PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT re: Game Postponements/Cancellations: Individual Team Management Staff in the WCBL have the mandate from the league to make every effort possible to play the scheduled game in the given window of time. It is the umpires duty to ensure that the game is played under acceptably safe conditions. Many variables can factor in the final decision to postpone or cancel. Fans patience is greatly appreciated as we deal with the unique circumstances surrounding Air Quality recently.

Bark at the Park Rules and Regulations:

 

-         All dogs must be on a leash or harness.

-         All dogs to enter down the third base side of RE/MAX Field (through the gates – follow signage).

-         Every owner to sign waiver form before entry.

-         No dogs allowed in food service areas or concourse.

-         All dog owners are responsible for their dogs (including cleaning up after them – see below for more information).

-         Dogs are restricted to section J and the third base silver bleachers. Dogs are also allowed in the 3rd base patio area (see details below).

-         No full water bottles allowed into the building.

 

Other important information:

-         First 100 dogs through the gates to receive Petland “swag bags”.

-         1:55pm HART pre-game dog parade on field (dogs for adoption).

-         Designated area outside the building, down the 3rd base side for dogs to do their business (please clean up after your dog – look for “Designated Dog Waste Area” signage OR ask a volunteer). Please hold onto your ticket for re-entry.

-         Petland, Edmonton Humane Society, HART, Acanna/Orijen, and Nutrience will be set up in the 3rd Base Patio handing out samples, information and more.

-         There will be water dishes in the 3rd base patio area for dogs to stay hydrated.

 

Insight On What Is To Come
By John Short

Two down and dozens to go.

No words can explain more clearly the situation faced by the Edmonton Prospects as they head into four games in five days – the bare beginnings of a Western Canadian Baseball League season that opened with such promise last weekend: a pair of difficult and encouraging victories over the Lethbridge Bulls.

It’s entirely possible that a home-and-home setup with the Okotoks Dawgs will be equally challenging. Okotoks hammered the Brooks Bombers 14-5 in their opening game of the 2019 WCBL season, with six runs in the fifth inning and seven in the seventh erasing all doubt as to the ultimate result.

No surprise to hear Prospects field manager Jordan Blundell express concern over facing the Dawgs at RE/MAX Field tonight and in the Dawgs’ kennel Friday on Calgary’s southern edge. On second thought, no surprise to hear Blundell express similar thoughts about hurrying back from Okotoks to face Brooks at RE/MAX Field Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.

One team has every right to feel loaded with confidence; the opening-game losers, by contrast, will be understandably hungry to atone for their one-sided whipping on their opening day.

Prospects pitchers must prepare for some serious stuff. Dealing strictly by the numbers, the largest early-season threat is carried by Okotoks-raised outfielder Tristan Peters. All he did was collect five hits in six at-bats, including three doubles and a triple. Liam Rihela, Gavin Logan and Noah Geekie all showed in the summary with at least two hits apiece.

The Prospects’ opening wins were impressive, but not overwhelming on offence. Outfielder Pierce Blohowiak drove home the winning run in the 5-4 Saturday victory by slapping an opposite-field single in extra innings. He also struck for the team’s first home run in the 7-5 victory on the following afternoon, part of a .375 batting average for two games. Tyler Maskill and Tanner Rowney ended the weekend with impressive .333 levels.

Serious tests for the Prospects pitching staff will continue immediately, of course, but early signs were promising. Taran Oulton and Hunter Boyd turned in encouraging starts, both at least five innings, and solid relief pitching preserved the victories.

“We know it’s early,” Blundell said after the Sunday victory. “We feel good about our start, but there is a lot of work to do. It’s a long season.”

Impact Players
By John Short

By any logical standard, it’s a long way from Winnebago County and tiny Neenah, Wisconsin, to RE/MAX Field in Edmonton.

But, after only two days, speedy outfielder Pierce Blohowiak has made it look like a trip around the block.

Not only did he slap a wrong-field single in the ninth inning to create a 5-4 victory for the Edmonton Prospects over the Lethbridge Bulls in their Western Canada Baseball League season opener Saturday night, but he followed Sunday afternoon with a two-run homer in the fourth inning, providing the winning margin in a 7-5 triumph.

Before drilling the home run, he stroked a lead-off single that led to nothing and then was hit by a pitch as the Prospects struck for three runs in the third inning. Head coach Jordan Blundell welcomed the power, while confirming that speed – not offence – was the first goal in recruiting Blohowiak from Yale University.

While speaking with Yale coach John Stuper, Blundell mentioned the need from “someone who had speed, could start some fires for us on the bases."

“The coach told me he had an idea. As soon as he described Pierce’s abilities, we started the recruiting process. It’s a good thing we got him.”

Other welcome gifts came in the form of pitching ability. Taran Oulton of nearby Legal, AB, turned in a solid starting performance on Saturday and three hurlers – starter Hunter Boyd and relievers Austin Herrington and Trever Berg – harnessed Lethbridge hitters quite effectively in Sunday’s game, which was played in glorious weather conditions.

OPENING 2 GAMES
By John Short

Quite possibly, the two biggest smiles at RE/MAX Field Sunday afternoon belonged to Edmonton Prospects managing partner Pat Cassidy and Western Canadian Baseball League president Kevin Kvame.

Both were impressed with the quality of play as the Prospects opened their season with a pair of victories over the Lethbridge Bulls. Perhaps more important was their response to the attendance as Edmonton won 5-4 on Saturday night and followed with a 7-5 victory on the Sunday.

“There were maybe 3,000 people here for the opener,” said Kvame, who has steered the WCBL through some hardships and many progresses during his 10 years as head of the league. Sunday’s figure dropped closer to an estimated 1,500. “That’s a good crowd for the first two games, very good,” he said. “Certainly it will give politicians something to think about – or it should, anyway.”

He confirmed immediately that his reference was aimed at city council, which has openly sought offers to supplant the Prospects, who have about a half-dozen Alberta players on their university-level roster – many more than any other franchise ever recorded.

Lengthy and confusing council reactions have left Cassidy’s organization, fans and franchises throughout Alberta and Saskatchewan wondering when city officials’ deliberations on the Prospects’ offer to occupy RE/MAX Field for many years will finally leave the political arena and become a firm decision.

“Right now, I’m happy,” said Cassidy. “We look like there’s a chance that we’ll be a good team. We have some good players and they look like they’re capable of improving.

“Crowds were good, weather was good, the quality of the baseball was good. The next step for (head coach) Jordan Blundell will be to have us ready when we play our next game here Thursday (against the Okotoks Dawgs).

“Obviously, he’s done a good job so far.”