MEDICINE HAT, AB — With 19 Americans on the roster, this one meant a little more for the Medicine Hat Mavericks.
The defending champions celebrated the 4th of July with a 3-2 comeback victory over the Edmonton Prospects at Athletic Park.
Medicine Hat, who wore special ‘star-spangled’ jerseys to recognize the United States independence, has now won a season-high five straight games. They’re also inside of a playoff spot for the first time in several weeks, leap-frogging the Prospects for fourth in the WCBL’s Western Division.
The Mavs have now won five out of six games against the Prospects this season.
Edmonton’s two runs both came in the opening inning, only to be followed with eight scoreless frames. Medicine Hat’s bare-knuckle defence was highlighted by strong performances from all five pitchers, including starter Brandon Ponticelli, who allowed five hits over 5.2 innings.
Nolan Walker got the Prospects on the board in the first inning, smacking an RBI-single to bring in Tyler Maskill with two out.
Jake Gehri followed up with an RBI-single of his own to help Walker complete the loop.
All-star Nolan Rattai provided the answer in the bottom half with an RBI-double to score newcomer Taylor Wright.
Sal Rodriguez tied the game at 2-2 in the fifth moments after Wright made it to second base on a wild pitch. Rodriguez connected on his only hit of the game to bring Wright home for a second time.
Edmonton avoided what appeared to be a game-turning moment favoring the Mavericks in the sixth. With bases loaded and one away, the Prospects turned a double-play off PJ Garcia’s line-drive. That held the score at 2-2.
It remained that way until the bottom of the eighth frame when Edmonton ran into trouble in their bullpen. With one out and the bases loaded, Haden Dow through four straight balls towards PJ Garcia to allow Tito Jones to walk in the game-winner.
Medicine Hat heads to Swift Current on Friday to battle the 57s for the second time in three days.
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