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.
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!