Edmonton Prospects Losing Streak Hits Five

By Len Nunes

The mid-season losing streak has hit five for the Edmonton Prospects. The highly anticipated return home from the Saskatchewan road trip, which the team finished 1-5, had 1,592 faithful fans at the beautiful RE/MAX Field trying to help the team turns things around. A newly acquired pitcher got the start for the Prospects. Head Coach Ray Brown used his bullpen differently than he has throughout the season in an effort to shake off the losing streak but to no avail. The Okotoks Dawgs walked away with a 6-2 win.

Edgar Barclay, the team's second native of Hilo, Hawaii joining Daylen Calicdan, made his first WMBL start for the Prospects. Barclay walked the first two batters he faced but a double-play avoided any damage being done. With 1 out in the 3rd inning Brandon Sparks reached base on an error. With Eddie Sanchez at bat the Prospects defensive turned another double-play!

The Dawgs broke Barclay's shutout in the 4th inning. Marcus Skundrich's single to right field scored one run and moved another runner over to third. With Ryan Humenuik at the plate, Skundrich would take off for second base. When he realized Prospects catcher Anthony Cusati's throw was going to catch him, Skundrich peeled back causing a rundown and bought enough time for the runner at third base to come home. The final pitching line for Barclay was 4 IP, 2 runs allowed on 2 hits with 3 walks issued and 5 strikeouts.

Connor Burns, 0-2 in three starts, made his first relief appearance of the season for the Prospects. Burns allowed a lead-off single before retiring 5 Dawgs in a row. He would strand two runners in the bottom of the 6th leaving the game just the way he found it with the Dawgs still up 2-0.

Rich Walker's last three appearances for the Prospects have been as a starter going 1-2. Walker came in as a relief pitcher in the 7th inning. The Dawgs scored a run against him in his opening frame but Walker put up a zero in the top of the 8th.

With the Prospects down 3-0, the offence put up their first two runs of the night. Zane Takhar, who broke out of a 6-game hitting slump going 2-for-2, singled to lead things off. Pinch-hitter Tony Olson drew a four pitch walk. Percy Liu, with what ended up being an important productive out advanced the runners. Michael Gahan laced a single to the Dawgs right fielder Sparks. Sparks’ throw to catch Takhar at home was wild allowing the run to score easily. Olson trotted home the last night ninety feet after being awarded home plate because of the wild throw.

Taran Oulton, the team co-leader in starts with four, came in to pitch the 9th inning with the Prospects down 3-2. His first three batters faced reached base via a single, a hit-by-pitch and an intentional walk. With the infield drawn in, the Prospects collected the first out of the inning at home plate getting the force on Skundrich. A passed ball scored the Dawgs 4th run of the night. A 2-RBI single by Abdiel Alicea made the score 6-2 in favour of the Dawgs.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Daylen Calicdan went 2-for-3 at the plate bringing his personal hit streak to four. Calicdan's batting average improved to .382 taking over the team lead from Nick Spillman (.380). Calicdan sits 5th overall in the league while Spillman sits 7th.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

Thursday June 28 and Friday June 29 AT Fort McMurray. 7:35 first pitch for both games.

Saturday, June 30 vs Melville Millionaires at 7 PM - Tickets just $10 for students and the band starts at 5pm. Get to the pre-game concert early and party in the Prospects' Pit in the stand-up 1st base area. Stay and enjoy the game that starts at 7pm. Cheap beer and cheap fun!

CANADA DAY – Sunday, 7 PM vs Brooks - AVOID DISAPPOINTMENT, BUY THESE TICKETS NOW!

*CANADA DAY UPDATE: Suites, Lounge and Balcony seats are SOLD OUT. The best sections for viewing fireworks are selling briskly.

Extra Innings Heartbreak In Swift Current

By Len Nunes

The Edmonton Prospects were looking to finish their crazy Saskatchewan road trip on a high note. Leading 3-0 after the first and 7-4 into the bottom of the ninth, it looked like the bus ride home would be a lively one. The front office even provided the boys something to chatter about on the bus with the twitter announcement that one of the best rugby female sevens players in the world, Jen Kish, would be throwing out the first pitch on Canada Day. Unfortunately, the defending champion Swift Current 57's played the role of heart-breaker tying the game in the bottom of the 9th and winning it in the bottom of the 11th. The Prospects end the road trip 1-5 after losing the last four.

Percy Liu led the game off with his 10th walk of the season. Liu was able to trot home as Daylen Calicdan hit his first home run of the season. Eric Crain earned his first RBI of the season driving home Nick Spillman and the Prospects had a 3-0 lead after one.

Michael Gahan, who had started the road trip opening game in Swift Current, drew the road trip closing start against the 57's. Gahan faced the minimum amount of batters through the first three innings before his first bit of adversity in the bottom of the 3rd. A 1-out single came around to score putting the 57's on the board. Another 1-out single in the bottom of the 4th came around to score drawing the 57's within one at 3-2.

Calicdan led the 5th inning off with his second home run of the inning. Spoiler alert, this means he has already wrapped up the "Player of the Game" nomination. Spillman doubled ending the night for 57's starter Mitch Guiberson. Matt Coutney's 10th RBI of the season restored the Prospects 3-run lead at 5-2.

The 57’s fought back in the bottom half of the 5th inning with a lead-off homer of their own.  Their first out of the inning drew them within one at 5-4. That out was also the first of 10 straight retired batters my Gahan!

The top of the 9th started with a Tony Olson walk. Spillman collected his 4th hit and 1st RBI of the night cashing in Olson. The RBI puts Spillman in the team lead with 15. An error on a ball hit by Coutney resulted in Spillman scoring and the Prospects once again having a 3-run lead at 7-4.

Gahan, having retired 12 of his previous 13 batters, returned to the mound in the bottom of the 9th to go for the complete game. Mitch Dean and Miles Miller hit back-to-back singles before Gahan struck out pinch hitter Jered Binsfield for the first out. The score was 7-5 when the 2nd out was collected. With 2-on, 2-out Ethan Hunter tied the game at 7 with a 2-run single. A valiant effort by Gahan to go the distance but Jordan Smith had to come in to get the final out.

Smith had a 1-2-3 10th before walking the lead-off batter in the bottom of the 11th. With 1-out, Will Baker hit a walk-off double giving the 57's an 8-7 victory. The loss drops the Prospects to 8-12 on the season.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

The 2-homerun automatic nomination rule was enacted by Daylen Calicdan. Calicdan finished 3-of-5 at the plate.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

HOME SWEET HOME: Wednesday June 27 vs Okotoks. 7PM. Theme is SCHOOLS OUT!

Thursday June 28 and Friday June 29 AT Fort McMurray.

Saturday, June 30 vs Melville Millionaires at 7 PM - Tickets just $10 for students and the band starts at 5pm. Get to the pre-game concert early and party in the Prospects' Pit in the stand-up 1st base area. Stay and enjoy the game that starts at 7pm. Cheap beer and cheap fun!

CANADA DAY – Sunday, 7 PM vs Brooks - AVOID DISAPPOINTMENT, BUY THESE TICKETS NOW!

*CANADA DAY UPDATE: Suites, Lounge and Balcony seats are SOLD OUT. The best sections for viewing fireworks are selling briskly. 

Prospects Downed In Weyburn

By Len Nunes

The province of Saskatchewan has not been kind to the Edmonton Prospects. The Prospects fall to 1-4 on the annual road trip after losing both game in Weyburn versus the Beavers. The road trip ends on Monday where it started in Swift Current.

Josh Sieglitz, who entered the game with two sparkling three inning relief appearances under his belt, was your Prospects starter. 3 hit batters and 3 hits against, Sieglitz walked off the mound after the first inning down 4-0. Head Coach Ray Brown allowed Sieglitz to come out and start the second inning but his night ended after a lead-off walk.

With the score 5-0 Weyburn entering the 4th inning, the Prospects bats came to life! It all started with a walk by arguably the smallest guy in the WMBL, Zane Takhar. Here are a couple quotes from Jason Hills' Edmonton Sun article by Takhar regarding his 5-foot-10 inch, 150 pound frame:

"“There have been lots of people who have doubted me over the years, but I love proving them wrong and proving myself right. I love the big moments. The late inning games where I can be in a position for a walk-off hit, or make a big play to help us win the game. Those are moments I live for playing the game of baseball....

I’ve always had to work hard with everything when it’s come to baseball. There aren’t many ways to stand out when you’re a guy my size playing baseball. The one thing I can do is play as hard as I can to try and stand out that way....

Last year, I almost got cut at the beginning of the year, but they gave me an extra chance and I really took it to heart. Growing up, I never made any AA or AAA teams, so it was a position I’ve been in before. But I do what I always try to do, show that I’m worth keeping around.”"

With Takhar on first base with his team leading 13th walk of the season, Daylen Calicdan hit a single to put runners on the corners for Nick Spillman. Spillman hit a single to center field which was mishandled and allowed both Takhar and Calicdan to score. Tony Olson drove in Spillman with a double. Olson and Spillman are now tied for the team lead in RBI with 14. Michael Gahan collected his 2nd RBI of the season plating Olson. The Prospects clawed all way back to a 1-run deficit at 5-4.

Scott Gillespie, who took over for Sieglitz on the mound in the 2nd inning, ran into some difficulties in the bottom half of the fourth. With one run already in, the Beavers loaded the bases. Nolan Machibroda, who finished the night with 6 RBI, drove in two of the three runners. Anthony Tejada brought in the last runner ballooning the score back to a 5-run deficit at 9-4.

Gillespie pitched into the 6th inning leaving the bases loaded with only one out. Marion McLean would collect two strikeouts but Felix Correa drove home two runs making it 11-4 Weyburn.

Brandon Hill pitched the 7th inning and struggled with his control loading the bases with a hit batter and two walks. Two of those runners scored making it 13-4 Weyburn.

Mike Ozga pinch hit for Spillman in the top of the 8th inning and drew a walk. Ozga has had limited appearances so far this season. If you wanted to get to know him better there is a "get to know him" piece on albertadugoutstories.com called 1 Thru 9: Mike Ozga. Jake MacDonald, who earlier subbed into the game at catcher for Anthony Cusati, extended his personal hitting streak to 4 with single to right field. Both were stranded on base.

AJ Nitzschke made his Prospects debut on the mound in the bottom of the 8th inning. Nitzschke alternated between strike outs and allowing a baserunner. Maybe not how you write the script, but effective nevertheless!

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Tony Olson takes the "Player of the Game" going 2-for-4 at the plate. His double was the only Prospect hit that went for extra bases.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

Monday June 25 in Swift Current

UPCOMING HOME GAMES

Wednesday, June 27 SCHOOLS OUT vs Okotoks Dawgs at 7 PM

Saturday, June 30 vs Melville Millionaires at 7 PM - Tickets just $10 for students and the band starts at 5pm. Get to the pre-game concert early and party in the Prospects' Pit in the stand-up 1st base area. Stay and enjoy the game that starts at 7pm. Cheap beer and cheap fun!

CANADA DAY - 7 PM vs Brooks - AVOID DISAPPOINTMENT, BUY THESE TICKETS NOW!

Best Team In East Division Blanks Edmonton Prospects

By Len Nunes

The Weyburn Beavers started the 2018 season on 13-game winning streak. After losing two in Melville, the Beavers had won two straight as the Edmonton Prospects came to town. Earlier this week the Prospects showed that winning streaks do not scare them as they snapped the Medicine Hat Mavericks 10-game winning streak. The Prospects will have to try again Sunday afternoon to defeat the Beavers as they lost Saturday night.

Due to rain-outs in Brooks, Okotoks and Melville, the Prospects vs Beavers game was the only league game played. Any WMBL fan that watched the game will be talking about Beavers starting pitcher Ryan Johnson. Through 7 innings of play, Johnson struck out 16! The second inning was the only time the Prospects had two runners on base as Nick Spillman and Matt Coutney both drew walks. Percy Liu collected the first Prospects hit with 1-out in the 3rd inning. Liu also collected his team leading 8th stolen base of the season placing him fourth in the league. The next Prospect hit would not be until the 6th inning when Daylen Calicden hit a 2-out single. Calicden's .357 batting average leads the Edmonton Prospects and places him 11th overall in the league.

Dylan Emmons drew his 3rd start of the season for the Prospects. Emmons cruised through the first three innings, his best stretch of the young season. The 4th inning began with a home run to open the scoring in favor of the Beavers. When the dust settled, the Beavers put up 5 runs on 6 hits and 1 Prospects error. Emmons would leave with only one batter retired. Emmons' final pitching looks rough but it was a classic case of having just one bad inning. It is okay to look at the glass half full and focus on how well things went prior to the fourth.

Jordan Smith took over on the mound for the Prospects and gave Head Coach Ray Brown what he needed the most, innings played. Smith finished out the game with a pitching line that reads 4 2/3 IP, 3 runs against on 7 hits allowing no walks and striking out 5. When Smith entered in the 4th inning, his first two outs were made by catcher Anthony Cusati throwing out Felix Correa then Keaton Greenwalt attempting to steal second base.

In an interesting and unexpected coincidence, both 2017 WMBL Championship Finalists have 8-10 records.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Percy Liu with a single and stolen base earns the honour of “Player of The Game”.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

Sunday June 24 in Weyburn

Monday June 25 in Swift Current

UPCOMING HOME GAMES

Wednesday, June 27 SCHOOLS OUT vs Okotoks Dawgs at 7 PM

Saturday, June 30 vs Melville Millionaires at 7 PM - Tickets just $10 for students and the band starts at 5pm. Get to the pre-game concert early and party in the Prospects' Pit in the stand-up 1st base area. Stay and enjoy the game that starts at 7pm. Cheap beer and cheap fun!

CANADA DAY - 7 PM vs Brooks - AVOID DISAPPOINTMENT, BUY THESE TICKETS NOW!

Prospects Split In Moose Jaw
By Arik Krause

The Prospects are officially halfway through their Saskatchewan road trip, sadly they're on the wrong side of .500, both for the road trip and the season. A loss tonight to the Moose Jaw Miller Express puts the Prospects at 8-9 on the season. Moose Jaw and Edmonton would split these games in this 2-game series as the Prospects now look forward to a 2-game set with the Weyburn Beavers. Weyburn is far and ahead the best team in the WMBL Eastern Division currently sitting at 15-2. The Prospects have 3 more games on this Saskatchewan road trip and will need to string some wins together to get over .500.

Prospects starting pitcher Rich Walker struggled through the beginning part of the ballgame walking the second batter he faced, then get doubled up on by Ty Roseberry. Miller Express’ Noah Moore would drive in a run off an error by the Prospects third baseman, bringing in Adam Cook to make it 1-0 Moose Jaw. Rich Walker would get through the second inning unscathed, heading into the third. Moose Jaw's Noah Moore would lead-off double in the third off a 2-2 count and eventually come around to score in the inning as Moose Jaw would lead 2-0 after 3 innings. Moose Jaw's Alex Hendra-Brown would take Rich Walker deep in the fifth to make it 3-0 Moose Jaw and end Rich Walker's night. Walker went 4.1 IP, allowing 7 hits and 3 earned runs.

Things wouldn't go well for Scott Gillespie in relief either as he'd hit Scott Platt in the bottom of the 6th, eventually, Scott Platt would score off a wild pitch. Another wild pitch later in the inning would bring in Adam Cook as Moose Jaw would head into the 7th up 5-0.

Gillespie would continue to struggle in the bottom of the 7th as he would hit the lead-off batter, who would eventually come around to score. The Prospects would head into the top of the 8th down 7-0. Liam Campbell would come in on relief, facing 4 batters and walking 3 of them. Brandon Hill would replace him, one of the runs would be batted home by Yonnelle Firebrace and another would score on an error. 9-0 Moose Jaw going into the top of the 9th.

The Prospects would break up the shutout in the top of the 9th, after a single by Eric Crain, he would advance to 2nd on a passed ball, he would eventually come in to score off an Aidan Huggins single RBI.

That's all that the Prospects would muster though as they would fall to Moose Jaw and go to 8-9 on the season.

Player of the Game:

Hard choice in this one due to a lacklustre offence by the Prospects, but Eric Crain will take our “Player of the Game” in this one going 1/4 but he was the only Prospect to cross the plate tonight.

UPCOMING GAMES

Saturday June 23 and Sunday June 24 in Weyburn

Monday June 25 in Swift Current

UPCOMING HOME GAMES

Wednesday, June 27 SCHOOLS OUT vs Okotoks Dawgs at 7 PM

Tickets just $10 for students and the band starts at 5pm. Get to the pre-game concert early and party in the Prospects' Pit in the stand-up 1st base area. Stay and enjoy the game that starts at 7pm. Cheap beer and cheap fun!

CANADA DAY - 7 PM vs Brooks - AVOID DISAPPOINTMENT, BUY THESE TICKETS NOW!