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.
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!