Lethbridge Bulls Claim 2021 WCBL Title
Sherwood Park, Alberta – For the first time since 2015, the Lethbridge Bulls are Western Canadian Baseball League champions.
Leading 5-3 heading into the sixth inning, the Bulls put up eight more runs and never looked back as they took the 16-5 victory over the Edmonton Prospects, sweeping the best-of-three final series.
— Lethbridge Bulls (@lethbridgebulls) August 22, 2021
Brad Goodwin and Carlin Dick had three hits apiece in the clincher, with Goodwin and Kalem Haney leading the offense with three runs batted in each. Kyle Poapst allowed three runs on three hits in just over three innings of work while Bryce Oriold-Fraser went the rest of the way on the mound for the Bulls, allowing two runs on five hits.
Oriold-Fraser, who turned 23 on the same day his club won the championship, was named WCBL Playoff MVP. Not only did the Lethbridge native pitch well in the finale, but he also threw a complete-game gem against Sylvan Lake on August 16th.
"It's just a phenomenal group. We had our ups and downs and they stuck with us all year and showed up when it counts. It's just a great group of kids." @lethbridgebulls head coach Chance Wheatley on this year's squad. @Leth_Herald #yql
— Dale Woodard (@DWoodardHerald) August 22, 2021
For the Prospects, Stephen MacKenzie and Matty Reyes had two hits apiece, with Reyes driving in two runs. Brendan Luther and Liam Campbell also had an RBI in the loss.
In Friday’s opener, Jake Anderson bested Sasha Kamenjasevic in a great pitchers duel in Lethbridge. Anderson threw a complete-game, three-hitter in a 2-0 victory over the Prospects. The Calgary, AB native struck out eight batters and allowed just three walks in the contest.
On the other side, Kamenjasevic went eight innings, allowing two runs on seven hits while striking out 13. Carlin Dick and Nick Gravel were able to muster a couple of hits for the Bulls with both driving in a run in the low-scoring affair.
The final series puts the wraps on what became an unprecedented summer in the WCBL. After the 2020 season was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, all teams left no stone unturned to get back on the field in 2021.
While still navigating the pandemic, five teams were able to take to the field and give their communities something to cheer about.
The Western Canadian Baseball League would like to thank all of the teams, coaches, players, and fans for making this a summer to remember and we can’t wait to see you all in stadiums around the league again in 2022!