Prospects Win Western Conference Semi-Final!
By Arik Krause

The Edmonton Prospects were able to close out the Okotoks Dawgs in the first round of the Western Major Baseball League Playoffs in a 5-game series that ended in 4 games Friday night in Edmonton. Okotoks was knocked out of the first round of the playoffs by Edmonton for the third year in a row as they just can’t seem to get over that “Prospects” hurdle.

Rich Walker would get the ball in Game 4 with the ability to advance Edmonton to the next round. Walker, who previously threw a perfect game for the Prospects earlier in the year would absolutely deal in this one. Walker would pitch four scoreless innings in this one before the Dawgs would score in the top of 5th, however, Walker wasn’t charged with the earned run. Abdiel Aliceo would score off a missed pick-off attempt and give the Dawgs a 1-0 lead.

The Prospects would get on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth off an error themselves, Anthony Cusati would advance to first off of a Dawgs third baseman error, bringing in Zane Takhar and tying the game up at 1-1.

Rich Walker would close out his night pitching 7 innings, allowing no earned runs and 4 strikeouts.

Before his night ended, the Prospects would give him the go-ahead run, lining Walker up for the potential win.  AJ Nitzchke would lead off with a triple and Tony Olson would sacrifice fly him home as the Prospects would go up 2-1.

The Prospects would bring in Michael Gahan to close out the game as he would pitch two scoreless innings allowing 1 hit and eventually get the save. The Prospects eliminate the Okotoks Dawgs with the final score staying at 2-1 and they now advance to the second round of the Western Major Baseball League Playoffs in a bid to win the Western Conference.

Player of the Game:

Pitching wins championships and in this one, the Prospects’ pitchers would combine for only 3 hits against. The “Player of the Game” in this one for us will be Rich Walker who pitched 7 innings allowing only two hits and no earned runs.

 

Upcoming Schedule:

Western Division Championships (Best of 5)   Opponent: Medicine Hat Mavericks

Monday, August 6 - Game 1, Road game in Medicine Hat
Tuesday, August 7 - Game 2, Road game in Medicine Hat
Wednesday, August 8 - Game 3, Home Game
Thursday, August 9 – Game 4, (If necessary) Home Game
Friday, August 10 – Game 5, (if necessary) Road Game

Game 3 Playoff Loss
By Arik Krause

The Edmonton Prospects came out of Okotoks with a 2-0 series lead and a chance to clinch the first round against the Dawgs at RE/MAX field on Thursday. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to do that and we’ll be playing a Game 4 tonight (Friday, August 3rd) where the Prospects will yet again have another chance to put the Dawgs away.

Coach Ray Brown would hand the ball to Josh Sieglitz in Game 3 and he would start the game pitching two scoreless innings before Collin Ridout would come around to score in the top of the 3rd for Okotoks. Things would unravel for Sieglitz in the top of the fourth as five Dawgs would come across to score, effectively ending his night. Sieglitz would go 4.0 IP allowing 6 hits, 4 earned runs and striking out 2.

The Prospects would get on the board in the fifth inning as Nick Spillman would start the inning with a lead-off double. Daylen Calicdan would ground into a 4-3 for out number 1, but advanced Spillman in the process. Eric Crain hit a ball out to the left fielder and brought Spillman in on a sacrifice fly.

This game, however, was all Dawgs as Okotoks would score in three consecutive innings putting up 2 runs in both the sixth and seventh, follow by a single run in the 8th putting them up 11-1 and the game basically out of reach.

The Prospects would attempt to mount a rally scoring two runs in the ninth inning off of a Jake MacDonald triple to center field and a Nick Spillman grounder which would eventually bring Jake in but it wasn’t enough as Okotoks would win Game 3 with a score of 11-3 and force a Game 4 Friday night at RE/MAX Field.

As mentioned before, the Prospects still have the ability to clinch the first round of the Western Major Baseball League tonight in Edmonton. Be sure to get your tickets and cheer on the Prospects.  Purchase online at https://tickets.prospectsbaseballclub.com 

 

Player of the Game: Jake MacDonald

Hard to pick a “Player of the Game” in this one as the Prospects weren’t able to mount much offence against a strong Okotoks pitching staff but Jake MacDonald came in at the bottom of the ninth, hit a triple to drive in a run and later scored himself going 1-1 with a triple, run and an RBI.

 

Upcoming Schedule:

Friday, August 3rd – RE/MAX Field vs Okotoks 7 PM

(if necessary) Saturday, August 4th – Road Game in Okotoks 7 PM

 

Game 2 Is a Winner Too!
by Arik Krause

The Edmonton Prospects have gone into Okotoks and put the Dawgs on the brink of elimination. The Prospects went up early scoring four runs in the first two innings, eventually giving themselves a 9-2 lead. They would manage to hold on and escape Okotoks with a 2-0 series lead and the chance to clinch Thursday night at RE/MAX Field.

Coach Ray Brown would hand the ball to Connor Burns in Game 2 and he would start the game dealing, allowing 2 runs in five innings before getting dinged up for five runs in the sixth. The Prospects would call on Michael Gahan in the seventh inning and he would earn a three-inning save to close out the game.

Percy (Yi-Jia) Liu would open the scoring in the top of the first for the Prospects with a triple after the leadoff hitter Tony Olson was able to find his way on base. The next at-bat Michael Gahan would drive Liu in and the Prospects would go up 2-0 early in Game 2.

The Prospects would manage to put up 2 more runs in the second inning before Anthony Cusati would send a ball over the fence coming up huge for the Prospects in the fifth inning with a three-run home run that would bring in both Michael Gahan and Nick Spillman putting the Prospects up 9-2. The Prospects would bend, but not break going forward as they’d have a rocky bottom of the sixth allowing 5 runs to give the Dawgs hope.

As mentioned before. Michael Gahan would come into the game after being moved from 3B and pitch three solid innings only giving up 1 run. Liu would drive in Aidan Huggins in the top of the eighth to give the Prospects some insurance as they would close the door on this one giving the Prospects a 10-8 win and they would escape Okotoks with a 2-0 series lead.

The Prospects who came into the series as underdogs trailing Okotoks by 12 games in the regular season, now have the chance to sweep the Dawgs Thursday night in Edmonton at RE/MAX Field. Be sure to get your tickets and cheer on the Prospects into the second round.

Player of the Game:

Honorable mention to Percy (Yi-Jia) Liu in this one as he went 3-5 with 2 RBI’s. The Player of the Game in this one for the prospects is Anthony Cusati who in the top of the fifth had a huge three-run home run to blow the doors off this game. Cusati would end the day going 3-5 as well, with 3 RBI’s and of course the big home run.

 

Upcoming games:

Thursday, August 2nd – RE/MAX Field vs Okotoks 7 PM

(if necessary) Friday, August 3rd – RE/MAX Field vs Okotoks 7 PM

(if necessary) Saturday, August 4th – Road Game in Okotoks 7 PM

Edgar Barclay & Anthony Cusati Star In Game 1 Win

By Len Nunes

2-time WMBL Championship finalists, the Edmonton Prospects know they are the underdogs in their 2018 opening round series against Okotoks. It is a role that did not faze the club in 2016 or 2017. The Prospects jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the opening game and held on to win 5-2 to shift all the pressure onto the favoured Dawgs team. An Okotoks Dawgs team whose season has ended the past two seasons at the hands of the Prospects!

With a few options available, there was much speculation as to who Coach Ray Brown would hand the ball to for the game one start. Mid-season acquisition Edgar Barclay got the nod and did not disappoint. Barclay did not pitch enough innings during to the season to qualify for inclusion in stat category races but his sparkling 1.97 ERA would have been among the league best. His regular season 9.54 K/9 (strikeouts per nine innings) was outdone by his game one performance of 11 strikeouts in 6 innings of play. The Dawgs were able to get runners on base in each inning versus Barclay, including loading the bases in the first inning, but the Hawaii born pitcher would only allow 1 run.

Anthony Cusati opened the scoring in the game with a moonshot to start the third inning. It is Cusati's first career playoff home run in the WMBL.

Daylen Calicdan led the 5th inning off with a single. With 1-out, Cusati would hit a single. AJ Nitzschke made the score 2-0 with a single scoring Calicdan. Then the Dawgs defence momentarily failed them as back-to-back errors on balls hit into play by Aidan Huggins and Tony Olson expanded the lead to 4-0. Michael Gahan would cap off the 4-run 5th inning with a RBI single.

Chase Morris, who finished the season with consecutive saves, took over on the Prospects mound in the 7th inning. After allowing a lead-off single, Morris retired the next 6 Dawgs batters in order. The Dawgs did score a run against Morris in the 9th inning to make it 5-2. Coach Brown turned to Josh Sieglitz to get the final out stranding one runner on base.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Offence wins games, pitching wins championships. With that in mind Edgar Barclay earns the Player Of The Game nod. Barclay's final line reads 6 innings played, 1 run against on 7 hits with 11 strikeouts.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

Wednesday August 1st – Road Game in Okotoks, 7PM starts

Thursday August 2nd – RE/MAX Field vs Okotoks 7PM

(if necessary) Friday August 3rd – RE/MAX Field vs Okotoks 7PM

(if necessary) Saturday August 4th – Road Game in Okotoks 7PM

Prospects Finish Season On High Note

By Len Nunes

After defeating the Fort McMurray Giants 12-7 on Sunday afternoon the Edmonton Prospects finished their regular season with a .500 record for a second consecutive year. The question now becomes can the Edmonton Prospects make their third consecutive WMBL finals and attain their pre-season goal of "winning the last game of the summer"?

Prior to the beginning of this season, Roberto Alomar of the Toronto Blue Jays wrote a letter to Mayor Don Iveson fighting to keep RE/MAX Field as a part of any and all downtown plans. The reaction on Twitter supporting the Prospects and RE/MAX Field was recognized by Mayor Iveson. The Mayor re-affirmed his desire to keep a ballpark in Edmonton but mentioned he would like to see more support in the stands. Thank you Edmonton! The first look at the official numbers according to a tweet by "Director, Partnerships and Ticket Sales" Ryan Jagoe shows a 25% increase in attendance.

The Prospects jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the first inning of their final game. Eric Crain with a RBI single opened the scoring. A 2-RBI triple by Beaux Guilbeau made it 3-0. Daylen Calicdan, Anthony Cusati and Tony Olson all added RBI singles to round out the opening frame scoring.

Prospects starting pitcher Brenden Wiun pitched five innings on the afternoon. After a quiet first inning, the Giants were able to put up three runs in the second. After 1-2-3 innings in the 3rd & 4th, Wiun lost the plate in the 5th. The Giants capitalized adding 4 runs but Wiun still left the game with the lead and collected the win.

Calicdan drove in his second run of the season in the bottom of the 2nd with a double. In the bottom of the 3rd Zane Takhar hit into a double-play but still earned a RBI as AJ Nitzschke crossed the plate. A Michael Gahan double drove in Matt Brisson for the Prospects 9th run of the game.

With the score 9-7 in favour of the Prospects, the offence ostensibly salted the game away with three more runs in the 6th inning. Guilbeau and Calicdan led the inning off with back-to-back walks. Nitzschke singled in a run then Matt Brisson picked up his first 2 RBI of the season with a single of this own.

The last season turnaround for Scott Gillespie continues! Gillespie pitched the 6th through 8th innings for the Prospects allowing only 1 hit and issuing 2 walks. Jordan Smith pitched a shutout 9th inning for the Prospects making it three straight appearances without allowing a run.

Your 2018 Prospects Leaders:

    Batting Average - Daylen Calicdan (.367), Nick Spillman (.362)

    Doubles - Anthony Cusati and Nick Spillman (9)

    Triples - Tony Olson (4), Percy Liu (3)

    HR - AJ Nitzschke (3)

    RBI - Nick Spillman (36), Tony Olson (28)

    Walks - Zane Takhar (26), Nick Spillman (23)

    Stolen Bases - Percy Liu (14), Tony Olson (8)

    Hit-by-pitch - AJ Nitzschke (6), Tony Olson (5)

    Wins - Rich Walker (5), Taran Oulton (4)

    Strikeouts - Michael Gahan (40), Connor Burns/Rich Walker (38)

    ERA - Rich Walker (3.16), *Edgar Barclay 1.98

UPCOMING SCHEDULE - PLAYOFFS

Tuesday July 31 and Wednesday August 1st – Road Games in Okotoks, 7PM starts

Thursday August 2nd – RE/MAX Field vs Okotoks 7PM

(if necessary) Friday August 3rd – RE/MAX Field vs Okotoks 7PM

(if necessary) Saturday August 4th – Road Game in Okotoks 7PM