Sweet 16! Prospects Offence Explodes In Big Win

By Len Nunes

The Edmonton Prospects scored at least a run in 7 of 8 innings en route to a 16-2 win over the Brooks Bombers. Every Prospects starting position player collected at least one hit. The win is the Prospects 4th in a row improving their record to 17-18.

Before we go into the plethora of runs scored, let's start by giving the Prospects pitchers their fair due. Taran Oulton drew his 7th start of the year Sunday. Arguably one of the top pitcher's in the WMBL through the first few weeks of the season, the calendar month of July had not been kind to Oulton until he seemingly figured things out versus Brooks. The Bombers did not collect their first hit of the game until the third inning. Two of five Prospects errors on the evening then greased the wheels for Brooks scoring their only two runs. The defence did twice come up with double-plays behind Oulton as the pitcher finished the night with 6 innings played allowing only 4 hits and striking out 5.

The Prospects bullpen pitched three shutout innings to seal the deal. Jordan Smith, Drew Scott, and Josh Sieglitz each threw one inning of no-hit ball. Now for the offence!

Tony Olson led the ballgame off with a single and was brought home on a Nick Spillman single to open the scoring.

Anthony Cusati and Michael Gahan led the bottom of the 2nd inning off with back-to-back singles. Aidan Huggins was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Tony Olson collected a RBI via a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0. The Prospects 3rd run scored on a wild pitch by the Bombers starting pitcher.

With 1-out in the bottom of the 3rd inning Eric Crain hit a single. With 2-out, Gahan drove in Crain with a single to left field making it 4-2 Prospects.

In the bottom of the 4th inning Olson reached on a fielder's choice and came around to score on a Percy Liu groundball out. With the bases empty Spillman hit a double and scored when the Bombers defence committed one of their 5 errors on the afternoon.

With the score 6-2 going into the bottom of the 6th inning the Prospects put up four more runs. With Spillman aboard with a walk, Beaux Guilbeau hit his second home run in three days. Cusati followed that up with a single and was brought home by a Gahan double. Huggins hit a single to center field to score Gahan expanding the lead to 10-2.

The lead grew to 12-2 in the 7th inning when Nick Spillman hit his 2nd double of the game scoring Liu. Spillman would later score on a Crain sacrifice fly.

In the bottom of the 8th inning Gahan completed his perfect 5-for-5 night at the plate with a lead-off single. Nitzschke and Huggins each hit singles loading the bases along with Gahan. Olson drew a walk for his 2nd RBI of the night making it 13-2. Liu reached base on a fielder's choice that pushed the score to 14-2. Crain hit a 2-RBI single to end the offensive barrage and bring us to our final score of 16 -2!

PLAYER OF THE GAME

On an afternoon where everyone chipped in, this decision is tough. The nod will go to Michael Gahan and his perfect 5-for-5 at the plate with four singles, a double and 2 RBI.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

Toonie Tuesday July 17 vs Regina 7PM

Wednesday July 18 vs Medicine Hat - Faith and Family Day in support of The Mustard Seed - 7PM

Thursday July 19 vs Medicine Hat – Pre-game Business Mixer - 7:05 PM First Pitch

Friday July 20 vs Regina - Edmonton Trappers Night featuring Ron Kittle! 7:05 PM First Pitc

Rich Walker Has A Complete Game Shutout, Prospects Win

By Len Nunes

Just past the 2-week anniversary of his perfect game, Rich Walker pitched a complete game 2-hit shutout for the Edmonton Prospects. The game was played in only two hours and ten minutes as Collin Thomas of the Brooks Bombers also pitched a complete game. The only offence on Canadian Armed Forces Night at RE/MAX Field was 2 runs in the bottom of the 5th. The 2-0 win puts the Prospects on a 3-game winning streak.

The game did not have a smooth start for Walker and the Prospects defence. A lead-off single followed by three errors loaded the bases and gave the Bombers a loaded-bases, no-outs situation. Walker struck out Bryce O'Farrell then watched his defence turn a double-play to escape the jam. This was Brooks' first game without Riley MacDonald. The new home run king of the WMBL and now former Brooks Bomber signed a professional contract with the Quebec Capitals. A tip of the cap to MacDonald for going pro!

At one point Walker retired 11 consecutive Bombers. The streak was broken up by a lead-off walk in the 6th. The Prospects second double-play of the evening kept Walker cruising along. Walker did not allow another hit until 1-out in the 8th inning. The Prospects Instagram account posted the 27th out of the evening as 2,123 fans congratulated Walker on a job well done!

All the offence the Prospects needed came in the fifth inning. Beaux Guilbeau led the inning off with a single but was swapped out on base with Anthony Cusati after a fielder's choice. AJ Nitzschke hit a single to left field to give the Prospects runners on the corners. The Bombers intentionally walked Tony Olson who had already collected a double and a single on the evening loading the bases for Zane Takhar. Down in the count 1-2, Takhar smacked a ball to center field making the score 2-0.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Rich Walker deservedly earns the “Player of the Game” nod with a complete game shutout. In his 6th start of the season, his 6 strikeouts is his second highest game total of the season.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

Sunday July 15 vs Brooks - RE/MAX Family Day - In support of the Children's Wish Foundation, kids run the bases post-game. Pick up a free Prospects Magazine on the concourse for player autographs or purchase a bouncing baseball in the Prospects General Store on the Main Concourse!  2:05 PM first pitch!

Toonie Tuesday July 17 vs Regina 7PM

Wednesday July 18 vs Medicine Hat - Faith and Family Day in support of The Mustard Seed - 7PM

Thursday July 19 vs Medicine Hat – Pre-game Business Mixer - 7:05 PM First Pitch

Friday July 20 vs Regina - Edmonton Trappers Night featuring Ron Kittle! 7;05 PM First Pitch

Make Sure To Keep Your Tickets From Rainout!

Friday the 13th reared its ugly head by cancelling Friday night’s Edmonton Prospects versus Yorkton Cardinals baseball game. First pitch was delayed 30 minutes prepping the field for play but the rain never let up.  The game made it through 4 innings of play before the rain delay that eventually cancelled the game commenced.

Since the game never reached “official status” (5 innings), all fans in attendance are likely asking “so what about my ticket”?

Your ticket (whether it is on Igniter stock, printer paper or a QR code on your phone) is valid to attend any other Edmonton Prospects regular season. Simply bring your ticket to the box office the night/afternoon of the game and they will exchange them for a ticket to the new event.

PLAYER OF THE GAME:

To the hundreds of Prospects fans who braved the elements and went to RE/MAX Field in hopes of watching some baseball, this honour goes to all of you. May the force be with you!

NEXT GAME:

Saturday July 14 – CANADIAN ARMED FORCES NIGHT - Military personnel will be participating in a home run derby, the Royal Canadian Artillery Band will be performing the National Anthem and Colonel Scott McKenzie, Commander 3rd Canadian Division Support Group, will throw the ceremonial first pitch. Proceeds from a 50 /50 draw will be donated to the Edmonton Military Family Resource Centre. 7:05 PM first pitch vs Brooks!

UPCOMING SCHEDULE:

Sunday July 15 RE/MAX Family Day! In support of the Children's Wish Foundation, kids run the bases post-game. Pick up a free Prospects Magazine on the concourse for player autographs or buy a ball in the Merchandise Store on the Main Concourse! 2:05 PM first pitch vs Brooks!

Toonie Tuesday July 17 vs Regina

Wednesday July 18 vs Medicine Hat - Faith and Family Day in support of The Mustard Seed

Thursday July 19 vs Medicine Hat – Pre-game Business Mixer

Friday July 20 vs Regina - Edmonton Trappers Night featuring Ron Kittle!

*Outside Food Policy - The Edmonton Prospects have a no outside food policy at RE/MAX Field. Security will check specifically for nuts and sunflower seeds due to allergies. Any outside food will be asked to either be consumed prior to entry to the ballpark or returned to your car. You may bring a water bottle to the game but it must be empty as you can refill for free inside at one of two water fountains. Thank you for your consideration in this matter.

Prospects Break Jinx In Brooks

By Len Nunes

The Brooks Bombers currently occupy the western division basement in the 2018 season. One bright side to their season, aside from Riley MacDonald setting the WMBL home run record, is their ability to beat the Edmonton Prospects in their own ballpark. A close game until the 8th inning, the Prospects lifted the Elks Field jinx defeating the Bombers 8-3.

The Prospects opened the scoring in the top of the 2nd when Beaux Guilbeau brought home an Eric Crain lead-off double with a sacrifice fly. The lead became 2-0 in the 3rd inning when Nick Spillman singled home Zane Takhar.

Prospects starting pitcher Edgar Barclay cruised through the first two innings before running into a spot of trouble in the bottom of the 3rd. The only Bomber baserunner to reach due to a fielding error came around to score after a balk and a stolen base.  With the bases empty Conner Morro hit a homer to tie the game at 2. With 2-out in the 4th, Brooks added another run making it 3-2.

Prospects leftfielder Crain tied the game in the top of the 5th with a 2-out single.  The Prospects took a 4-3 lead in the top of the 6th when the Bombers committed two of their six defensive errors back-to-back. An error allowed Guilbeau to reach base then score on a mishandled AJ Nitzschke single.

Barclay had found his groove on the Prospects mound retiring the Bombers in order in the 5th and retiring the first two batters of the 6th. Two singles and a walk later, suddenly it was gut check time for Barclay. Damian Rodriguez became out number three and Barclay finished a good night on a high note.

Reliever Chase Morris, who had a “learning experience” game his last outing, bounced back strongly for the Prospects. Entering a tight game 4-3 in the bottom of the 7th inning, Morris gave up a single to MacDonald and struck out two batters. When he came back to the mound in the 8th inning, the Prospects had made the score 10-3 but that did not take away from Morris’ focus. A clean slate 8th was followed by another blank in the 9th leaving Morris’ final pitching line a sparking 3 innings played allowing 2 hits and a walk while striking out 5.

The big 8th inning for the Prospects started with a Guilbeau lead-off homer. The homer is Guilbeau’s first of the season. Percy Liu knocked in Aidan Huggins with a 1-out single. After Takhar reached on an error, Daylen Calicdan plated Liu making it 7-3.

Spillman’s 4th hit of the night drove in Takhar. Spillman’s .379 batting average sits 2nd in the league and his 29 RBI place him 5th overall. Crain, who finished the 3-for-5 extending his personal hit streak to 8 games, reached on an error which allowed Calicdan and Spillman to score making it 10-3.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

The heart wants to give it to Beaux Guilbeau for hitting his first homer or to Chase Morris for his remarkable bounce back performance on the mound. Numbers don’t lie though. Spillman going 4-for-5 and climbing the WMBL ranks gives him the Player of the Game nod.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

Friday July 13 – STAR WARS NIGHT - Stars Wars themed game-worn jerseys to be auctioned off. Silent Auction bids will be taken across from the Merchandise Booth on the main concourse behind Section H. 7:05 PM first pitch vs Yorkton!

Saturday July 14 – CANADIAN ARMED FORCES NIGHT - Military personnel will be participating in a home run derby, the Royal Canadian Artillery Band will be performing the National Anthem and Colonel Scott McKenzie, Commander 3rd Canadian Division Support Group, will throw the ceremonial first pitch. Proceeds from a 50 /50 draw will be donated to the Edmonton Military Family Resource Centre. 7:05 PM first pitch vs Brooks!

Sunday July 15 RE/MAX Family Day! In support of the Children's Wish Foundation, kids run the bases post-game. Pick up a free Prospects Magazine on the concourse for player autographs! 2:05 PM first pitch vs Brooks!

Toonie Tuesday July 17 vs Regina

Wednesday July 18 vs Medicine Hat - Faith and Family Day in support of The Mustard Seed

Thursday July 19 vs Medicine Hat – Pre-game Business Mixer

Friday July 20 vs Regina - Edmonton Trappers Night featuring Ron Kittle!

*Outside Food Policy - The Edmonton Prospects have a no outside food policy at RE/MAX Field. Security will check specifically for nuts and sunflower seeds due to allergies. Any outside food will be asked to either be consumed prior to entry to the ballpark or returned to your car. You may bring a water bottle to the game but it must be empty as you can refill for free inside at one of two water fountains. Thank you for your consideration in this matter.

Ron Kittle To Headline "Edmonton Trappers" Day, Friday July 20

Prospects managing partner Patrick Cassidy takes great pleasure in announcing Ron Kittle as the guest of honour for Edmonton Trappers Day! Kittle hit a Pacific Coast League record 50 home runs for the Trappers in 1982 in what was then known as John Ducey Park. As Kittle enters RE/MAX Field on Friday July 20th, he looks forward to renewing his acquaintance with the baseball fans of this community.

After his spectacular year with the Trappers, Kittle became Rookie Of The Year in the American League in 1983 with the Chicago White Sox. Highlights from his rookie season include a whopping 35 home runs and a trip to the annual July All-Star game. Before his career ended, the right-handed slugger also played with the New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles and Cleveland Indians.

His career ended with 176 home runs, which he spread through 15 separate parks.

Still active in the sport he loves, Kittle serves as a special ambassador for the White Sox. The White Sox were Edmonton’s first major-league parent team and helped pave the way for dozens of Trappers who followed the popular Kittle into the majors. Some of Kittle's home run blasts still rank among the longest in PCL history!

Prospects Managing Partner Pat Cassidy has this to say: "I and the entire Prospects organization are extremely pleased and excited to have one of Edmonton’s baseball legends join us for Trapper’s Nostalgia night.  I met Ron Kittle a few years ago at a golfing function and I can tell you he is a great story teller - - funny, engaging, humble and just a very kind and generous man.  It’s little wonder the Chicago White Sox declared him their hospitality Ambassador and we would like to do the same for our fans on the 20th and 21st."