Edmonton, AB – The Edmonton Capitals are now just one victory away from capturing the inaugural North American League Championship after they defeated the Rio Grande Valley WhiteWings 10-3 on Saturday night in front of raucous crowd of 3,650 at TELUS Field.
The Caps have a commanding 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven NAL final and can clinch the title with Game 4 on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. An Edmonton win on Sunday would be the first professional baseball championship for the city since the Trappers won the Pacific Coast League crown in 2002.
Right fielder Tom Collaro was the hero for the Caps in Game 3, as he went 3-for-4 at the plate with a towering three-run home run during the team’s six-run first inning and added another RBI for four runs driven in on the night. First baseman Matt Rogelstad also had a big game with four hits, one RBI and one run scored, while second baseman Enrique Cruz and third baseman Carlos Duncan each drove in two runs as well.
For the third consecutive game, the Caps got a great performance from their starting pitcher, as regular season wins leader Rory Shortell tossed seven innings and gave up just three runs on five hits with four strikeouts. Brandon Villafuerte and Chad Blackwell got the call for the final two innings, respectively, and blanked the WhiteWings to close out the victory.
The parade of local champions throwing out the Caps’ ceremonial first pitches continued on Saturday, as Edmonton Eskimos Grey Cup champions Ricky Ray and Willie Pless did the honours. Olympic and World Junior gold medalist and current Edmonton Oilers veteran forward Ryan Smyth will take to the mound for Sunday afternoon’s Game 4 pitch.
NAL championship series tickets are available at all Ticketmaster outlets, at the Capitals Box Office (10233 – 96 Ave) during regular business hours Monday through Friday, online at capsbaseball.ca or via phone at 780-414-GOAL (4625). Bench and grandstand seats are on sale for $20, and box seats are $25.