Sunday Game Re-cap
By John Short

The Edmonton Prospects made it hard for themselves in the late going at RE/Max Field on Sunday but came away with a 6-5 victory over the Brooks Bombers – Edmonton’s fourth win in five starts at the opening edge of the Western Canadian Baseball League season.

A ninth-inning double by St. Albert product Davis Pratt scored infielder Javier Ramirez with the winning run. A walk by losing pitcher Sean Rydell put Ramirez on first base, in perfect position to score when the Davis line-drive to left-centre took a weird hop and rolled past two Brooks outfielders.

Rydell took over for Nick Garcia, who surrendered a couple of unearned runs before being replaced. The Bombers pecked away at Edmonton right-hander Hunter Boyd, who yielded only one run in six innings and and seemed in line for the victory before the Bombers finally got their bats fired up in seventh.

Reliever Scott Gillespie was racked for a run-scoring triple and a double that left the score tied at 5-5. A bad hop on a hit to the outfield also harmed Gillespie’s statistics.

Zac Herrington provided timely relief help to come away with his first win of the season..

Pratt boosted his early-season batting average to .375 and will bid to improve on it when the Prospects face the Okotoks Dawgs tonight (Monday) at RE/MAX Field in a make-up of the game that was postponed on Thursday due to the serious air quality conditions.

Air Clears And A Baseball Game Appears!
By John Short

Obviously, a one-day respite due to Edmonton’s unhealthy air conditions did no harm to the Edmonton Prospects.

A good deal of the offensive power and pitching stability was provided by Nevada product Tanner Roundy, who normally plays in the outfield but on this occasion started on the mound and contributed a key first-inning hit on the way to Edmonton’s 14-3 victory over the Brooks Bombers.

Roundy yielded two runs, including a homer, in the top of the first inning but he and his mates struck back with four in their half of the first. A pair of two-run innings followed, erasing all but vestiges of a potential Brooks comeback. Catcher Jake Gehri – one of four Yale Eli players on this young Prospects squad, hammered two home runs to help expand the margin.

This win followed a pair of weekend triumphs over the Lethbridge Bulls and a loss in Okotoks on Friday night leaving Edmonton with a 3-1 record in the novice Western Canadian Baseball League season.

Brooks will seek revenge in a "Bark at the Park" event Sunday afternoon.

Second baseman Clay Loranger, an Edmonton-area prospect who played this season at Cloud College, hobbled after the game with an apparent leg injury. After collecting a pair of hits, he was hit at the plate by a low pitch and had to come out of the game. Questionable control by Bombers pitchers resulted in four hit batsmen in Edmonton uniforms.

For obvious reasons, Edmonton field manager Jordan Blundell continued to express confidence in his young team. “We’re still getting to know the players a bit,” he said, “but the attitude has been extremely good. Everybody has worked hard.

“It’s always too bad when a game like Friday had to be cancelled, but it won’t make any difference in how we play. The season has started for the whole league. We’re fine so far. “

The Prospects did not immediately announce Saturday’s attendance but a late-arriving crowd – largely due to questions about whether the game could be played in the smoky conditions – grew to an estimated 1,800.

Editor's Note:  The game on Thursday (May 30) was postponed due to Air Quality issues and will be played Monday, June 3 at RE/MAX Field.  First Pitch 7:05pm.

 

PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT re: Game Postponements/Cancellations: Individual Team Management Staff in the WCBL have the mandate from the league to make every effort possible to play the scheduled game in the given window of time. It is the umpires duty to ensure that the game is played under acceptably safe conditions. Many variables can factor in the final decision to postpone or cancel. Fans patience is greatly appreciated as we deal with the unique circumstances surrounding Air Quality recently.

Bark at the Park Rules and Regulations:

 

-         All dogs must be on a leash or harness.

-         All dogs to enter down the third base side of RE/MAX Field (through the gates – follow signage).

-         Every owner to sign waiver form before entry.

-         No dogs allowed in food service areas or concourse.

-         All dog owners are responsible for their dogs (including cleaning up after them – see below for more information).

-         Dogs are restricted to section J and the third base silver bleachers. Dogs are also allowed in the 3rd base patio area (see details below).

-         No full water bottles allowed into the building.

 

Other important information:

-         First 100 dogs through the gates to receive Petland “swag bags”.

-         1:55pm HART pre-game dog parade on field (dogs for adoption).

-         Designated area outside the building, down the 3rd base side for dogs to do their business (please clean up after your dog – look for “Designated Dog Waste Area” signage OR ask a volunteer). Please hold onto your ticket for re-entry.

-         Petland, Edmonton Humane Society, HART, Acanna/Orijen, and Nutrience will be set up in the 3rd Base Patio handing out samples, information and more.

-         There will be water dishes in the 3rd base patio area for dogs to stay hydrated.

 

Insight On What Is To Come
By John Short

Two down and dozens to go.

No words can explain more clearly the situation faced by the Edmonton Prospects as they head into four games in five days – the bare beginnings of a Western Canadian Baseball League season that opened with such promise last weekend: a pair of difficult and encouraging victories over the Lethbridge Bulls.

It’s entirely possible that a home-and-home setup with the Okotoks Dawgs will be equally challenging. Okotoks hammered the Brooks Bombers 14-5 in their opening game of the 2019 WCBL season, with six runs in the fifth inning and seven in the seventh erasing all doubt as to the ultimate result.

No surprise to hear Prospects field manager Jordan Blundell express concern over facing the Dawgs at RE/MAX Field tonight and in the Dawgs’ kennel Friday on Calgary’s southern edge. On second thought, no surprise to hear Blundell express similar thoughts about hurrying back from Okotoks to face Brooks at RE/MAX Field Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.

One team has every right to feel loaded with confidence; the opening-game losers, by contrast, will be understandably hungry to atone for their one-sided whipping on their opening day.

Prospects pitchers must prepare for some serious stuff. Dealing strictly by the numbers, the largest early-season threat is carried by Okotoks-raised outfielder Tristan Peters. All he did was collect five hits in six at-bats, including three doubles and a triple. Liam Rihela, Gavin Logan and Noah Geekie all showed in the summary with at least two hits apiece.

The Prospects’ opening wins were impressive, but not overwhelming on offence. Outfielder Pierce Blohowiak drove home the winning run in the 5-4 Saturday victory by slapping an opposite-field single in extra innings. He also struck for the team’s first home run in the 7-5 victory on the following afternoon, part of a .375 batting average for two games. Tyler Maskill and Tanner Rowney ended the weekend with impressive .333 levels.

Serious tests for the Prospects pitching staff will continue immediately, of course, but early signs were promising. Taran Oulton and Hunter Boyd turned in encouraging starts, both at least five innings, and solid relief pitching preserved the victories.

“We know it’s early,” Blundell said after the Sunday victory. “We feel good about our start, but there is a lot of work to do. It’s a long season.”