Canada Day Done Right, Prospects Win!
By Len Nunes
The Edmonton Prospects Canada Day Fireworks Game tradition hit year 6 on Sunday night. The Prospects improved their Canada Day home record to 5W-1L with an exciting 7-6 win over the Brooks Bombers. The Prospects are now on a 3-game winning streak and have improved their record to 11-14.
The ballgame started off with style as the Prospects donned special Canada jerseys that were auctioned off during the game. Team Canada Woman's Rugby 7's legend Jen Kish threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Robert Clark stepped out of the hockey rink and onto the baseball diamond to sing the Canadian National Anthem to get the ball rolling.
After making a rare relief appearance earlier this week, Taran Oulton made his 5th start of the season for the Prospects. Oulton struggled allowing 5 runs in the first two frames. The Daylen Calicdan catch to end the second inning which inspired Prospects internet voice Jimmy Morrison to exclaim, "Superman, he wants his cape back!" also set Oulton onto the right track. Oulton cruised through the 3rd through 5th inning allowing only one hit (which got erased by a double-play). He had retired 11 of 12 batters before the Bombers loaded the bases with 2-out in the bottom of the 6th inning. A Riley MacDonald grounder ended the inning without harm and Oulton's night on a positive note.
Down 2-0 going into the home half of the first inning, the Prospects wasted no time getting onto the scoreboard. Percy Liu led off with a single and was brought home 3 pitches later via a Tony Olson triple! The triple is Olson's second of the season. Calicdan drove a ball deep enough to right field to bring Olson home and tie the game at 2. Michael Gahan hit a ball to deep center field to score Nick Spillman and give the Prospects a 3-2 lead. Spillman, who had reached on a single, sits 6th in the league with his impressive .388 batting average.
Down 5-3 in the bottom of the fourth inning, Tony Olson brought in the game-tying runs. A lead-off double by Eric Crain and a 2-out walk by Percy Liu, both players scampered home on the Olson hit to right field with some assistance by one of the Bombers 3 fielding errors being made on the throw back into the infield.
Jordan Smith entered the game in the 7th inning to take over on the Prospects mound. Tied for second on the team in appearances with eight, Smith pitched the final three innings of the game. Two of three hits against him came in his opening frame and resulted in the Bombers taking a 6-5 lead.
The Prospects would not trail for long! Calicdan and Spillman with back-to-back singles in the bottom of the 7th forced the Bombers to go their bullpen. Reliever Jonny Chavez gave up a double to Gahan that scored both base runners and put the Prospects out in front 7-6. After getting 6 RBI on Saturday night, Gahan finished with 3 on Canada Day.
For a game that seemed to get on track for the Prospects with a great defensive play in the second inning, it seems only fitting that the game ended on a double-play by the team.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Michael Gahan with the game-winning RBI seems the obvious choice but tonight the Player Of The Game nomination goes to Daylen Calicdan. 1-for-3 at the plate with 1 RBI may not be outstanding but his second inning catch in right field was! If Calicdan did not make that catch, the Bombers would have taken a 7-3 lead and Prospects starter Taran Oulton's night would likely have been over. However, Calicdan does make the catch, Oulton finds his groove on the mound and all ends well on Canada Day.
Tuesday July 3rd vs Melville 7PM
Tuesday July 10th vs Yorkton 7PM
Sandwiched in the middle, a 5-game road trip through Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and Okot