Who Is The Mysterious One They Call “The Bolt”?

By Len Nunes

The Edmonton Prospects call him, well I believe it's a him (maybe not?), "The Bolt". No, we are not talking about a new baseball player added to the team's roster, we are talking about a mysterious figure that appears in the middle of the 5th inning to amaze fans.

Aptly dubbed "The Bolt", the spandex covered entity has above average foot speed and endurance. You will not find anyone like "The Bolt" anywhere else in the WMBL!

Always looking for a challenge, "The Bolt" allows the Prospects to put him/her in a foot race against any confident fan in attendance. It is not just a simple foot race though.  As per "The Bolt's" orders, the chosen fan is allowed a healthy head start in the race. The race starts in the deepest part of left field and follows along the warning track all the way over to the right field foul line. Whether you are cheering for the mysterious figure or for the fan, you will watch in awe as "The Bolt" quickly closes the gap in the race.

The question is who is "The Bolt"? Is the entity a former baseball player? Is the entity a track star in training for the Olympics? Is it against league rules to have a pinch runner that has their face covered in a mask?

Those answers may never come to be known but we can reveal that the masked racer is human. That makes the masked racer susceptible to the rare defeat.  If the challenger defeats “The Bolt", the winning fan wins a prize!

So you’re thinking to yourself, how do I sign up to challenge this Phenom? Stop by the Customer Service booth (next to the Merchandise Store on the concourse level) and leave your information (name, seat location, phone number) with the attendant. If you are selected, you will be contacted prior to the fourth inning to prepare for your race in the middle of the 5th inning.

Good luck and “Boltspeed”!

Edmonton Prospects Take Back Their Win!

By Len Nunes

You always hear and read that after a blowout loss a team wants to get back out there as soon as possible to erase the money of an off-game. After losing 11-4 on Friday to the Okotoks Dawgs, what the Prospects got was an off-day to wait for their rematch versus those Dawgs. The Prospects used the pent- up frustration to build up an 8-0 lead after four innings. The Dawgs would threaten to make it close in the 8th inning, closing the score to 9-5, but the home team was not to be denied on Minor Baseball Day at the park. In front of 2,327 fans, many proudly wearing their minor league uniform, the Prospects defeated the Dawgs 11-5.

Three games into the season Taran Oulton drew his second starting assignment of the season. After a 3-up-3-down first inning, Oulton found himself in a 1-out, bases loaded jam in the bottom of the second. Instead of sending fans into a "oh oh, here we again" mindset, Oulton struck out Markus Skundrich swinging, then induced an inning-ending groundball. To keep instilling confidence in the RE/MAX Field Faithful, Oulton would pitch clean 1-2-3 innings in the third and fourth. Speaking of building confidence in your hometown faithful, by the time Oulton gave up his only run against in the 5th inning his offence had already given him an 8-0 lead.

Anthony Cusati, entering the day 4-7 at the plate, continued his hot start with a 2-RBI double to left field driving in Percy Liu and Jake Lanferman to open the scoring in the bottom in the 3rd. Then the floodgates opened!

The Prospects scored three runs in the bottom of the 4th before the Dawgs could collect their first out. Percy Liu would draw a bases loaded walk to collect his 2nd RBI of the season, then Daylen Calicdan hit a 2-RBI single to balloon the score to 5-0 Prospects. With 2 on and 1 out, the Dawgs were not going to mess around with the red-hot Cusati and intentionally walked him. Matt Coutney, the 9th batter of the inning, collected a 2-RBI single of his own making the score 7-0. Zane Takhar would bring Cusati home with a single making it 8-0.

In the bottom of the 5th the Prospects would regain their 8-run lead when Jake Lanferman singled home Percy Liu.

Brenden Wiun would take over on the mound for the Prospects in the top of the 6th. After allowing a leadoff homer, Wiun retired the next four batters he faced before stranding two in the top of the 7th.

You will have trouble convincing Prospects pitcher Marion McLean that this was not Friday the 13th as nothing went right. Three defensive errors led to three runs crossing the plate. All of sudden a blowout game was too close for comfort sitting at 9-5 heading into the Prospects half of the 8th inning. The offence erased any doubt!

Coutney collected his 3rd RBI of the night with a triple. Mike Ozga collected his first RBI of the season bringing Coutney home erasing all doubt in the outcome.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

The honour today goes to starting pitcher Taran Oulton. How different does this game go if Oulton does not work himself out of his second jam? Oulton collected 8 K's in his 5 innings, the Dawgs entire pitching staff only collected 4 all game.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

Tuesday June 5 and Wednesday June 6 in Fort McMurray. 7 o'clock starts both nights.

Friday June 8 - BLUE JAYS DAY - Wear your Toronto Blue Jays gear and bid on in-game autographed Blue Jays memorabilia. The Fort McMurray Giants provide the competition, 7PM start.

Saturday June 9 - CROWN JEWEL NIGHT - pregame community open house at RE/MAX Field. 7:05 first pitch versus the Fort McMurray Giants.

Dawgs Avenge Playoff Upset to Prospects
By Len Nunes

How does one put a positive spin on a 11-4 loss in game two of the regular season? Aside from the obvious reminder that it is just one game, let us put some history behind the Friday night loss.

The visiting Okotoks Dawgs finished last season with the best record (35-13) in the league. The theory behind being the top seed heading into the playoffs is that you will at least advance out of the first round. The Edmonton Prospects were the Dawgs first round opponent and lost the first game of a best-of-five series by six runs. If you, like many, closed the books on the Prospects at that point, you were proven wrong. The Prospects would win games two and four by 1-run and a Tony Olson RBI double in the top of the 7th in Game 5 would seal the premature fate for the Dawgs. If there was a time to use the “revenge” storyline to explain away a big loss, ladies and gentleman, we just experienced it.

Prospects starting pitcher Connor Burns was solid. Burns retired his first 11 batters, six (6!) of them via the strikeout. The Dawgs plated a run in the top of the 3rd and put the leadoff runner on board in the 4th but Burns was able to induce a 1-out doubleplay to snuff out further damage. That was when Head Coach Ray Brown shook the young man’s hand and told him to take the rest of the night off. Then things got shaky.

The top of the 5th inning took 27 minutes to play as the Dawgs sent 12 batters to the dish and plated eight runs to lead 9-0 after the top half of the fifth.

The Prospects hit the board in the bottom of the 6th with the always popular RBI groundout. Aidan Huggins would force the Dawgs second baseman closer to the line making his only option the play at first which allowed Mike Ozga to erase that ugly zero off the scoreboard.

Thursday's "Player of The Game" Tony Olson came in to pitch the top of the 7th. Olson allowed two more Dawgs runs ballooning the score to 11-1 for the visitors. In the bottom of the 7th, the Prospects showed some fight!

With AJ Nitzschke and Percy Liu on-board with walks, Daylen Calicdan collected his first RBI of the season with a single to right field. Two batters later, Anthony Cusati would collect his first two RBI of the season with a double to left field. That would make the score 11-4 and that would be our final score.

Not to be lost in the 7-run loss is the debut of Prospects pitcher Rich Walker. Walker pitched the final two innings of the game without allowing a baserunner.

Are wondering why we have not seen last year's "first team all-star" and "dual threat" (he hit .339 while striking out 50 batters) Erik Sabrowski? Here's your answer as per Ian Wilson of albertadugoutstories.com: “Sabrowski is awaiting results of MLB draft June 4-6 before potentially joining the team. Several MLB teams have shown interest.”

EDMONTON PROSPECTS PLAYER OF THE GAME:  The nod tonight goes to the Prospects starting pitcher Connor Burns. Allowing only one run on four hits in his four innings of work is a good start. Add in that Burns struck out six while not issuing a walk, now it's a quality (albeit short) start.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE:

Sunday June 3: Minor Baseball Day! Okotoks Dawgs at 2:05PM

Then after a couple road games, there are a couple of really big theme nights.

Friday June 8: Blue Jays Day (autographed Blue Jays memorabilia for in-game auction) Fort Mac Giants 7:05PM

Saturday June 9: Crown Jewel, pregame community Open House! Fort Mac Giants 7:05PM

Prospects Start Season With Convincing 7-1 Win

By Len Nunes

There is a charm to watching baseball on television rooting for your favourite team that lives oh so far away. Enter the Western Major Baseball League (WMBL). They give folks across Alberta and Saskatchewan the chance to watch baseball live. Now your couch might be comfortable but nothing beats spending time at the ballpark! On what was a rainy Thursday in the capital of Alberta, the Edmonton Prospects started the season off with a convincing 7-1 win over the Lethbridge Bulls.

The Bulls would open the scoring in the top of the 2nd inning. With 2-on and 2-out, Liam Vulcano would hit a double fielded by centerfielder Jake Lanferman. The lead runner would score for the visitors but Brett Semeniuk would be tagged out at home after a strong accurate relay throw by shortstop Aidan Huggins.

The Prospects would hit the scoreboard in the bottom of the 4th and they would do it in style. Anthony Cusati, who led off the bottom of the 2nd with a double, would lead off the 4th with a single. He would be joined by Nick Spillman on board, then Tony Olson would bring both home with a 3-run inside-the-park home run! The Prospects were not done scoring yet in the bottom of the 4th as Percy (Yi-Jia) Liu from Taoyuan City, Taiwan would drive home Zane Takhar from second base with a single to left field making it 4-1 for the home team after 4.

The score would stay that way until the two outs in the bottom of the 7th. Lanferman would triple and score on a passed ball while Cusati was at the plate. Spillman, for the third consecutive time, would reach base. Olson would collect RBI numbers 4 and 5 to bring home both Cusati and Lanferman. This would make the score 7-1 after seven innings and would become your final score.

On the mound, the Prospects did not stretch out any of their pitchers too much, not allowing anyone to pitch more than two innings. Taran Oulton got the Opening Day call and was the only Prospect pitcher to allow a run or a walk. This is not disrespect towards Oulton, this is a tip of the cap to Brenden Wiun and Jordan Smith who both pitched two innings and only allowed one baserunner each. Also a cap tip to Scott Gillespie and Michael Gahan who combined to pitch a perfect final three frames!

PLAYER OF THE GAME:

5 RBI man Tony Olson earns the first Player of the Game award of the season. Really was there any doubt?

UPCOMING SCHEDULE:

Friday June 1: Okotoks Dawgs 7:05PM at RE/MAX Field

Saturday June 3: Minor Baseball Day at the Park! Okotoks Dawgs 2:05PM at RE/MAX Field

 

 

JUNE 9TH, 2018 at 5:00PM, Doors for the event open at 4:30PM

CROWN JEWEL NIGHT - Celebrating Edmonton's Jewel in the River Valley - RE/MAX FIELD

Activities for the event include:

-John Short's "Hot Stove Discussion" in the "Smoke and Pickle Bar & Grille" behind home plate.

-Special Guests talking about the Ballpark, Ron Hayter and Baseball in general.

-1.5 hrs of interesting discussion and stories

      Special Guest Speakers - Orv Franchuk / Grant Cunningham / Patrick Cassidy

 *Must have ticket to the ballgame to get in.