Edmonton, AB – The Edmonton Capitals are halfway towards capturing the inaugural North American League Championship thanks to a 7-4 victory over the Rio Grande Valley WhiteWings in Game 2 on Friday night at TELUS Field in front of 2,394 fans.
The Caps now lead the best-of-seven NAL final 2-0 and will look to take a commanding 3-0 lead with Game 3 scheduled for Saturday at 7 p.m. The championship weekend continues with Game 4 on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m., and if necessary the teams will have Monday off before continuing the series with Game 5 on Tuesday.
Veteran hurler Lou Pote had a fantastic start to earn the Game 1 victory on Thursday, and the Caps got another great outing from their Game 2 starter Dallas Buck, who scattered one earned run and eight hits over five innings with five strikeouts. Jorge Vasquez tossed the sixth, seventh and eighth innings, and closer Tom Boleska picked up the save with a shutout ninth.
At the plate, catcher J.D. Closser continued his scorching playoffs, as he smacked a three-run double during the team’s pivotal four-run fifth inning. Closser is batting .517 in eight playoff games, with two home runs and 13 RBI. Left fielder Matt Rogelstad picked up a pair of hits and one RBI, while first baseman Brent Metheny and shortstop Rex Rundgren also drove in one run each.
In honour of the league championship series being held in Edmonton, the Caps are having a parade of local champions throw their ceremonial first pitches. Game 1 featured former Edmonton Oilers captain Al Hamilton, who won a Memorial Cup with the Edmonton Oil Kings in 1966, while Game 2 saw Hockey Hall of Fame inductee and five-time Oilers Stanley Cup champion Grant Fuhr throw a pre-game strike across home plate.
Saturday’s Game 3 will feature two Edmonton Eskimos Grey Cup champions, Ricky Ray and Willie Pless, taking the mound, while Olympic and World Junior gold medalist and current Edmonton Oilers veteran forward Ryan Smyth will do the honours during Sunday afternoon’s Game 4.
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.