Lethbridge to face Edmonton in 2021 WCBL Final

There will be a new Western Canadian Baseball League champion in 2021.

The Edmonton Prospects played the role of spoiler by sweeping the reigning champion and top-seeded Okotoks Dawgs Black in their semi-final best-of-three series.

In Monday’s Game #1, Conor Bronson went 2-for-4 with a double, stolen base and three runs batted in to pace Edmonton’s offense in a 10-5 victory at Seaman Stadium in Okotoks. Then on Tuesday, Scott Gillespie pitched a gem by going seven innings, allowing just one hit and one run in his hometown of Sherwood Park as the Prospects edged the Dawgs 2-1.

The other semi-final featured two teams seemingly going in opposite directions. The Sylvan Lake Gulls had won seven straight games, including four against the Lethbridge Bulls. Meantime, the Bulls were riding a six-game losing streak, capped by a combined no-hitter thrown by three Gulls pitchers.

Despite the recent history and the tag of “underdog,” the Bulls capitalized on strong pitching and timely hitting to also complete the two-game sweep of the Gulls.

In Monday’s Game #1, Bryce Fraser tossed the complete-game five-hitter to lead the Bulls to a 4-2 win in Sylvan Lake. The second game of the series was postponed Tuesday because of rain, and was able to go ahead on Wednesday night in Lethbridge. Ty Penner drove in Josh Kabayama with a single up the middle in the bottom of the ninth to lead the Bulls to a 3-2 walk-off victory.

That sets the stage for the 2021 WCBL Final, with the schedule as follows:

Game 1 – Friday August 20th – 7:05pm in Lethbridge – get tickets here
Game 2 – Saturday August 21st – 7:05pm in Sherwood Park – get tickets here
Game 3 (if necessary) – Sunday August 22nd – 7:05pm in Lethbridge

Preview: If you’re looking for some recent history between these two teams, the rivalry might take some time to renew. Nine of their first ten games played against each other happened before July 19th. If those games are any indication, offense will be a key. They combined to score 176 runs in those ten meetings, with the Bulls outscoring the Prospects 109-67 en route to posting seven wins.

Historically, the Prospects are hoping to capture their first WCBL title, although they went to the final in both 2016 and 2017, losing both years to Swift Current. The Bulls haven’t been to the final since they won the Harry Hallis Memorial Trophy in 2015.