Big Eighth Inning Slays Giants, Prospects Win 12-4
By Len Nunes
A beautiful Friday night at RE/MAX Field started with a fitting farewell. The best way to say goodbye to your outgoing pitcher is to honour him with the ceremonial first pitch. Erik Sabrowski, drafted by the San Diego Padres, leaves for his new adventure on Sunday. His now former teammates helped make the sendoff perfect by winning the game 12-4. The game kept the 1,925 fans in attendance at the edge of their seats until a 6-run eighth inning erased all doubt.
The Prospects opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning as we saw the humble beginnings of what became a big night for the top of the order. Percy Liu, Daylen Calicdan and Matt Coutney combined to go 8-12 with 7 runs scored, 7 RBI, and 2 walks. Liu lead off the game with a single to be driven home by Calicdan. Coutney would also single in the opening frame but would be stranded.
On the mound for the Prospects, making his second start of the season, Connor Burns. Burns pitched into the 7th inning and would testify that getting the lead-off batter out is important. The Giants managed to get their lead-off hitter aboard in the 2nd, 3rd and 7th inning and all three times they would come around to score. A 4th run would be charged against Burns as one of the inherited runners by Prospects reliever Marion McLean scored on a sacrifice fly. Burns would finish the night collecting six strikeouts. McLean would be forced to leave the game in the top of the 8th inning. The Giants lead-off batter Brandon Green drove the ball back up the middle and off the leg of McLean. McLean would walk off of the field without needing the aid of his teammates.
With the Giants leading 2-1 entering the bottom of the 3rd, the Prospects tied the game up. Anthony Cusati, the only Prospect to not register a hit, collected his 6th RBI of the young season grounding out to second base scoring Calicdan.
The Prospects would take the lead in the fourth inning as Tony Olson got the ball rolling with a lead-off single. Olson stole second base. With Zane Takhar now on the base-paths with him, manager Ray Brown called for and got the successful double steal. A wild pitch that got away from Giants catcher Joshua Iannetti was Olson's ticket to come home and make it 3-2 Prospects.
Coming out of the 7th inning stretch, the Prospects were down 4-3. The situation was rectified immediately as AJ Nitzschke started the inning off with a single and Liu drove him with a triple. Calicdan plated run number five and ending the evening for Giants starting pitcher Tyler Hodder. A RBI single by Nick Spillman would complete the hat-trick of runs in the frame giving the Prospects a 6-4 lead.
If the Prospects scored a hat-trick (hockey term) in the 7th, then they scored a sock-trick (lacrosse term) in the 8th as 6 runs would come around to score. The Prospects loaded the bases with zero outs. Liu, with his third hit of the game, collected his 2nd RBI of the night making it 7-4 Prospects. Calicdan, with his second hit of the game, collected his 3rd and 4th RBI of the night making it 9-4 Prospects. Coutney's third hit of the evening resulted in his first RBI making it 10-4 for the home team. A sacrifice fly by Spillman ended the evening for Giants reliever Allan Brown. A bases-loaded walk to Michael Gahan rounded out the scoring for the Prospects. Speaking of Gahan...
Gahan took over on the mound for the injured McLean in the 8th inning and retired all six batters he faced. Gahan will be credited with a save because when he came into the game the Prospects only had a 2-run lead.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Four names all deserve to be mentioned. A part of the success for the Prospects top of the order was AJ Nitzschke being able prolong innings for Percy Liu, Daylen Calicdon and Matt Coutney to be their productive selves. We will give the nod to Calicdon and his 4 RBI.
SATURDAY, JUNE 9 AT 5:00 PM: John Short takes over the "Smoke and Pickle Meat-ing Place" (former Home Plate Lounge). He’s talking baseball, the ballpark and Ron Hayter. Come on down early and catch the discussion. First pitch tonight is at 7PM.
Team then goes on the road for a three games starting in Okotoks Sunday afternoon.