Prospects Win Number 13 Ends Mavericks 13-Game Win Streak

By Len Nunes

The Edmonton Prospects have done it again! Proving to be the Medicine Hat Mavericks kryptonite, the Prospects ended their 13-game winning streak. The Prospects are now responsible for two of the four Mavericks losses on the season. The other Prospect victory versus the Mavericks ended their 10-game win streak back in June. Last night, after falling behind 2-0 in the first inning, the Prospects went on to win the wild and woolly game 13-10.

The Mavericks, looking to tie a franchise record 14-game win streak, had their first three batters reach base before Prospects starter Rich Walker retired the side in order. The last time WMBL fans saw Walker on the mound he threw a perfect game against the Fort McMurray Giants. The Prospects offence quickly got back those two runs plus more!

With 2-out in the top of the second, Beaux Guilbeau hit a single. With a 1-0 count, Anthony Cusati hit his first home run of the season tying the game at two. The Prospects then proceeded to load the bases via AJ Nitzschke and Percy Liu singles and Tony Olson being hit by a pitch. Zane Takhar would earn a painful RBI being hit by a pitch. Michael Gahan singled scoring Liu and Olson making it 5-2 Prospects.

Rich Walker pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the second to quickly send his smoking hot offence back onto the field and they did not disappoint.

Eric Crain, extending his personal hit streak to 6, doubled to lead off the 3rd inning. Guilbeau picked up his 2nd RBI of the season bringing Crain home with a single. Nitzschke hit his team-leading 3rd homerun of the season giving the Prospects an 8-2 lead. The Mavericks got one of those runs back in the bottom half of the inning but the Prospects just kept mashing.

Takhar and Gahan led the 4th inning off with back-to-back singles. Nick Spillman ground into a double-play but Takhar still scored. Crain reached base on the only defensive error of the night by the Mavericks and was joined on board by Guilbeau and Cusati who both walked. Nitzschke collected RBI 3 and 4 of the evening knocking home Crain and Guilbeau making it 11-3 for the Prospects.

Back on the mound, Walker left the game after pitching 6 innings allowing 5 runs on 8 hits. Walker did not issue any walks and collected two strikeouts.

In the top of the 7th the Prospects grew their lead to 13-5 when Cusati and Nitzschke started the inning with a walk and a single respectively. Olson brought home Cusati and Takhar brought home Nitzschke.

Josh Sieglitz came in to pitch the bottom of the 7th for the Prospects and struggled. In two previous appearances versus the Mavericks, Sieglitz had combined to pitch 4 innings allowing only 1 run on 3 hits. The line on Saturday night read 1 inning played, 5 runs against on 4 hits.

Edgar Barclay took over on the Prospects mound in the 8th inning in a 6-out save situation up 13-10. The Mavericks went down in order in the 8th but made things tense in the 9th. With the bases loaded and   two out, Barclay got his third strikeout of the inning (and fifth of the night) to end the threat and end the 13-game win streak of the Mavericks.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

AJ Nitzschke went 4-for-5 at the plate with a home run and 4 RBI. Congratulations AJ you have earned the “Player Of The Game” nomination!

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

July 8 - visiting Okotoks 2:05 PM first pitch

NEXT HOME GAMES

Tuesday, July 10 vs Yorkton Cardinals

Friday, July 13 vs Yorkton Cardinals - Be sure to check out social media channels for a preview of our 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.

SPECIAL NOTE:

We are 365 days away from the Prospects hosting the All-Star Game!

Prospects Lose But Not Without A Fight

By Len Nunes

In case you missed the footnote heading into Friday night's game, "In the only previous meeting this season between the two teams, the Edmonton Prospects snapped the Medicine Hat Mavericks 10-game winning streak. The Mavericks have not lost since that meeting back on June 18th!" After Friday night's game the Mavericks win streak reached 13!

The Mavericks lead the league in On-base Percentage (.415), Slugging Percentage (.440) and Batting Average (.364). All facets of their offence were on display as the Mavericks built up a 10-0 lead after 5 innings. It was at this point the Edmonton Prospects showed off some moxie. At a point in time where complacency and simply playing out the string would have been the easiest forms of action, the Prospects fought back.

In the top of the 6th, Nick Spillman hit a 1-out single. Anthony Cusati reached base on the one defensive error by the Mavericks. Jake MacDonald would bring both runners in, making the score 10-2. The Mavericks got those two runs back in the bottom of the 6th but that did not dampen the never-say-die spirit of the Prospects!

A lead-off double by AJ Nitzschke followed by Tony Olson and Zane Takhar walks loaded the bases to start the Prospects half of the 7th inning. Nitzschke scored on a wild pitch, then Daylen Calicdan drove home Olson with a RBI single. Takhar scored on a wild pitch which was followed by Spillman knocking in Calicdan to make the score 12-6. The teams exchanged runs after the 7th inning stretch making the final score 13-7 in favour of the Mavs.

So what do the Prospects need to do in the Saturday night re-match to break the Mavs 13-game winning streak? In two of the three Mavericks losses this season, the opposing team scored first. In the Prospects 8-5 win versus Medicine Hat earlier this season, the offence scored in the first and second inning. Scoring first and then limiting the Mavericks offence will be the plan. The moxie the Prospects showed us Friday night will need to be full effect Saturday to have a fighting chance to make the plan work.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Breaking out of a 0-11 mini-slump at the plate Nick Spillman earns the “Player of The Game” nomination. Singles in the 4th, 6th and 7th brought his team leading average back up to an outstanding .369!

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

July 7 – Medicine Hat re-match

July 8 - visiting Okotoks

NEXT HOME GAMES

Tuesday, July 10 vs Yorkton Cardinals

Friday, July 13 vs Yorkton Cardinals - Be sure to check out social media channels for a preview of our 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.

The One That Got Away

By Len Nunes

The Edmonton Prospects scored in the first inning of Thursday night’s game and never trailed through nine innings of play. With a 5-3 lead heading into the bottom of the 9th, the Lethbridge Bulls tied the game forcing extra innings. It feels like the Bulls stole the walk-off victory in the 11th inning. With the Prospects pitchers combining to give up 20 hits, if the Prospects would have held onto win rest assured the Bulls would be writing about how one got away from them.

Prospects second baseman Zane Takhar likely wishes every game was against the Bulls. Entering the 6th meeting of the season between the two teams, Takhar had gone 6-for-15 with 4 doubles (his only 4 of the season), 3 RBI and 6 walks. With 1-out in the first inning, Takhar singled and scored on a Nick Spillman groundout.

The Bulls tied the game in the bottom of the first but the Prospects quickly took back the lead in the top of the second. Eric Crain extended his personal hitting streak to 5 games with a 1-out single. Crain came around to score on a 2-out Percy Liu RBI single making it 2-1 Prospects.

Lachlan Mayo had Prospects starting pitcher Dylan Emmons’ number on Thursday. Mayo drove in the Bulls first inning run and led off the third with a single. Mayo came around to score the game tying run making it 2-2. In the fourth inning with 2-on and 2-out, Emmons took no chances and intentionally walked Mayo to load the bases. The tactic worked as the Bulls next batter Kaleb Warden grounded out. Emmons came out to start the 5th inning but after a lead-off single Head Coach Ray Brown went to his bullpen.

Making his Prospects mound debut, Chase Morris retired the Bulls 1-2-3.

This must have sparked the Prospects offence as in the top of the 6th, three runs crossed the plate. Takhar and Daylen Calicdan led the inning off with back-to-back singles. Michael Gahan reached on an error pushing across the first run of the inning. Crain accounted for the other two runs with a single to right field.

Morris, with his team now leading 5-2, ran into a little bit of trouble in the bottom of the 6th punctuated by another Mayo RBI. In the 7th and 8th inning Morris had two runners on board and both times was able to induce groundballs that the defense converted into double-plays.

Making his 8th appearance of the season, Jordan Smith came in to pitch the 9th inning looking to save the 5-3 lead. The Bulls had other ideas and off to extra innings the game went. With 2-out and 2-on in the bottom of the 11th, a Hank Forrest single gave the Bulls a 6-5 win.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Eric Crain wins the Player Of The Game nomination driving in two runs and extending his personal hit streak to 5.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

July 6 and 7 – visiting the 22-3 Medicine Hat Mavericks

The only meeting this season between the two teams, the Prospects snapped the Mavericks 10-game winning streak. The Mavericks have not lost since that meeting back on June 18th!

July 8 – visiting Okotoks

NEXT HOME GAMES

Tuesday, July 10 vs Yorkton Cardinals

Friday, July 13 vs Yorkton Cardinals - Be sure to check out social media channels for a preview of our Stars Wars themed jersey’s to be worn on and auctioned off.  Silent Auction bids will be taken across from the Merchandise Booth on the main concourse behind Section H.

 

 

The Game Was Closer Than The Score

By Len Nunes

The 4-game winning streak for the Edmonton Prospects is over. Let's reminisce about those four wins because they were not just four ordinary mid-season wins. The win streak started with the Rich Walker perfect game. Win number two was unofficially the Prospects highest offensive output in franchise history scoring 21 runs. The majesty that is the Canada Day game marked win number three. Exhausted from all that adrenaline the Prospects managed to gut out their fourth win in a row in less than ideal weather conditions.

Wednesday night was the 5th meeting of the season between the Prospects and Lethbridge Bulls. The teams split the first four games. It was the first meeting outside the friendly confines of RE/MAX Field. The Bulls won 9-0 improving their record to 10-16 moving within 1.5 games of the Prospects (12-15) in the Western Division.

Edgar Barclay made his second start of the season for the Edmonton Prospects. After issuing a lead-off walk, Barclay struck out the side! The lead-off batter got on board each of Barclay's 5 innings pitched but it never came back to hurt him. Leaving the game still tied at zero, Barclay gave up a total of 3 hits, issued 3 walks and struck out 7 batters.

Mid-season acquisition Drew Scott joined the Prospects at same time Barclay did. While Barclay's transition to the WMBL has been smooth, Scott has had a steeper learning curve. Entering the game in the sixth inning, the Bulls opened the scoring against him via Blake MacDonald single. With the bases loaded and only 1-out, third baseman Matt Coutney threw to home on a grounder for out number two. A strikeout of Hank Forrest ended the 6th.

A weird 7th inning saw a Bulls runner advance along the bases on a wild pitch and a passed ball. Another Bull reached base on an error. Just when you thought everything was going wrong, the Prospects defence turned a beautiful around-the-horn double-play! The third out of the inning came when catcher Anthony Cusati threw out Jesse Hilyard trying to steal second base.

The Bulls had a 3-0 lead heading into the bottom of the 8th when everything did go wrong. 6 runs on 5 hits and 2 errors for the Bulls gave a close game a lopsided score of 9-0.

The Prospects offence had runners on second and third in the 4th inning when Zane Takhar got a lead-off walk and Cusati hit a 2-out double. Tony Olson, who had been 8-for-15 at the plate the past three games, struck out to strand the runners. The Prospects loaded the bases in the 6th on the strength of a Takhar double and walks by Eric Crain and Cusati but came up empty handed. Singles by Coutney and AJ Nitzschke followed by another walk by Takhar loaded the bases again in the 7th inning. With his 8-game hitting streak on the line, Nick Spillman struck out swinging.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Edgar Barclay earns the "Player of the Game" nomination for pitching 5 shutout innings.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

July 5 - Lethbridge

July 6 and 7- Medicine Hat

July 8 - Okotoks

NEXT HOME GAME - Tuesday, July 10 vs Yorkton Cardinals

Be sure to check out social media channels for a preview of our Stars Wars themed jersey’s to be worn on Friday July 13th and auctioned off.  Silent Auction bids will be taken across from the Merchandise Booth on the main concourse behind Section H.

Edmonton Prospects Win Streak Hits Four

By Len Nunes

Whenever a team experiences the highest of highs, one always worries that they will come out flat for the next game. After defeating the Melville Millionaires 21-3 on Saturday June 30th and after all the pomp and circumstance that was another amazing Canada Day experience at RE/MAX Field, the Edmonton Prospects players had to make sure they did not fall into the "big game hangover". With the Millionaires back in Edmonton on a soggy Tuesday night, the Prospects stayed focused, and hot, extending their win streak to four games.

The Prospects offence, which left the bases loaded in the first inning, opened up the scoring in the second inning. With 2-out, Aidan Huggins and Tony Olson hit back-to-back singles. Daylen Calicdan collected RBI number 16 of the season bringing home Huggins. Spillman collected RBI 22 of the season bringing home Olson. Spillman and Calicdan sit 1-2 on the team in RBI and batting average, .393 and .369 respectively.

The 2-0 lead was extended to 3-0 in the bottom of the 6th. Once again with Olson on base, Spillman ripped a single to left field to cash him in. Olson sits 3rd on the team in runs scored (21), batting average (.333) and RBI (16).

Michael Gahan, the Prospects workhorse pitcher so far this season, earned his first win. The 6 2/3 innings on Tuesday brought his season total to 39 innings played which sits as the 2nd most in the WMBL. Gahan cruised along until the 6th inning when the Millionaires were able to score their only two runs of the night. The 7 strikeouts Gahan collected puts in a tie for 3rd most in the league.

Scott Gillespie came into the game and got Kole Kaler to fly out to center to end the 7th inning preserving the Prospects 3-2 lead. Gillespie gave up a lead-off single to start the 8th inning but induced a double-play with the next batter to snuff out any trouble before it started.

The Prospects added an insurance run in the bottom of the 8th when Matt Coutney busted out of an 0-11 funk at the plate and singled home Calicdan.

Marion McLean played the role of closer for the Edmonton Prospects trying to protect the 4-2 lead. A lead-off double by Noah Freimuth would be the only hiccup along the way to McLean's second save of the season. With the win the Prospects improve to 12-14 on the season as they embark on a 5-game road trip.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Nick Spillman sometimes gets overlooked for this nomination as he has had such a steady season. Going 2-for-4, Spillman is now on a 8-game hitting streak.His RBI in the 6th became the eventual game-winning knock. Congratulations Mr. Spillman on the "Player of the Game" nod.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

As Willie Nelson famously sang, "On the Road Again!"

July 4 and 5 - Lethbridge

July 6 and 7- Medicine Hat

July 8 - Okotoks

NEXT HOME GAME - Tuesday, July 10 vs Yorkton Cardinals

Be sure to check out social media channels for a preview of our Stars Wars themed jersey’s to be worn on Friday July 13th.