Two 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.
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.
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