Game of the Week: Prospects @ Bulls

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Lethbridge will have a bull’s eye on their back all season long.

After claiming the 2021 Western Canadian Baseball League (WCBL) championship title, no one will be charging after the Bulls harder than the Edmonton Prospects.

The Prospects visit Spitz Stadium on Friday, June 3rd for a rematch of last year’s WCBL final, which saw Lethbridge triumph during a two-game sweep.

The first game of that series featured a pitching duel between Sasha Kamenjasevic, a southpaw with the Prospects, and right-handed hurler Jake Anderson. Both put in complete game efforts but Anderson came out on top in the 2-0 shutout win for the Bulls.

Game 2 saw Lethbridge jump out to a 5-3 lead through five innings before the Bulls broke out for eight runs in the sixth frame and put the game out of reach. The end result was a 16-5 victory for Lethbridge and a celebration with the Harry Hallis Memorial Trophy.

Bryce Oriold-Fraser was named the WCBL Playoff MVP after striking out 15 batters in 14.2 innings and limiting the opposition to four runs.

Through 10 regular-season matchups in 2021, Lethbridge held a decided advantage. They came out in top of seven of those games.

But the rosters – which include international players in 2022 after a campaign of all-Canadian lineups – are different this summer and the Prospects will be looking for some payback from the postseason losses.

In the early goings of this season, the Prospects have a 3-2 record, while the Bulls are 1-3.

Edmonton’s statistical leaders include outfielder Tyler Freas, who is batting .353 with five runs scored, and catcher Jack Fitzgerald, who has one home run, six runs batted in (RBI) and a .333 batting average. Pitcher Jordan Moffat, who played for the Prospects last year, has appeared in two games, including a start and a visit from the bullpen. Moffat is 0-1 with a save and six strikeouts through seven innings pitched.

Cleanup hitter Kyle Turner is pacing the offence for the Bulls. He’s batting .400 with six RBI, three runs, three doubles and a stolen base in 15 at bats. Lefty pitcher Javier De Alejandro has made two appearances for Lethbridge. In five frames, De Alejandro is 0-1 with 7 Ks and a 1.80 earned run average (ERA).

The Bulls and Prospects will square off in four weekend games, including a Saturday doubleheader and a Sunday matinee. First pitch for Friday’s contest is set for 7:05 p.m. at Spitz Stadium.

The weekend of action will be part of Baseball Festival Weekend, presented by Cavendish Farms. Activities will include opportunities to meet the players, pancake breakfasts, and prize giveaways.