-up 1st base area. Stay and enjoy the game that starts at 7pm. Cheap beer and cheap fun!

CANADA DAY – Sunday, 7 PM vs Brooks - AVOID DISAPPOINTMENT, BUY THESE TICKETS NOW!

*CANADA DAY UPDATE: Suites, Lounge and Balcony seats are SOLD OUT. The best sections for viewing fireworks are selling briskly. 

Prospects Downed In Weyburn

By Len Nunes

The province of Saskatchewan has not been kind to the Edmonton Prospects. The Prospects fall to 1-4 on the annual road trip after losing both game in Weyburn versus the Beavers. The road trip ends on Monday where it started in Swift Current.

Josh Sieglitz, who entered the game with two sparkling three inning relief appearances under his belt, was your Prospects starter. 3 hit batters and 3 hits against, Sieglitz walked off the mound after the first inning down 4-0. Head Coach Ray Brown allowed Sieglitz to come out and start the second inning but his night ended after a lead-off walk.

With the score 5-0 Weyburn entering the 4th inning, the Prospects bats came to life! It all started with a walk by arguably the smallest guy in the WMBL, Zane Takhar. Here are a couple quotes from Jason Hills' Edmonton Sun article by Takhar regarding his 5-foot-10 inch, 150 pound frame:

"“There have been lots of people who have doubted me over the years, but I love proving them wrong and proving myself right. I love the big moments. The late inning games where I can be in a position for a walk-off hit, or make a big play to help us win the game. Those are moments I live for playing the game of baseball....

I’ve always had to work hard with everything when it’s come to baseball. There aren’t many ways to stand out when you’re a guy my size playing baseball. The one thing I can do is play as hard as I can to try and stand out that way....

Last year, I almost got cut at the beginning of the year, but they gave me an extra chance and I really took it to heart. Growing up, I never made any AA or AAA teams, so it was a position I’ve been in before. But I do what I always try to do, show that I’m worth keeping around.”"

With Takhar on first base with his team leading 13th walk of the season, Daylen Calicdan hit a single to put runners on the corners for Nick Spillman. Spillman hit a single to center field which was mishandled and allowed both Takhar and Calicdan to score. Tony Olson drove in Spillman with a double. Olson and Spillman are now tied for the team lead in RBI with 14. Michael Gahan collected his 2nd RBI of the season plating Olson. The Prospects clawed all way back to a 1-run deficit at 5-4.

Scott Gillespie, who took over for Sieglitz on the mound in the 2nd inning, ran into some difficulties in the bottom half of the fourth. With one run already in, the Beavers loaded the bases. Nolan Machibroda, who finished the night with 6 RBI, drove in two of the three runners. Anthony Tejada brought in the last runner ballooning the score back to a 5-run deficit at 9-4.

Gillespie pitched into the 6th inning leaving the bases loaded with only one out. Marion McLean would collect two strikeouts but Felix Correa drove home two runs making it 11-4 Weyburn.

Brandon Hill pitched the 7th inning and struggled with his control loading the bases with a hit batter and two walks. Two of those runners scored making it 13-4 Weyburn.

Mike Ozga pinch hit for Spillman in the top of the 8th inning and drew a walk. Ozga has had limited appearances so far this season. If you wanted to get to know him better there is a "get to know him" piece on albertadugoutstories.com called 1 Thru 9: Mike Ozga. Jake MacDonald, who earlier subbed into the game at catcher for Anthony Cusati, extended his personal hitting streak to 4 with single to right field. Both were stranded on base.

AJ Nitzschke made his Prospects debut on the mound in the bottom of the 8th inning. Nitzschke alternated between strike outs and allowing a baserunner. Maybe not how you write the script, but effective nevertheless!

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Tony Olson takes the "Player of the Game" going 2-for-4 at the plate. His double was the only Prospect hit that went for extra bases.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

Monday June 25 in Swift Current

UPCOMING HOME GAMES

Wednesday, June 27 SCHOOLS OUT vs Okotoks Dawgs at 7 PM

Saturday, June 30 vs Melville Millionaires at 7 PM - Tickets just $10 for students and the band starts at 5pm. Get to the pre-game concert early and party in the Prospects' Pit in the stand-up 1st base area. Stay and enjoy the game that starts at 7pm. Cheap beer and cheap fun!

CANADA DAY - 7 PM vs Brooks - AVOID DISAPPOINTMENT, BUY THESE TICKETS NOW!