Walks and Homers, The Tale of A Prospects Loss

by Len Nunes

The presumed headline for Tuesday’s game focused on the 10th ranked run scoring offence of the Prospects chomping at the bit to get to a Brooks pitching staff featuring the highest ERA (5.13) in the league. What ended up happening was a Prospects pitching staff that had only allowed 15 walks and 3 home runs in their previous eight games combined, issuing 11 walks and 2 home runs in a 9-4 loss.

Scott Gillespie made his first start of the season for the Prospects after appearing in three games as a reliever. The Bombers loaded the bases with only 1-out in the first inning but Gillespie wiggled himself out of trouble allowing only one run. With 2-on and 1-out in the second inning, Gillespie and the Prospects defence could only watch as Zach Lehman hit a home run. The Prospects starter would leave down 4-0 in the 4th inning after issuing two walks and only getting one out.

Brenden Wiun took over on the mound. After collecting two swinging strikes versus Riley McDonald, the fourth pitch of the at-bat was tagged for a homerun making it 7-0 for the Bombers. Wiun found his groove in the 5th and 6th, pitching both innings clean before the CD got scratched in the 7th.

The Prospects offence found the board in the top of the 6th inning as they joined the long ball parade. With 2-out, Anthony Cusati and Nick Spillman each singled to get on base then the big fly! Tony Olson would hit his second homerun of the season closing the Bombers lead to 7-3.

In the top of the 7th, again with 2-outs, the Prospects would chip into the lead. Percy Liu singled, stole second, then third base. Daylen Calicdan hit a single to give Liu the express pass home to draw within three of the Bombers at 7-4.

With runners on 1st and 2nd in the bottom of the 7th, Brandon Hill took over on the Prospects mound. Both inherited runners would cross the plate putting some of the cushion back into the Bombers lead at 9-4.

Liam Campbell pitched the 8th inning for the Prospects. A lead-off walk and a 2-out walk were stranded on base when Campbell collected his first strikeout of the season (three appearances).

PLAYER OF THE GAME

The first player to earn this nomination a second time this season, Tony Olson is your Player of the Game.

Honourable mention to Nick Spillman who went 2-2 with two walks improving his batting average to .500.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

Wednesday, June 13 - Rematch AT Brooks Bombers 7PM

Friday, June 15 VS Lethbridge Bulls 7PM

Saturday, June 16 VS Lethbridge 7PM Pride Night – Proud Partner of Pride Week 2018. Door prizes, drag queens and all around Pride fun!

Sunday, June 17 VS Lethbridge 2PM Father’s Day – Play catch on-field with Dad post-game and run the bases!  Players and coaches will be on hand for autographs.

Monday, June 18 VS Medicine Hat Mavericks 7PM – Pre-game kids festival and kids ticket specials.

Derek Shedden Announcement

By Len Nunes

When you play sports, amateur or professional, you know your days are numbered. Playing baseball is not something you do until your pension kicks in at age 65. The only hope you have when you start your journey is that you can finish it on your own terms. An Edmonton Prospect since 2014, Derek Shedden revealed through his Instagram account that his playing days have come to a premature ending.

“Just gonna reminisce a little bit here as probably the biggest phase of my life comes to an end. Here is a series of photos from the first game of catch with Grandpa to the last team I'd ever play for. The last 20 years of baseball have been a dream come true in every way possible. Unfortunately I won't get to play what I thought would be my final season due to a partial tear in my UCL, but I am beyond grateful for all the years I was blessed with health to play the game I love. My family has been BEYOND supportive of me over the years as the game took me all over Canada and the U.S. and I am so grateful for all the sacrifices they made. Thank you to everyone else who made this possible as well and all the great people I met and made memories with that I'll never forget in the process! The baseball chapter of my life (in the way that it's been, at least) comes to an end, but I am excited to all that life has in store in the future outside this wonderful, beautiful, heartbreaking, character building, educational, frustrating, fun, and humbling game.”

The Edmonton Prospects would like to thank Derek for his many years of dedicated and dynamic play. An amazing defensive player, he was a valued and key member of the team for many years.

Shedden DH’d in the first and third game of this season going 1-8 combined before pulling the plug.

In last year’s playoffs, Shedden led the team in batting average (.389) but that is not what you are going to remember. Shedden made a game-saving catch in the top of the 9th inning of Game 3 in the WMBL Championship Series to preserve a 6-5 victory. An infielder when he arrived in 2014, an outfielder as he exits stage left, you could always count on the young man to give it everything he had.

Shedden will be staying on with the Prospects for the rest of the season in the role of first base coach.  

 

Sometimes You're The Dawg, Others… You're The Hydrant

By Len Nunes

Mother Nature delayed the start of the game between the Edmonton Prospects and Okotoks Dawgs Sunday afternoon by 15 minutes. The rain came back in the bottom of the 6th and 8th but the teams were able to play through the precipitation. Is it fair to blame the loss on the rain? No, let's give credit where it is due, the Dawgs starting pitcher Cody Ebert was lights out.  Final score in the game was 12-1 for Okotoks.

By the time the Prospects put their first runner on base in the third inning, the Dawgs already held a 1-0. Tony Olson's 1-out single was the first blemish on Ebert's pitching line. Percy Liu would cash in Olson to tie up the game.

Prospects infielder Daylen Calicdan, the native of Hawaii, is making it very difficult for fans not to label him the "flyin Hawaiian". The Prospects Twitter account has a great picture of Calicdan climbing the ladder this past Friday in Edmonton. His leaping ability even drew praise from the Okotoks Dawgs Twitter account, “Nice ups by Calicdan to rob Jacob Bouzide of his first hit of the season”.

Rich Walker, making his first start of the season after two relief appearances, ran into some trouble in the bottom of the 4th inning. With 2-on, Ryan Humenuik hit a pitch off the scoreboard for a 3-run homer making it 4-1. This is the kind of trouble one prefers to write about as in the 5th inning Walker found himself in a different sort of trouble. Collin Ridout shot one back up the middle off of the vulnerable pitcher's wrist. Walker tried to convince Prospects staff he was good to go but player safety is always the top priority and Walker was removed from the game.

Brenden Wiun took over for Walker inheriting 1-on and 1-out. The bases got drunk but Wiun received some stellar defence to escape unscathed. AJ Nitzschke reeled in the Cole MacLaren flyball and threw Ridout out at home plate. Wiun would not be able to escape a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the 6th. Richard Mascarenias and Ridout each collected RBI knocks to make the score 6-1 for Okotoks. After collecting the first two outs of the 7th then allowing a single, Wiun was replaced on the mound by Brandon Hill. Hill threw one pitch then catcher Anthony Cusati threw out the baserunner Brandon Sparks at second.

Dawgs starter Ebert left after seven innings allowing only 1 run on 4 hits and not issuing a walk. Corey Jackson took over on the Dawgs mound. Although two Prospects got on base in the top of the 8th, the score stayed 6-1 but that would change drastically in the bottom half.

The Dawgs put up 6 runs on 5 hits and 1 error making the score an ugly 12-1. Experience is a wonderful teacher so one can be sure that Hill will bounce back from his first appearance of the season for the Prospects. Liam Campbell came in to get the final two outs of the frame.

The Prospects would strand Nick Spillman on base in the top of the 9th as thoughts now turn to the  upcoming two road games in Brooks.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Percy Liu deserves an honourable mention for collecting the sole RBI of the game but the honour will go to AJ Nitzschke. Nitzschke collected one of the four hits against the Dawgs but gets this honour due to his outfield assist.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

June 12 and 13 AT Brooks Bombers

June 15-17 VS Lethbridge Bulls. 7PM starts except on Sunday (2PM start)

June 16 Pride Night – Proud Partner of Pride Week 2018. Door prizes, drag queens and all around Pride fun

June 17 Father’s Day – Play catch on-field with Dad post-game. Ticket and food specials available.

Monday, June 18 – VS Medicine Hat Mavericks 7PM

 

 

Edmonton Prospects Win Third Straight Game

by Len Nunes

All day in the Capital City, the word "tornado" kept being floated around in the weather reports. That did not dampen the enthusiasm of the 1,372 fans who wished to see their team continue their early season fight for first place. The Edmonton Prospects defeated the Fort McMurray Giants by a score of 6-3 and are in a 3-way tie for first place in the Western Division.

The Prospects hit the board right away as Anthony Cusati hit a triple to score Zane Takhar. That triple puts Cusati in a log-jam of batters in the league lead tied with 1. Tony Olson would bring home Cusati to give the Prospects a 2-0 lead after one.

Cusati picked his second RBI of the game and team leading 8th RBI of the season in the third inning. With Nick Spillman on second, Cusati hit his 4th double of the year placing him in a tie for second in the league in doubles. Michael Gahan would hit a double of his own to score Cusati to make it a 4-0 lead for the Prospects after three.

Taran Oulton, and his 0.00 ERA, took the mound for the Prospects. Oulton retired his first seven batters and breezed through the first three innings facing the minimum amount of Giants. In his 5th and final frame of the evening the Giants would score a run but it was an unearned run protecting the perfect 0.00 ERA. The zero ERA is impressive as Oulton has 12 innings under belt in his three appearances which places him in a tie for 4th most in the league. What's been the key to Oulton's early season success you ask? Health is the answer as he explained to the Edmonton Sun's Jason Hills:

    Taran Oulton was thrown into a tough situation last year with the Edmonton Prospects but made the most of it. Oulton was dealing with a sprained ligament in his throwing arm and when he arrived at Prospects training camp last year, made the decision to battle through it....

    “My arm would get tired and sore really quickly, but I’m the type of guy that doesn’t use any of that as an excuse. If I was to use that as an excuse, maybe I shouldn’t be out there playing,” said Oulton of his injury. “You can pitch through it, but with it being sprained, it can snap at any given time and there were times where I had to be more cautious. I think I did good job with what I was dealing with and I’m ready to take an even bigger step this year. Every time I step on the mound, I expect to be at my best to give my team a chance to win....I know I can pitch like the ace of the staff, but I know if I don’t bring it one day, Michael Gahan could step up, or Scott Gillespie or any one of us starters. We have a lot of guys that can step into the role when we need it. We all have each other’s back.”

The Prospects would get that run back in the bottom of the 6th as Olson collected his 2nd RBI of the evening driving home Takhar making it 5-1 for the good guys.

Aidan Huggins led off the bottom of the 7th with a walk. Lead-off walks drive managers crazy in the MLB as do fielding errors. Both these occurrences happen because they are a part of the game of baseball but when they happen in the same inning it tends to become a run scoring situation. 6-1 Prospects.

Dylan Emmons, who started the first game of this 4-game split home and home series, pitched the 6th and 7th innings for the Prospects.  Emmons stranded two Giants in his first frame and made centerfielder Percy Liu catch three fly balls in his second frame.

Jordan Smith came in to pitch the final two frames of the evening. An unearned run scored in the top of the 8th to reduce the Prospects lead to 6-2. In the 9th, the Giants added one more and were able to bring the tying run to the plate but Smith was able to get John Loschiavo to groundout to second to end the game.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

The Prospects Internet Voice Jimmy Morrison gave Cusati the honour of play of the game. We see that and raise it to Player of the Game. Cusati’s triple to deep left centre driving in a run started the night off on the right foot.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

Sunday June 10, 2PM AT Okotoks Dawgs. The Dawgs are one of the teams currently tied with the Prospects for first place.

June 12 and 13 AT Brooks Bombers

June 15-17 VS Lethbridge Bulls

    June 16 Pride Night - Proud Partner of Pride Week 2018. Door prizes, drag queens and all around Pride fun

    June 17 Father's Day - Play catch on-field with Dad post-game. Ticket and food specials available.

 

 

Big Eighth Inning Slays Giants, Prospects Win 12-4

By Len Nunes

 

A beautiful Friday night at RE/MAX Field started with a fitting farewell. The best way to say goodbye to your outgoing pitcher is to honour him with the ceremonial first pitch. Erik Sabrowski, drafted by the San Diego Padres, leaves for his new adventure on Sunday. His now former teammates helped make the sendoff perfect by winning the game 12-4. The game kept the 1,925 fans in attendance at the edge of their seats until a 6-run eighth inning erased all doubt.

The Prospects opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning as we saw the humble beginnings of what became a big night for the top of the order. Percy Liu, Daylen Calicdan and Matt Coutney combined to go 8-12 with 7 runs scored, 7 RBI, and 2 walks. Liu lead off the game with a single to be driven home by Calicdan. Coutney would also single in the opening frame but would be stranded.

On the mound for the Prospects, making his second start of the season, Connor Burns. Burns pitched into the 7th inning and would testify that getting the lead-off batter out is important. The Giants managed to get their lead-off hitter aboard in the 2nd, 3rd and 7th inning and all three times they would come around to score. A 4th run would be charged against Burns as one of the inherited runners by Prospects reliever Marion McLean scored on a sacrifice fly. Burns would finish the night collecting six strikeouts. McLean would be forced to leave the game in the top of the 8th inning. The Giants lead-off batter Brandon Green drove the ball back up the middle and off the leg of McLean. McLean would walk off of the field without needing the aid of his teammates.

With the Giants leading 2-1 entering the bottom of the 3rd, the Prospects tied the game up. Anthony Cusati, the only Prospect to not register a hit, collected his 6th RBI of the young season grounding out to second base scoring Calicdan.

The Prospects would take the lead in the fourth inning as Tony Olson got the ball rolling with a lead-off single. Olson stole second base. With Zane Takhar now on the base-paths with him, manager Ray Brown called for and got the successful double steal. A wild pitch that got away from Giants catcher Joshua Iannetti was Olson's ticket to come home and make it 3-2 Prospects.

Coming out of the 7th inning stretch, the Prospects were down 4-3. The situation was rectified immediately as AJ Nitzschke started the inning off with a single and Liu drove him with a triple. Calicdan plated run number five and ending the evening for Giants starting pitcher Tyler Hodder. A RBI single by Nick Spillman would complete the hat-trick of runs in the frame giving the Prospects a 6-4 lead.

If the Prospects scored a hat-trick (hockey term) in the 7th, then they scored a sock-trick (lacrosse term) in the 8th as 6 runs would come around to score. The Prospects loaded the bases with zero outs. Liu, with his third hit of the game, collected his 2nd RBI of the night making it 7-4 Prospects. Calicdan, with his second hit of the game, collected his 3rd and 4th RBI of the night making it 9-4 Prospects. Coutney's third hit of the evening resulted in his first RBI making it 10-4 for the home team. A sacrifice fly by Spillman ended the evening for Giants reliever Allan Brown. A bases-loaded walk to Michael Gahan rounded out the scoring for the Prospects. Speaking of Gahan...

Gahan took over on the mound for the injured McLean in the 8th inning and retired all six batters he faced. Gahan will be credited with a save because when he came into the game the Prospects only had a 2-run lead.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Four names all deserve to be mentioned. A part of the success for the Prospects top of the order was AJ Nitzschke being able prolong innings for Percy Liu, Daylen Calicdon and Matt Coutney to be their productive selves. We will give the nod to Calicdon and his 4 RBI.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE 

SATURDAY, JUNE 9 AT 5:00 PM: John Short takes over the "Smoke and Pickle Meat-ing Place" (former Home Plate Lounge). He’s talking baseball, the ballpark and Ron Hayter. Come on down early and catch the discussion. First pitch tonight is at 7PM.

Team then goes on the road for a three games starting in Okotoks Sunday afternoon.