Game 2 Is a Winner Too!
by Arik Krause

The Edmonton Prospects have gone into Okotoks and put the Dawgs on the brink of elimination. The Prospects went up early scoring four runs in the first two innings, eventually giving themselves a 9-2 lead. They would manage to hold on and escape Okotoks with a 2-0 series lead and the chance to clinch Thursday night at RE/MAX Field.

Coach Ray Brown would hand the ball to Connor Burns in Game 2 and he would start the game dealing, allowing 2 runs in five innings before getting dinged up for five runs in the sixth. The Prospects would call on Michael Gahan in the seventh inning and he would earn a three-inning save to close out the game.

Percy (Yi-Jia) Liu would open the scoring in the top of the first for the Prospects with a triple after the leadoff hitter Tony Olson was able to find his way on base. The next at-bat Michael Gahan would drive Liu in and the Prospects would go up 2-0 early in Game 2.

The Prospects would manage to put up 2 more runs in the second inning before Anthony Cusati would send a ball over the fence coming up huge for the Prospects in the fifth inning with a three-run home run that would bring in both Michael Gahan and Nick Spillman putting the Prospects up 9-2. The Prospects would bend, but not break going forward as they’d have a rocky bottom of the sixth allowing 5 runs to give the Dawgs hope.

As mentioned before. Michael Gahan would come into the game after being moved from 3B and pitch three solid innings only giving up 1 run. Liu would drive in Aidan Huggins in the top of the eighth to give the Prospects some insurance as they would close the door on this one giving the Prospects a 10-8 win and they would escape Okotoks with a 2-0 series lead.

The Prospects who came into the series as underdogs trailing Okotoks by 12 games in the regular season, now have the chance to sweep the Dawgs Thursday night in Edmonton at RE/MAX Field. Be sure to get your tickets and cheer on the Prospects into the second round.

Player of the Game:

Honorable mention to Percy (Yi-Jia) Liu in this one as he went 3-5 with 2 RBI’s. The Player of the Game in this one for the prospects is Anthony Cusati who in the top of the fifth had a huge three-run home run to blow the doors off this game. Cusati would end the day going 3-5 as well, with 3 RBI’s and of course the big home run.

 

Upcoming games:

Thursday, August 2nd – RE/MAX Field vs Okotoks 7 PM

(if necessary) Friday, August 3rd – RE/MAX Field vs Okotoks 7 PM

(if necessary) Saturday, August 4th – Road Game in Okotoks 7 PM

Edgar Barclay & Anthony Cusati Star In Game 1 Win

By Len Nunes

2-time WMBL Championship finalists, the Edmonton Prospects know they are the underdogs in their 2018 opening round series against Okotoks. It is a role that did not faze the club in 2016 or 2017. The Prospects jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the opening game and held on to win 5-2 to shift all the pressure onto the favoured Dawgs team. An Okotoks Dawgs team whose season has ended the past two seasons at the hands of the Prospects!

With a few options available, there was much speculation as to who Coach Ray Brown would hand the ball to for the game one start. Mid-season acquisition Edgar Barclay got the nod and did not disappoint. Barclay did not pitch enough innings during to the season to qualify for inclusion in stat category races but his sparkling 1.97 ERA would have been among the league best. His regular season 9.54 K/9 (strikeouts per nine innings) was outdone by his game one performance of 11 strikeouts in 6 innings of play. The Dawgs were able to get runners on base in each inning versus Barclay, including loading the bases in the first inning, but the Hawaii born pitcher would only allow 1 run.

Anthony Cusati opened the scoring in the game with a moonshot to start the third inning. It is Cusati's first career playoff home run in the WMBL.

Daylen Calicdan led the 5th inning off with a single. With 1-out, Cusati would hit a single. AJ Nitzschke made the score 2-0 with a single scoring Calicdan. Then the Dawgs defence momentarily failed them as back-to-back errors on balls hit into play by Aidan Huggins and Tony Olson expanded the lead to 4-0. Michael Gahan would cap off the 4-run 5th inning with a RBI single.

Chase Morris, who finished the season with consecutive saves, took over on the Prospects mound in the 7th inning. After allowing a lead-off single, Morris retired the next 6 Dawgs batters in order. The Dawgs did score a run against Morris in the 9th inning to make it 5-2. Coach Brown turned to Josh Sieglitz to get the final out stranding one runner on base.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Offence wins games, pitching wins championships. With that in mind Edgar Barclay earns the Player Of The Game nod. Barclay's final line reads 6 innings played, 1 run against on 7 hits with 11 strikeouts.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

Wednesday August 1st – Road Game in Okotoks, 7PM starts

Thursday August 2nd – RE/MAX Field vs Okotoks 7PM

(if necessary) Friday August 3rd – RE/MAX Field vs Okotoks 7PM

(if necessary) Saturday August 4th – Road Game in Okotoks 7PM

Prospects Finish Season On High Note

By Len Nunes

After defeating the Fort McMurray Giants 12-7 on Sunday afternoon the Edmonton Prospects finished their regular season with a .500 record for a second consecutive year. The question now becomes can the Edmonton Prospects make their third consecutive WMBL finals and attain their pre-season goal of "winning the last game of the summer"?

Prior to the beginning of this season, Roberto Alomar of the Toronto Blue Jays wrote a letter to Mayor Don Iveson fighting to keep RE/MAX Field as a part of any and all downtown plans. The reaction on Twitter supporting the Prospects and RE/MAX Field was recognized by Mayor Iveson. The Mayor re-affirmed his desire to keep a ballpark in Edmonton but mentioned he would like to see more support in the stands. Thank you Edmonton! The first look at the official numbers according to a tweet by "Director, Partnerships and Ticket Sales" Ryan Jagoe shows a 25% increase in attendance.

The Prospects jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the first inning of their final game. Eric Crain with a RBI single opened the scoring. A 2-RBI triple by Beaux Guilbeau made it 3-0. Daylen Calicdan, Anthony Cusati and Tony Olson all added RBI singles to round out the opening frame scoring.

Prospects starting pitcher Brenden Wiun pitched five innings on the afternoon. After a quiet first inning, the Giants were able to put up three runs in the second. After 1-2-3 innings in the 3rd & 4th, Wiun lost the plate in the 5th. The Giants capitalized adding 4 runs but Wiun still left the game with the lead and collected the win.

Calicdan drove in his second run of the season in the bottom of the 2nd with a double. In the bottom of the 3rd Zane Takhar hit into a double-play but still earned a RBI as AJ Nitzschke crossed the plate. A Michael Gahan double drove in Matt Brisson for the Prospects 9th run of the game.

With the score 9-7 in favour of the Prospects, the offence ostensibly salted the game away with three more runs in the 6th inning. Guilbeau and Calicdan led the inning off with back-to-back walks. Nitzschke singled in a run then Matt Brisson picked up his first 2 RBI of the season with a single of this own.

The last season turnaround for Scott Gillespie continues! Gillespie pitched the 6th through 8th innings for the Prospects allowing only 1 hit and issuing 2 walks. Jordan Smith pitched a shutout 9th inning for the Prospects making it three straight appearances without allowing a run.

Your 2018 Prospects Leaders:

    Batting Average - Daylen Calicdan (.367), Nick Spillman (.362)

    Doubles - Anthony Cusati and Nick Spillman (9)

    Triples - Tony Olson (4), Percy Liu (3)

    HR - AJ Nitzschke (3)

    RBI - Nick Spillman (36), Tony Olson (28)

    Walks - Zane Takhar (26), Nick Spillman (23)

    Stolen Bases - Percy Liu (14), Tony Olson (8)

    Hit-by-pitch - AJ Nitzschke (6), Tony Olson (5)

    Wins - Rich Walker (5), Taran Oulton (4)

    Strikeouts - Michael Gahan (40), Connor Burns/Rich Walker (38)

    ERA - Rich Walker (3.16), *Edgar Barclay 1.98

UPCOMING SCHEDULE - PLAYOFFS

Tuesday July 31 and Wednesday August 1st – Road Games in Okotoks, 7PM starts

Thursday August 2nd – RE/MAX Field vs Okotoks 7PM

(if necessary) Friday August 3rd – RE/MAX Field vs Okotoks 7PM

(if necessary) Saturday August 4th – Road Game in Okotoks 7PM

Giant Win For Edmonton Prospects

By Len Nunes

With a playoff spot freshly clinched, the Edmonton Prospects hosted the Fort McMurray Giants Saturday night. After having one of the worst weather months in team history having three home games rained out, Mother Nature finally gave the club a textbook "beautiful night for baseball". Edmonton baseball fans responded as the Prospects got their 3rd biggest crowd of the season, a boisterous 3,251 fans. Everyone went home happy as the Prospects won the game 3-1.

Tony Olson led the game off with a single and would come around to open the scoring.

Daylen Calicdan, Michael Gahan, and Jake MacDonald loaded the bases in the bottom of the second with no-outs. Tony Olson's 26th RBI of the season was a painful one as he was hit by a pitch. The Prospects led 2-0 after two innings.

After a rough last outing in Okotoks, Prospects starter Taran Oulton wanted to have a strong start heading into the playoffs. Mission accomplished! Facing the minimum amount of batters through three innings, the Giants got their first hit of the game in the 4th inning which drove a runner that had reached base on an error. Oulton ran into some trouble in the 5th inning issuing two walks and single to load the bases but his defence bailed him out. A dying ball hit to center field was caught by a sliding Percy Liu. Liu had the presence of mind to immediately throw the ball to second base to turn the double play and end the inning. Oulton left the game after 5 innings with a 2-1 lead allowing only 2 hits and striking out 5.

The Prospects made it 3-1 in the 6th inning and once it again it was Tony Olson collecting the RBI. With MacDonald at third base a routine groundball to second was enough to bring him home.

Scott Gillespie took over on the mound for the Prospects pitching two shutout innings allowing only 2 hits and 1 walk. After posting a strong 3.21 ERA in 14 appearances last season, Gillespie has struggled in 2018. After this strong showing, the hope is that Gillespie is peaking just in time for the playoffs which start on Tuesday.

Jordan Smith entered the game in the 8th inning and retired the Giants in order. With the bases loaded and 2-out, Coach Ray Brown brought in Chase Morris to get the final out. It was Morris' second save in three nights.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Tony Olson scored one of the runs and knocked in the other two. Congratulations Mr. Olson you deserve the Player of the Game nod!

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

FAN APPRECIATION DAY - Sunday July 29 vs Fort Mac 2PM (*last chance to use any ticket from previously rained out games)

Playoff Schedule – 1st Round will be vs the Okotoks Dawgs. Games will start at 7PM.

Tuesday July 31 and Wednesday August 1st – Road Games in Okotoks.

Thursday August 2nd – RE/MAX Field

(if necessary) Friday August 3rd – RE/MAX Field

(if necessary) Saturday August 4th – Road Game in Okotoks.

*Friendly reminder, no outside food or drink is permitted at RE/MAX Field*

Prospects Sweep Bulls, Clinch Playoff Spot

By Len Nunes

The Edmonton Prospects, and their 5-17 road record, entered a 2-game set in Lethbridge fighting to control their own destiny. One win would clinch a playoff spot, two wins would clinch third place. The Prospects busted out to a 6-0 lead on Thursday on their way to clinching a playoff spot. On Friday, Rich Walker turned in his third complete game shutout of the season to lock up third place for the Prospects!

Game One:

The Prospects wasted little time hitting the scoreboard in the opening game of the mini-series as in the second inning Aidan Huggins drove in Daylen Calicdan to make it 1-0.

The third inning began with a Tony Olson triple, two pitches later Zane Takhar drove him in. Nick Spillman hit a double to join Takhar on base. Eric Crain then hit a double of his own emptying the bases. A Michael Gahan sacrifice fly would plate Crain and make the score 5-0 Prospects.

Spillman's second double of the game, his 8th of the season, drove in the Prospects final run of the night. A 6-0 lead after 4 innings ended in a 6-3 victory.

Josh Sieglitz, making only his 2nd start in 10 appearances, was excellent. Through 8 innings of work, Sieglitz held the Bulls off the board allowing only three hits. The attempt to complete the game broke the shutout but does not diminish the great start.

Game Two:

Olson's second triple in two nights, giving him a team high 4 on the season, drove in the first run of the game in the top of the 8th inning. Gahan tripled in the 9th inning and scored an insurance run on a passed ball. It was more than enough offence for Prospects starting pitcher Rich Walker.

Walker’s final pitching line shows a complete game, 3-hit mastery of the Bulls. 8 strikeouts his highest total since his Perfect Game back on June 29th. Walker leads the WMBL in complete games with 3.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Playoffs are mere days away and the old mantra is true, pitching wins championships. Prospects starters Josh Sieglitz and Rich Walker win Player Of The Game nods for their respective starts in Lethbridge.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

The final two home games of the regular season which means your final two chances to use your tickets from one of our three rained out ball games:

CISN Country Night - Saturday July 28 vs Fort Mac 7PM

Fan Appreciation Day - Sunday July 29 vs Fort Mac 2PM

Playoff Schedule - Opponent yet to be determined to be determined. Games will start at 7PM.

Tuesday July 31 and Wednesday August 1st – Road Games

Thursday August 2nd – RE/MAX Field

(if necessary) Friday August 3rd – RE/MAX Field

(if necessary) Saturday August 4th – Road Game

*Friendly reminder, no outside food or drink is permitted at RE/MAX Field*