Dawgs Walk Away With Hard Fought Victory

By Len Nunes

The Edmonton Prospects jumped out to an early lead. Twice the Prospects fell behind; twice the Prospects tied the game. They say the third time is the charm and the third time the Okotoks Dawgs took the lead, they held onto it for the win. The Prospects end their 5-game road trip with a 1-4 record. Overall, the Prospects are 4-14 on the road this season. After a much needed day off, the Prospects go home to the friendly confines of RE/MAX Field, where they are 9-4 so far this season, to play 8 of their next 9 games.

Nick Spillman started the scoring for the Prospects knocking home Michael Gahan. The RBI is Spillman's team-leading 26th of the season and puts him in a tie for 6th place in the WMBL. Spillman would try to score on an Eric Crain infield single but was tagged out at home plate.

The Prospects added another run to their lead in the top of the 2nd inning. Percy Liu doubled scoring Beaux Guilbeau making it 2-0.

Taran Oulton drew his first start for the Prospects since the Canada Day game which was plagued by early trouble. Those troubles found him in the second inning of this start also. After striking out lead-off batter Richard Mascarenas, 5 straight Dawgs batters collected hits. The big hit being a bases-loaded double by Eddie Sanchez that emptied the bases. When the dust settled it was 4-2 Okotoks after two. Credit to Oulton for settling down quickly and retiring 8 of the next 9 batters faced.

The Prospects drew even in the 4th. With 1 out, Guilbeau singled and AJ Nitzschke drew a walk. Liu hit his 2nd RBI double of the game bringing home both runners. The two doubles put Liu second on the team with 5.

The 4-4 tie lasted until the bottom of the 5th inning when Oulton found himself in trouble again. A lead-off single followed by an 11-pitch at-bat walk to Nate Dechaine put the Dawgs in position to score. A 1-out Mascarenas single made it 5-4 Okotoks. Oulton left after striking out Ryan Humenuik for the second out. The final line for the Prospects starter was 4 2/3 innings played, 5 runs allowed on 10 hits issuing 1 walk and collecting 5 strikeouts.

The Prospects got the run back in the top of the 6th once again tying the game. Crain's 2nd hit of the game led the inning off and was followed by a Guilbeau walk. Jake MacDonald hit a fly ball deep enough to center to score Crain making it 5-5.

Chase Morris took over for Oulton on the Prospects mound getting the final out of the 5th and first out of the 6th. Then the Dawgs scored 4 runs on 5 hits against him giving them a 9-5 lead. It was only Morris' second appearance in the WMBL so chalk this inning up as a learning experience.

Drew Scott, making only his third appearance in the WMBL, took over on the Prospects mound for the 7th inning. With a run already scored, the Dawgs loaded the bases with no outs. Scott struck out William Hollis and Nate Dechaine on his way of escaping the inning, only giving up the one run.

The Prospects pulled within 3 in the top of the 8th. Spillman drew a lead-off walk and with 1 out Guilbeau got his 2nd hit of the night. Spillman scored on a Mascarenas fielding error and Guilbeau scored on a fielder's choice off the bat of MacDonald making it 10-7.

The Dawgs added another run in the bottom of the 8th to make 11-7. The run was charged to Scott who left with 1 out and runners on first and third. The first batter Jordan Smith faced hit a RBI sacrifice fly. The other Dawg runner Smith inherited was stranded.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Percy Liu earns the Player of the Game nod with 2 doubles and 3 RBI.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

Toonie Tuesday - July 10th at home versus Yorkton. Buy one ticket at regular price, get a second ticket for a Toonie. 7:05 PM first pitch!

Thursday July 12 Road Game in Brooks

Friday, July 13 vs Yorkton Cardinals - Be sure to check out social media channels for a preview of our Stars Wars themed game-worn jerseys to be auctioned off. Silent Auction bids will be taken across from the Merchandise Booth on the main concourse behind Section H. 7:05 PM first pitch!

Saturday, July 14 vs Brooks - Military Day! Celebrations for our Armed Forces to say “thank you”. 7:05 PM first pitch!

Sunday July 15 vs Brooks - RE/MAX Family Day! In support of the Children's Wish Foundation, kids run the bases post-game. 2:05 PM first pitch!

 

Prospects Win Number 13 Ends Mavericks 13-Game Win Streak

By Len Nunes

The Edmonton Prospects have done it again! Proving to be the Medicine Hat Mavericks kryptonite, the Prospects ended their 13-game winning streak. The Prospects are now responsible for two of the four Mavericks losses on the season. The other Prospect victory versus the Mavericks ended their 10-game win streak back in June. Last night, after falling behind 2-0 in the first inning, the Prospects went on to win the wild and woolly game 13-10.

The Mavericks, looking to tie a franchise record 14-game win streak, had their first three batters reach base before Prospects starter Rich Walker retired the side in order. The last time WMBL fans saw Walker on the mound he threw a perfect game against the Fort McMurray Giants. The Prospects offence quickly got back those two runs plus more!

With 2-out in the top of the second, Beaux Guilbeau hit a single. With a 1-0 count, Anthony Cusati hit his first home run of the season tying the game at two. The Prospects then proceeded to load the bases via AJ Nitzschke and Percy Liu singles and Tony Olson being hit by a pitch. Zane Takhar would earn a painful RBI being hit by a pitch. Michael Gahan singled scoring Liu and Olson making it 5-2 Prospects.

Rich Walker pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the second to quickly send his smoking hot offence back onto the field and they did not disappoint.

Eric Crain, extending his personal hit streak to 6, doubled to lead off the 3rd inning. Guilbeau picked up his 2nd RBI of the season bringing Crain home with a single. Nitzschke hit his team-leading 3rd homerun of the season giving the Prospects an 8-2 lead. The Mavericks got one of those runs back in the bottom half of the inning but the Prospects just kept mashing.

Takhar and Gahan led the 4th inning off with back-to-back singles. Nick Spillman ground into a double-play but Takhar still scored. Crain reached base on the only defensive error of the night by the Mavericks and was joined on board by Guilbeau and Cusati who both walked. Nitzschke collected RBI 3 and 4 of the evening knocking home Crain and Guilbeau making it 11-3 for the Prospects.

Back on the mound, Walker left the game after pitching 6 innings allowing 5 runs on 8 hits. Walker did not issue any walks and collected two strikeouts.

In the top of the 7th the Prospects grew their lead to 13-5 when Cusati and Nitzschke started the inning with a walk and a single respectively. Olson brought home Cusati and Takhar brought home Nitzschke.

Josh Sieglitz came in to pitch the bottom of the 7th for the Prospects and struggled. In two previous appearances versus the Mavericks, Sieglitz had combined to pitch 4 innings allowing only 1 run on 3 hits. The line on Saturday night read 1 inning played, 5 runs against on 4 hits.

Edgar Barclay took over on the Prospects mound in the 8th inning in a 6-out save situation up 13-10. The Mavericks went down in order in the 8th but made things tense in the 9th. With the bases loaded and   two out, Barclay got his third strikeout of the inning (and fifth of the night) to end the threat and end the 13-game win streak of the Mavericks.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

AJ Nitzschke went 4-for-5 at the plate with a home run and 4 RBI. Congratulations AJ you have earned the “Player Of The Game” nomination!

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

July 8 - visiting Okotoks 2:05 PM first pitch

NEXT HOME GAMES

Tuesday, July 10 vs Yorkton Cardinals

Friday, July 13 vs Yorkton Cardinals - Be sure to check out social media channels for a preview of our Stars Wars themed game-worn jerseys to be auctioned off. Silent Auction bids will be taken across from the Merchandise Booth on the main concourse behind Section H.

SPECIAL NOTE:

We are 365 days away from the Prospects hosting the All-Star Game!

Prospects Lose But Not Without A Fight

By Len Nunes

In case you missed the footnote heading into Friday night's game, "In the only previous meeting this season between the two teams, the Edmonton Prospects snapped the Medicine Hat Mavericks 10-game winning streak. The Mavericks have not lost since that meeting back on June 18th!" After Friday night's game the Mavericks win streak reached 13!

The Mavericks lead the league in On-base Percentage (.415), Slugging Percentage (.440) and Batting Average (.364). All facets of their offence were on display as the Mavericks built up a 10-0 lead after 5 innings. It was at this point the Edmonton Prospects showed off some moxie. At a point in time where complacency and simply playing out the string would have been the easiest forms of action, the Prospects fought back.

In the top of the 6th, Nick Spillman hit a 1-out single. Anthony Cusati reached base on the one defensive error by the Mavericks. Jake MacDonald would bring both runners in, making the score 10-2. The Mavericks got those two runs back in the bottom of the 6th but that did not dampen the never-say-die spirit of the Prospects!

A lead-off double by AJ Nitzschke followed by Tony Olson and Zane Takhar walks loaded the bases to start the Prospects half of the 7th inning. Nitzschke scored on a wild pitch, then Daylen Calicdan drove home Olson with a RBI single. Takhar scored on a wild pitch which was followed by Spillman knocking in Calicdan to make the score 12-6. The teams exchanged runs after the 7th inning stretch making the final score 13-7 in favour of the Mavs.

So what do the Prospects need to do in the Saturday night re-match to break the Mavs 13-game winning streak? In two of the three Mavericks losses this season, the opposing team scored first. In the Prospects 8-5 win versus Medicine Hat earlier this season, the offence scored in the first and second inning. Scoring first and then limiting the Mavericks offence will be the plan. The moxie the Prospects showed us Friday night will need to be full effect Saturday to have a fighting chance to make the plan work.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Breaking out of a 0-11 mini-slump at the plate Nick Spillman earns the “Player of The Game” nomination. Singles in the 4th, 6th and 7th brought his team leading average back up to an outstanding .369!

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

July 7 – Medicine Hat re-match

July 8 - visiting Okotoks

NEXT HOME GAMES

Tuesday, July 10 vs Yorkton Cardinals

Friday, July 13 vs Yorkton Cardinals - Be sure to check out social media channels for a preview of our Stars Wars themed game-worn jerseys to be auctioned off.  Silent Auction bids will be taken across from the Merchandise Booth on the main concourse behind Section H.

The One That Got Away

By Len Nunes

The Edmonton Prospects scored in the first inning of Thursday night’s game and never trailed through nine innings of play. With a 5-3 lead heading into the bottom of the 9th, the Lethbridge Bulls tied the game forcing extra innings. It feels like the Bulls stole the walk-off victory in the 11th inning. With the Prospects pitchers combining to give up 20 hits, if the Prospects would have held onto win rest assured the Bulls would be writing about how one got away from them.

Prospects second baseman Zane Takhar likely wishes every game was against the Bulls. Entering the 6th meeting of the season between the two teams, Takhar had gone 6-for-15 with 4 doubles (his only 4 of the season), 3 RBI and 6 walks. With 1-out in the first inning, Takhar singled and scored on a Nick Spillman groundout.

The Bulls tied the game in the bottom of the first but the Prospects quickly took back the lead in the top of the second. Eric Crain extended his personal hitting streak to 5 games with a 1-out single. Crain came around to score on a 2-out Percy Liu RBI single making it 2-1 Prospects.

Lachlan Mayo had Prospects starting pitcher Dylan Emmons’ number on Thursday. Mayo drove in the Bulls first inning run and led off the third with a single. Mayo came around to score the game tying run making it 2-2. In the fourth inning with 2-on and 2-out, Emmons took no chances and intentionally walked Mayo to load the bases. The tactic worked as the Bulls next batter Kaleb Warden grounded out. Emmons came out to start the 5th inning but after a lead-off single Head Coach Ray Brown went to his bullpen.

Making his Prospects mound debut, Chase Morris retired the Bulls 1-2-3.

This must have sparked the Prospects offence as in the top of the 6th, three runs crossed the plate. Takhar and Daylen Calicdan led the inning off with back-to-back singles. Michael Gahan reached on an error pushing across the first run of the inning. Crain accounted for the other two runs with a single to right field.

Morris, with his team now leading 5-2, ran into a little bit of trouble in the bottom of the 6th punctuated by another Mayo RBI. In the 7th and 8th inning Morris had two runners on board and both times was able to induce groundballs that the defense converted into double-plays.

Making his 8th appearance of the season, Jordan Smith came in to pitch the 9th inning looking to save the 5-3 lead. The Bulls had other ideas and off to extra innings the game went. With 2-out and 2-on in the bottom of the 11th, a Hank Forrest single gave the Bulls a 6-5 win.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Eric Crain wins the Player Of The Game nomination driving in two runs and extending his personal hit streak to 5.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

July 6 and 7 – visiting the 22-3 Medicine Hat Mavericks

The only meeting this season between the two teams, the Prospects snapped the Mavericks 10-game winning streak. The Mavericks have not lost since that meeting back on June 18th!

July 8 – visiting Okotoks

NEXT HOME GAMES

Tuesday, July 10 vs Yorkton Cardinals

Friday, July 13 vs Yorkton Cardinals - Be sure to check out social media channels for a preview of our Stars Wars themed jersey’s to be worn on and auctioned off.  Silent Auction bids will be taken across from the Merchandise Booth on the main concourse behind Section H.

 

 

The Game Was Closer Than The Score

By Len Nunes

The 4-game winning streak for the Edmonton Prospects is over. Let's reminisce about those four wins because they were not just four ordinary mid-season wins. The win streak started with the Rich Walker perfect game. Win number two was unofficially the Prospects highest offensive output in franchise history scoring 21 runs. The majesty that is the Canada Day game marked win number three. Exhausted from all that adrenaline the Prospects managed to gut out their fourth win in a row in less than ideal weather conditions.

Wednesday night was the 5th meeting of the season between the Prospects and Lethbridge Bulls. The teams split the first four games. It was the first meeting outside the friendly confines of RE/MAX Field. The Bulls won 9-0 improving their record to 10-16 moving within 1.5 games of the Prospects (12-15) in the Western Division.

Edgar Barclay made his second start of the season for the Edmonton Prospects. After issuing a lead-off walk, Barclay struck out the side! The lead-off batter got on board each of Barclay's 5 innings pitched but it never came back to hurt him. Leaving the game still tied at zero, Barclay gave up a total of 3 hits, issued 3 walks and struck out 7 batters.

Mid-season acquisition Drew Scott joined the Prospects at same time Barclay did. While Barclay's transition to the WMBL has been smooth, Scott has had a steeper learning curve. Entering the game in the sixth inning, the Bulls opened the scoring against him via Blake MacDonald single. With the bases loaded and only 1-out, third baseman Matt Coutney threw to home on a grounder for out number two. A strikeout of Hank Forrest ended the 6th.

A weird 7th inning saw a Bulls runner advance along the bases on a wild pitch and a passed ball. Another Bull reached base on an error. Just when you thought everything was going wrong, the Prospects defence turned a beautiful around-the-horn double-play! The third out of the inning came when catcher Anthony Cusati threw out Jesse Hilyard trying to steal second base.

The Bulls had a 3-0 lead heading into the bottom of the 8th when everything did go wrong. 6 runs on 5 hits and 2 errors for the Bulls gave a close game a lopsided score of 9-0.

The Prospects offence had runners on second and third in the 4th inning when Zane Takhar got a lead-off walk and Cusati hit a 2-out double. Tony Olson, who had been 8-for-15 at the plate the past three games, struck out to strand the runners. The Prospects loaded the bases in the 6th on the strength of a Takhar double and walks by Eric Crain and Cusati but came up empty handed. Singles by Coutney and AJ Nitzschke followed by another walk by Takhar loaded the bases again in the 7th inning. With his 8-game hitting streak on the line, Nick Spillman struck out swinging.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Edgar Barclay earns the "Player of the Game" nomination for pitching 5 shutout innings.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

July 5 - Lethbridge

July 6 and 7- Medicine Hat

July 8 - Okotoks

NEXT HOME GAME - Tuesday, July 10 vs Yorkton Cardinals

Be sure to check out social media channels for a preview of our Stars Wars themed jersey’s to be worn on Friday July 13th and auctioned off.  Silent Auction bids will be taken across from the Merchandise Booth on the main concourse behind Section H.