Down 5-1, Prospects Rally To Win

Our Edmonton Prospects, enjoying a 3-game win streak, began a three game series in Medicine Hat Friday Night against the Mavericks. The Mavericks finally notched their first win of the season Thursday improving to 1-5 and looked destined to collect their second victory, but the never say die Prospects overcame a 4-run deficit to win 9-6.

Spruce Grove native and University of Alberta student Andrew Grieder made his first career start for the Prospects. A leadoff single was followed up by a RBI double before he collected his first two outs. The emphasis goes on the second out as right fielder Jake Lanferman caught a fly ball and threw behind the runner at 2nd base catching him off the bag. An unearned run would score against Grieder in the 2nd inning as Frank Podkul got on base via an error and made his way around the diamond to score. Grieder pitched a powerful 3-up-3-down 3rd inning before running into trouble in the 4th.

The Prospects would hit the scoresheet in the top of the 3rd inning when Michael Gahan, who later in the game would extend his personal hitting to streak to 5, would send a chopper down to third base and hustled down the line forcing an error. The error would allow Dean Olson to score. This cut the Mavericks lead to 2-1.

The bottom of the 4th was not kind to our Prospects but the good teams learn how to minimize damage.  The Mavs loaded the bases with none out but only managed to score three runs. Another University of Alberta student would take the mound for our Prospects and slammed the door shut. Finnigan Duffield would come in with 1-on, 1-out to strike out Zack Kunkel and get Louie Canjura to fly out. 5-1 Mavericks after 4.

Duffield would pitch a scoreless 5th thanks in part to the strong arm of left fielder Derek Shedden! Caleb Longley tried to score from second base on single by teammate Podkul but would become the third and final out. Duffield would pitch a scoreless 6th inning this time using the more traditional 3-up-3-down method.

In the top of the 7th the Prospects would cut the lead to 5-3 all with two out. An error by the Mavericks shortstop allowed Shedden to reach base and extend the inning and our Prospects took full advantage. Gahan would hit a single to left field cashing in Shedden and Lanferman before being caught in a rundown.

The Mavericks would make it 6-3 in the bottom of the 7th but our Prospects would tie the game in the top of the 8th. Caeden Harris would hit a RBI double, Aidan Huggins would hit a RBI single and Anthony Cusati would cross the plate to bring the score to 6-6.

Zaine Foth-Thomas would come in to pitch the bottom of the 8th for our Prospects. He would allow a leadoff single but then proceed to pick him off at first bat to face the minimum throw batters.

In the top of the 9th, the Prospects took their first lead of the game when Harris tested the Mavericks third baseman again and induced an error by the fielder allowing Gahan to score making it 7-6. Huggins drew a bases loaded walk and Tony Olson would finish the scoring with a single to make the score 9-6.

Fireballer Andrew Mirasty would come in to pitch the bottom of the 9th and earn the save.

Play Of The Game: Having trailed the entire game until they tied the game at 6 in the top of the 8th inning, our Prospects needed a clean inning by their pitcher in the bottom half. Zaine Foth-Thomas allowed a leadoff single to Colton Wright (whom the Mavericks pitch run for with Taylor Van Ham) but more than made amends for it by striking out Colton Wright and then picking off Van Ham. Foth-Thomas would strike out Rock Jordan and deliver exactly what the Prospects needed!

Player Of The Game: Michael Gahan not only extended his personal hitting streak to 5 games, he also collected 3 RBI on Friday night.

Next game: Game 2 of 3 at Medicine Hat goes Saturday night at 7:05PM

Next home game: “Strike Out Hunger” with the Edmonton Food Bank Tuesday June 13th. Tuesday’s are always “Toonie Tuesday” when you can buy one ticket and get a second one for only a toonie. The opponents, our friends turned foes the Fort McMurray Giants.

Prospects Win Big, Tie Franchise Best Start To A Season

For the second time in Edmonton Prospects franchise history the team has won four out of its first five games to start a season. The latest win was by decisive 11-2 margin over the only team to put a blemish on our record thus far, the Okotoks Dawgs.

Reigning WMBL Pitcher Of The Week Noah Gapp took the mound Thursday night at RE/MAX Field and was more than the Dawgs could handle. Gapp struck out the Dawgs leadoff batter Peter Hutzel to start the game, his first of 8 K’s on the night, and would record the 27th out when Aidan Huggins made a play of the game worthy snag off a sharply hit ball by John Hawk. It is already Gapp’s second complete game of the season. His final line for this game looks like this: 9IP 5H 2R 3BB 8K.

Leadoff batter Dean Olson greeted the fans with a single and would come around to score on a Jake Lanferman single.

With the score tied at 1 in the bottom of the 3rd inning, the Prospects took control of the game.  We once again saw a Lanferman single score Olson but his one opened the flood gates. A Michael Gahan single scored Derek Shedden then Lanferman would come home to score on a pitch that got past the Dawgs catcher to make it 4-1 for the Prospects. Now for the big hit! Marion McLean with a bases loaded triple gave our Prospects a 7-1 lead.

Any hope the Dawgs tried to create by scoring a run in the 5th inning was snuffed out in the 7th inning when Tony Olson drove home Matt Quartel to restore the 6-run lead. The Prospects bats were not done yet!

In the 8th inning, Shedden would earn a walk after facing 11 pitches during his at-bat and Lanferman would once again take the painful way to first base by being hit a pitch. Huggins would bring them both home with a double and then be brought home by a Quartel single to bring us to our 11-2 final.

Play Of The Game: With Michael Gahan on third, Aidan Huggins on second and Mackenzie Parlow on first, Marion McLean would bring them all home with a triple.

Player Of The Game: Usually pitching a complete game would earn this spot for Noah Gapp but the nod here goes to Marion McLean. 3-for-5 at the dish with his 3-RBI triple being the piéce de résistance!

Next game: Friday night in Medicine Hat 7:05PM

Next home game:  “Strike Out Hunger” with the Edmonton Food Bank on Tuesday June 13th. Of course Tuesday means Toonie Tuesday (buy 1 regular price ticket, get 1 for only a toonie). Game time is 7:05PM as welcome back the former co-tenants the Fort McMurray Giants.

Prospects Return Home 3-1

After winning the season/home opener on June 2, our Prospects ventured onto the road for three games. After dropping to Okotoks last Sunday, Wednesday night marked the end of the successful 2-game road trip up North as the Prospects defeated the Fort McMurray Giants 6-2.

Prospects starting pitcher Erik Sabrowski struck out two batters in each of the first five innings and finished with 13 K’s. Spoiling the shutout was Ryan Villarreal in the bottom of the 4th with a RBI single. The final line on a WMBL Pitcher Of The Week nomination worthy performance – 7 IP 5 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 13 strikeouts.

Matt Quartel led off the top of the 4th inning with a bunt single. A balk by Giants starter Alex Nolan moved Quartel to second and Giants Coach Pat Riley to the showers as he was ejected for arguing the call. One passed ball later and Travis Ouellet would collect a RBI with a groundout putting the Prospects up 1-0.

Dean Olson led off the 5th inning with a single and would steal 2nd base. Jake Lanferman would hit a RBI double off of the outfield wall to give the Prospects a 2-1 lead. Michael Gahan would cash in Lanferman with a single growing the lead to 3-1.

Lanferman led off the 7th inning by getting on base the hard way via the hit-by-pitch.  With Gahan on base, Coach Brown would call for a double steal. Lanferman awkwardly slid into third base but when Quartel grounded a ball into a drawn-in infield, Lanferman’s slide to avoid the tag at home was magnificent. 4-1 lead at this point for the Prospects.

Aidan Huggins led off the 8th inning with a 4-pitch walk. Huggins would steal 2nd and then come around to score on a Giants error trying to throw out Derek Shedden at first base. The final score of yesterday’s game was now the score of this game going into the bottom of the 8th.

Scott Gillespie would come in to pitch the bottom of the 8th for the Prospects and would leave with the bases loaded and two out. Jye Deeble would come into the high stress situation, run the count full and induced a pop out to protect the 4-run lead.

The lead would be extended to 6-1 in the top of the 9th inning when the Giants Keegan Marsden lost a Huggins pop fly in the lights scoring Gahan.

Play Of The Game – In the bottom of the 5th inning, Prospects center fielder Dean Olson went “full Superman”, or if you are a Toronto Blue Jays fan “full Kevin Pillar”, catching a Travis Turner fly ball.

Player Of The Game - Despite multiple hit games by Michael Gahan (2), Aidan Huggins (3) and Derek Shedden (2) the no-brainer choice here is Erik Sabrowski. A quality start by Sabrowski with an impressive 13 strikeouts.

Next Game – Thirsty Thursday June 8th versus the Okotoks Dawgs. 7:05 first pitch at RE/MAX Field

Noah Gapp Earns WMBL Star Of The Week

By Len Nunes

A well-earned pat on the back was given out yesterday to Edmonton Prospects starting pitcher Noah Gapp by the WMBL office. Congratulations to Gapp who earned himself the Pitcher of the Week Star.

The “Star” performance was the season opener back on Friday June 2nd when Gapp pitched a complete game allowing just one run and racking up 14 strikeouts!

Gapp has been with the Prospects since the summer of 2014. With each passing season, Gapp’s dominance on the mound has reached new levels. During last season’s playoff run, he showed that an extra bright spotlight does not intimidate him as he pitched not 1, not 2, but 3 complete games.

MLB teams have taken note of 6’5” pitcher as his name has been bandied about in MLB draft talks. The MLB Draft is on June 12th

Prospects Knock Down Giants

By Len Nunes

Last June, the Fort McMurray Giants were forced out of their hometown due to raging forest fires and were welcomed into the now named REMAX Field by our Edmonton Prospects.  Last night, the Giants hosted the Prospects in their home opener. A highly entertaining defensive battle saw our Prospects win by the score of 5-1.

A telltale sign that we were going to be treated to some good defence was offered in the first inning. Both teams were able to get their leadoff runner aboard and both teams saw that runner become a part of a doubleplay.  In the bottom of the 3rd, Prospects catcher Mackenzie Parlow would gun down Max Hewitt trying to steal second base. In the top of the 4th, Jake Lanferman would get the Prospects first hit of the game and would promptly be mowed down trying to steal second base.

Prospects starter Jordan Parranto would pitch 5 innings plus one batter working around some control problems issuing 5 walks but only allowing 2 hits. Parranto would strand two runners in the second inning with a strikeout (one of his 4) and escape walking the first two batters of the 5th inning in part to a great play by first baseman Erik Sabrowski. With Ryan Dunn at-bat, his bunt attempt went straight up. Sabrowski charged the plate, caught the ball for one out and threw it to second base for the second out catching the runner off the bag.

Veteran Prospect Dean Olson would open the scoring in the top of the 5th. Olson would hit a single down the first base line scoring Parlow.

In the top of the 7th, Head Coach Ray Brown would pinch hit for Jordan Stickler (who had reached base twice, once via hit-by-pitch and the other by walk) with Michael Gahan. Brown was rewarded with a bloop single that would score Aidan Huggins.

The Prospects 2-0 lead was cut in half in the bottom of the 8th inning but the Prospects offense would come alive in the top of the 9th to relieve the pressure. Jake Lanferman would hit a 2-RBI double and then be brought home by Anthony Cusati to make it 5-1 Prospects.

Play Of The Game – In the bottom of the 8th with the score 2-1, Giants batter Richard Ortiz sharply hits a ball at Aidan Huggins. Huggins not only knocks it down to keep it in the infield but throws out Ortiz at first for the final out of the inning stranding the tying run at 3rd.

Player Of The Game - Jake Lanferman finished the game 3-for-4 at the dish. His 2-RBI double in the top of the 9th blew open a tight game.

Next Game: Wednesday night once again against the Giants, 7:35PM

Next Home Game: Thursday Thirsty at REMAX Field, 7:05PM vs Okotoks