Best Team In East Division Blanks Edmonton Prospects

By Len Nunes

The Weyburn Beavers started the 2018 season on 13-game winning streak. After losing two in Melville, the Beavers had won two straight as the Edmonton Prospects came to town. Earlier this week the Prospects showed that winning streaks do not scare them as they snapped the Medicine Hat Mavericks 10-game winning streak. The Prospects will have to try again Sunday afternoon to defeat the Beavers as they lost Saturday night.

Due to rain-outs in Brooks, Okotoks and Melville, the Prospects vs Beavers game was the only league game played. Any WMBL fan that watched the game will be talking about Beavers starting pitcher Ryan Johnson. Through 7 innings of play, Johnson struck out 16! The second inning was the only time the Prospects had two runners on base as Nick Spillman and Matt Coutney both drew walks. Percy Liu collected the first Prospects hit with 1-out in the 3rd inning. Liu also collected his team leading 8th stolen base of the season placing him fourth in the league. The next Prospect hit would not be until the 6th inning when Daylen Calicden hit a 2-out single. Calicden's .357 batting average leads the Edmonton Prospects and places him 11th overall in the league.

Dylan Emmons drew his 3rd start of the season for the Prospects. Emmons cruised through the first three innings, his best stretch of the young season. The 4th inning began with a home run to open the scoring in favor of the Beavers. When the dust settled, the Beavers put up 5 runs on 6 hits and 1 Prospects error. Emmons would leave with only one batter retired. Emmons' final pitching looks rough but it was a classic case of having just one bad inning. It is okay to look at the glass half full and focus on how well things went prior to the fourth.

Jordan Smith took over on the mound for the Prospects and gave Head Coach Ray Brown what he needed the most, innings played. Smith finished out the game with a pitching line that reads 4 2/3 IP, 3 runs against on 7 hits allowing no walks and striking out 5. When Smith entered in the 4th inning, his first two outs were made by catcher Anthony Cusati throwing out Felix Correa then Keaton Greenwalt attempting to steal second base.

In an interesting and unexpected coincidence, both 2017 WMBL Championship Finalists have 8-10 records.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Percy Liu with a single and stolen base earns the honour of “Player of The Game”.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

Sunday June 24 in Weyburn

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!

Prospects Split In Moose Jaw
By Arik Krause

The Prospects are officially halfway through their Saskatchewan road trip, sadly they're on the wrong side of .500, both for the road trip and the season. A loss tonight to the Moose Jaw Miller Express puts the Prospects at 8-9 on the season. Moose Jaw and Edmonton would split these games in this 2-game series as the Prospects now look forward to a 2-game set with the Weyburn Beavers. Weyburn is far and ahead the best team in the WMBL Eastern Division currently sitting at 15-2. The Prospects have 3 more games on this Saskatchewan road trip and will need to string some wins together to get over .500.

Prospects starting pitcher Rich Walker struggled through the beginning part of the ballgame walking the second batter he faced, then get doubled up on by Ty Roseberry. Miller Express’ Noah Moore would drive in a run off an error by the Prospects third baseman, bringing in Adam Cook to make it 1-0 Moose Jaw. Rich Walker would get through the second inning unscathed, heading into the third. Moose Jaw's Noah Moore would lead-off double in the third off a 2-2 count and eventually come around to score in the inning as Moose Jaw would lead 2-0 after 3 innings. Moose Jaw's Alex Hendra-Brown would take Rich Walker deep in the fifth to make it 3-0 Moose Jaw and end Rich Walker's night. Walker went 4.1 IP, allowing 7 hits and 3 earned runs.

Things wouldn't go well for Scott Gillespie in relief either as he'd hit Scott Platt in the bottom of the 6th, eventually, Scott Platt would score off a wild pitch. Another wild pitch later in the inning would bring in Adam Cook as Moose Jaw would head into the 7th up 5-0.

Gillespie would continue to struggle in the bottom of the 7th as he would hit the lead-off batter, who would eventually come around to score. The Prospects would head into the top of the 8th down 7-0. Liam Campbell would come in on relief, facing 4 batters and walking 3 of them. Brandon Hill would replace him, one of the runs would be batted home by Yonnelle Firebrace and another would score on an error. 9-0 Moose Jaw going into the top of the 9th.

The Prospects would break up the shutout in the top of the 9th, after a single by Eric Crain, he would advance to 2nd on a passed ball, he would eventually come in to score off an Aidan Huggins single RBI.

That's all that the Prospects would muster though as they would fall to Moose Jaw and go to 8-9 on the season.

Player of the Game:

Hard choice in this one due to a lacklustre offence by the Prospects, but Eric Crain will take our “Player of the Game” in this one going 1/4 but he was the only Prospect to cross the plate tonight.

UPCOMING GAMES

Saturday June 23 and Sunday June 24 in Weyburn

Monday June 25 in Swift Current

UPCOMING HOME GAMES

Wednesday, June 27 SCHOOLS OUT vs Okotoks Dawgs 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!

 

First Day Of Summer - A Success!

By Len Nunes

Whether you call it the first day of summer or the summer solstice, the best way to celebrate it is with a big win. The Edmonton Prospects surged out to a 7-0 lead and brought themselves back to .500 on the season. The Prospects will look to sweep the mini 2-game set in Moose Jaw versus the Miller Express Friday night.

After going down in order in the first inning, the Prospects put up 3 runs in the top of the second. Anthony Cusati led with a single. Aidan Huggins returned to the line-up after a few days off and hit a 1-out double. With 2-out and a 1-1 count, AJ Nitzschke cleared the bases with a home run. The homer is Nitzschke's first of the season and more than doubled his RBI total to 5.

The Prospects put up another 3-spot in the top of the third. Percy Liu hit his 3rd triple of the season, which puts him in the league lead, to get the ball rolling. Nick Spillman collected his 12th RBI of the season with a productive out.  Cusati drew a walk, Jake MacDonald hit a double and Huggins brought them both home with a triple. Welcome back to the line-up Aidan, have yourself a night!

Tony Olson led off the fifth inning with a single and would not be on base for long. Cusati, who had already scored two runs on the evening, doubled to score Olson. The RBI is Cusati's 12th of the season putting him one RBI behind team co-leaders Olson and Spillman. A 7-0 nothing lead was more than enough offence for their starting pitcher.

Brenden Wiun drew the starting assignment for the Prospects. Wiun has 4 relief appearances so far this season. The start is his first since the 2016 season. The humble suggestion here is that this will not be Wiun's last starting assignment. 6 innings played, 0 runs allowed on only 3 hits against in what was a quality start. Wiun retired 8 straight batters and 13 of the final 14 batters he faced. No Miller Express player reached third base!

Marion McLean took over on the bump in the 7th inning and finished out the game. A lead-off walk followed by a home run put the Miller Express on the board, 7-2. A 1-2-3 inning in the 8th followed by stranding the bases loaded in the 9th inning leaves his final line at 3IP, 2 runs scored on 4 hits allowed with 2 walks and 3 strikeouts.

The Prospects offence finished the game off with a couple of seconds. Nitzchke hit his 2nd homer and Spillman had his second RBI groundout of the evening. Your final score, a big 9-2 win for the Prospects.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

The golden rule of the player that hits 2 home runs got kicked in tonight with AJ Nitzschke. Congratulations AJ, you valiantly held off a great pitching performance by Brenden Wiun.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

Friday June 22 in Moose Jaw

Saturday June 23 and Sunday June 24 in Weyburn

Monday June 25 in Swift Current

UPCOMING HOME GAMES

Wednesday June 27 SCHOOLS OUT vs Okotoks Dawgs at 7PM

Saturday June 30 vs Melville Millionaires - 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 - 7PM vs Brooks - AVOID DISAPPOINTMENT, BUY THESE TICKETS NOW!

Experience Is a Wonderful Teacher

By Len Nunes

The "Saskatchewan Road Trip" has begun for the Edmonton Prospects with a dud. The much anticipated two-time WMBL Finals re-match between the Prospects and Swift Current 57's was a one-sided affair finishing 12-2 in favour of the defending Champions.  There is a litany of excuses one could write to try to explain away the loss but the reality is these kinds of games happen. To a man, players on the Prospects know what went wrong and know what to work on in advance of tonight's game in Moose Jaw. More-so, the Prospects players and coaches know what to do better in advance of the re-match with these same 57's on Monday June 25th again here in Swift Current. Experience is a wonderful teacher if you allow her to be and you need these bumps in the road to help you learn better.

Prospects starting pitcher Michael Gahan cruised along until the 6th inning. Gahan pitched 1-2-3 innings in the 2nd and 4th innings allowing only 4 hits through the first 5 innings. A 2-out single with a man on first turned into the 57's first run of the evening due to a Prospects error. A 1-out double in the 5th would come in to score on a wild pitch making it 2-0.  The bottom of the 6th began with the only walk Gahan issued the entire evening and then proceeded to go downhill from there. The final stat line for the sixth inning is as follows - 4 runs allowed on 4 hits and 3 errors. The number that pops off the screen is the three errors. Gahan's final line was 6IP, 6 runs scored (only 3 earned) on 8 hits collecting 3 strikeouts.

Steadily improving through his first three appearances, Jordan Smith took over the Prospects mound in the seventh inning. Smith hit the first batter he faced, then gave up back-to-back doubles making the score 8-0. Smith then settled down and retired the 57's in order.

Swift Current starter Carter Buck’s final pitching line was a solid 7 1/3 innings played allowing 2 runs on 6 hits striking out 8. It is the first time all season that the top of the Prospects order was held off the scoresheet. Clean-up batter Nick Spillman started the top of the 8th inning with a single. Matt Coutney followed suit. With 1-out and the bases loaded Gio Villaneuva hit a 2-RBI double putting the Prospects on the board.

Prospects reliever Brandon Hill has struggled in the early going of the season but was coming off his best showing on June 17th versus the Lethbridge Bulls. The first five batters he faced reached base before he settled down and retired the 57's in order. When the dust settled though, four more 57's runs had scored making it 12-2.

Both WMBL Championship finalists sit under .500 as the Prospects drop to 7-8 and the 57's improve to 8-9.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

David LeBlanc entered the game batting 2 of 12 on the season. On a night where the Prospects struggled, LeBlanc went 2 of 3 at the plate. Honourable mention of course to Gio Villaneuva for collecting the only 2 RBI’s of the night.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

Thursday, June 21 and Friday June 22 in Moose Jaw

Saturday June 23 and Sunday June 24 in Weyburn

Monday June 25 in Swift Current

UPCOMING HOME GAMES

Wednesday June 27 SCHOOLS OUT vs Okotoks Dawgs at 7PM

Saturday June 30 vs Melville Millionaires - 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 - 7PM vs Brooks - AVOID DISAPPOINTMENT, BUY THESE TICKETS NOW!

Edmonton Prospects Snap Medicine Hat Mavericks 10-Game Win Streak

By Len Nunes

One of the big stories of this young WMBL season has been the Medicine Hat Mavericks 10-game win streak after they dropped their first two games of the season. Monday night was the Prospects final game of a 4-game home stand in which the team was looking to finish at .500. The Las Vegas odds makers would have put the Mavericks as favourites. An exuberant 1,201 RE/MAX Field faithful watched as the Prospects reminded everyone that they are the 2-time WMBL Championship Finalists as they gutted out an 8-5 win.

With 2-out in the bottom of the first, the offence began to click. Daylen Calicdan, his hit streak now at 6 games, singled and stole 2nd base. Nick Spillman collected his 11th RBI of the season with a single to left field. Spillman (.404) and Calicdan (.396) sit 5th and 6th in the league in batting average.

In the bottom of the 2nd inning the Prospects made the score 2-0. Matt Coutney's lead-off triple was quickly cashed in by a Jake MacDonald sacrifice fly.

Prospects starting pitcher Dylan Emmons cruised through the first two innings only allowing a single. Back-to-back doubles to lead off the third inning put the Mavericks on the board. A 1-out RBI single tied the game. The Mavericks took a 3-2 lead in the top of the 4th after Emmons was able to get the lead-off batter to fly out.

The Prospects took the lead back in the bottom of the 4th inning. Percy Liu, returning to the Prospects line-up after limping out of Sunday's match-up, hit a 2-out,  2-RBI double to make the score 4-3.

The Mavericks tied the game in the top of the 5th when a lead-off double ended up with the batter on 3rd base after an error in the outfield. Emmons held him on base for a batter but would cede the unearned run making the game 4-4. Emmons' final line was 5 IP, 4 runs against (3 earned), on 7 hits with 1 walk and 2 strikeouts.

Josh Sieglitz, making his second appearance of the season, took over on the Prospects mound. After pitching 3 1/3 scoreless innings versus the Lethbridge Bulls on Saturday, Sieglitz put in another solid three innings on Monday before running into trouble in the top of the 9th. Through innings 6 to 8, Sieglitz only allowed two baserunners and both were via the walk.

The Prospects offence gave Sieglitz some breathing room in the bottom of the 6th inning breaking open the tied baseball game scoring three runs. Jake MacDonald led off the inning with a single and was joined on base by AJ Nitzschke when he was hit by a pitch. MacDonald scored when the Mavericks defence committed one of their 3 errors on the evening. Liu and Zane Takhar would hit back-to-back sacrifice flies to give the home team a 7-4 lead.

The lead would be extended to 8-4 in the bottom of the 8th inning. Gio Villaneuva got on base with a lead-off single. Takhar, who collected 4 walks during Sunday's game, collected his second sacrifice fly of the night. One wonders what Takhar will collect during Wednesday's game.

Michael Gahan entered the game in the top of the 9th with the bases loaded and nobody out. Louie Canjura was able to push a run across the plate for his Mavericks but it was via a double-play. Gahan then induced a Zack Gray groundball to end the game. The 8-5 win moves the Prospects back to .500!

PLAYER OF THE GAME

One thinks about giving the honours to Daylen Calicdan who went 3-5 at the plate. One ponders placing the honours upon Josh Sieglitz making him for 2-2 in games played and POTG nominations. The honour will go to Percy Liu and his big 2-out, 2-RBI double followed by what became the game winning RBI with his 6th inning sacrifice fly.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

ROAD TRIP

The Prospect’s are playing 6 road games in a row as they head off to Saskatchewan.  The first game is Wednesday, June 20 in Swift Current.  The last road game of this trip is Monday, June 25 in Swift Current.

NEXT HOME GAME

Wednesday June 27 vs Okotoks Dawgs

FRIENDLY REMINDER

If you have not got your Canada Day tickets for the 7PM game versus the Brooks Bombers, which ensures you the best viewing place in Edmonton for the fireworks, consider this your invitation to do so.  Tickets are going fast.  Last year was a sell-out.  Buy online at PROSPECTS TICKETS.