The title to this article was originally supposed to include the word “today”. In a pre-pandemic world, the Edmonton Prospects and their fans had Saturday May 23rd circled on their calendars. It was the day the Prospects were set to begin their 15th season in the Western Canadian Baseball League and celebrate their 9th consecutive home opener at RE/MAX Field.
Did you know that the Prospects have won their home opener for 5 consecutive seasons? The streak started in 2015, the second season of the Ray Brown and Orv Franchuk coaching regime for the Club. They coached the first four wins with current Coach Jordan Blundell picking up the 5th win last season.
Here is another “did you know”. Did you know you can re-watch last seasons home opener, all 2019 Prospects home game actually, on YouTube under the ICU Video account? So if you really wanted to watch some baseball today, the option is available.
Let’s take a quick look back the Home Opener winning streak:
2015 – The Medicine Hat Mavericks provided the competition quickly falling behind 3-0 after two innings. After taking a 4-3 lead in the top of the 4th, the Prospects put up three in the bottom of the 4th to take a lead they would never surrender. Derek Shedden and Josh Williams each collected two RBI while Alex Bishop and Tony Olson each one RBI. Brenden Wiun got the start but the story on the mound was Kent Hasler. Hasler inherited a mess in the 4th inning but went on to complete the game only allowing one hit against.
2016 – The first season the Fort McMurray Giants were in the league. It was the year of the horrible McMurray wildfires that caused mass evacuations. The Prospects allowed the Giants to share their ballpark to begin the season. The Prospects did not show any mercy during the home opener trouncing the Giants 16-3. Noah Gapp collected the win. Cory Scammell, Kody Funderbunk and Ryan Thrasher each collected 3 RBI while Owen Bessette and Derek Shedden both chipped with 2 RBI respectively. Logan Wedgewood and Erik Sabrowski also collected RBI.
2017 – The Brooks Bombers, beginning their second season in the league, got bombed 10-1 giving the Prospects a hat-trick of home opener victories. Noah Gapp pitched a complete game, 1-hit, 14-strikeout masterful performance. Gapp would go on to pitch one more dominant game for the Prospects prior to that seasons MLB draft. Gapp would go undrafted but would move onto the Canadian-American Association. On the offense side of the ball, Marion McLean led the way with 3 RBI.
2018 – 5 pitchers combined to only allow one run on three hits as the Prospects defeated the Lethbridge Bulls 7-1. Tony Olson hit a 3-run homer in the 4th and a 2-run homer in the 7th to power the Prospects offense.
2019 – The Lethbridge Bulls were once again victimized in the Prospects home opener streak. Unlike the first four wins though, this game went right down to the last at-bat. Pierce Blohowiak, who had struck out his first 4 at-bats, became the hero with a walk-off single.
Until we can all see each other at the ballpark again, stay safe everyone!
There is no actual game today. A meeting about the future of the 2020 WCBL season is scheduled for Wednesday. This article was prepared before the news broke that the Prospects would be moving to Spruce Grove in 2022.