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Caps One Win Away From Inaugural League Championship

Right fielder Tom Collaro's three-run blast in the first inning paved the way for the Caps' 10-3 win over the WhiteWings in Game 3 on Saturday night.

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.

Caps Two Wins Away From Title With 7-4 Victory

Caps closer Tom Boleska and catcher J.D. Closser celebrate their 7-4 victory against the Rio Grande Valley WhiteWings in Game 2 of the NAL Championship Series on Friday night.

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.

Caps Draw First Blood With 7-1 Game 1 Win

Starter Lou Pote pitched an absolute gem for the Caps in Game 1 of the NAL Championship Series on Thursday, giving up one run and striking out 11 WhiteWings.

Edmonton, AB – Steve Brown and Brent Metheny each hit home runs and starter Lou Pote gave a brilliant pitching performance as the Edmonton Capitals defeated the Rio Grande Valley WhiteWings 7-1 in Game 1 of the North American League Championship Series on Thursday night.

A vibrant crowd of 3,083 packed the ballpark on the scorching September evening to see the hometown Caps take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series, all of which is being held in Edmonton. The North Division champions will look to take a 2-0 series lead in Game 2 on Friday at 7 p.m., with Game 3 slated for Saturday at 7 p.m. and Game 4 penciled in for Sunday at 2 p.m.

The veteran hurler Pote tossed an absolute gem for the Caps on Thursday, as he gave up just one run on seven hits through eight innings with a whopping 11 strikeouts. The 2002 World Series champion with the Anaheim Angels and Sherwood Park resident, who recently turned 40, is scheduled to retire from professional baseball at the end of the season. Reliever David Davidson closed out the game with a scoreless ninth.

The centre fielder Brown and first baseman Metheny led the Caps offence in Game 1, as they each launched home runs off WhiteWings starter Eric Blackwell. Brown went 2-for-5 with two runs scored and one RBI, while Metheny was 1-for-2 with two RBI and one run scored. Second baseman Enrique Cruz, left fielder Todd Linden, catcher J.D. Closser and third baseman Carlos Duncan all had two-hit nights as well.

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.

Game 2 on Friday will feature Hockey Hall of Fame inductee and five-time Oilers Stanley Cup champion Grant Fuhr, while Saturday’s Game 3 will see two Edmonton Eskimos Grey Cup champions, Ricky Ray and Willie Pless, take to the mound. Sunday afternoon’s Game 4 will feature Olympic and World Junior gold medalist and current Edmonton Oilers veteran forward Ryan Smyth.

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 $20, and box seats are $25.

Caps To Host WhiteWings For NAL Championship

The North champion Caps are after one more title as they're set to compete for the inaugural North American League crown.

Edmonton, AB – The Edmonton Capitals captured the North Division Championship Series and advanced to the North American League final on Sunday with a 9-2 series-clinching victory over the provincial rival Calgary Vipers.

After dropping two of the first three games of the NDCS, the Caps rattled off three straight victories Friday through Sunday to capture the division championship, following up on their North Division regular season title.

The Caps are after one final accolade now as they host the entire best-of-seven NAL championship series against the South Division champion Rio Grande Valley Whitewings, who swept the San Angelo Colts in four straight games to earn the trip to Edmonton. The WhiteWings posted a 51-37 regular season record, compared to the Caps’ 56-32 mark.

NAL Championship Schedule

Game 1 – Thursday, September 8 – 7 p.m.
Game 2 – Friday, September 9 – 7 p.m.
Game 3 – Saturday, September 10 – 7 p.m.
Game 4 – Sunday, September 11 – 2 p.m.
*Game 5 – Tuesday, September 13 – 7 p.m.
*Game 6 – Wednesday, September 14 – 7 p.m.
*Game 7 – Thursday, September 15 – 7 p.m

*If necessary

Game 1 will be a special playoff edition of Thirsty Thursdays presented by Hudsons Canadian Tap House, 100.3 The Bear and 104.9 Virgin Radio, featuring beer on sale for just $3.

NAL championship tickets are available today at noon 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 $20, and box seats are $25.

Caps Capture North Title, Advance To League Final

Caps Manager Orv Franchuk gets drenched with Gatorade following his team's North Division championship-clinching 9-2 victory over Calgary on Sunday.

Edmonton, AB – The Edmonton Capitals captured the North Division Championship Series and advanced to the North American League final on Sunday with a 9-2 series-clinching victory over the provincial rival Calgary Vipers in front of a packed ballpark of 3,395 fans.

After dropping two of the first three games of the NDCS, the Caps rattled off three straight victories Friday through Sunday to capture the division championship, following up on their North Division regular season title.

The Caps now host the entire NAL championship series against the South Division champion Rio Grande Valley WhiteWings, with Game 1 of the best-of-seven affair scheduled for Thursday at 7 p.m. The best-of-seven series continues Friday through Sunday, with games if necessary the following Tuesday through Thursday.

CLICK HERE FOR THE NAL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES SCHEDULE

NAL championship tickets will be available Tuesday at noon 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).

Catcher J.D. Closser was a one-man wrecking crew for the Caps on Sunday, going 4-for-5 at the plate with a home run, a double, three RBI and one run scored, in addition to making an outstanding run-saving tag at home on Vipers outfielder Drew Miller. First baseman Brent Metheny also had a big game, going 3-for-5 with a double and three runs scored, while centre fielder Steve Brown went 3-for-5 with a double, one RBI and one run scored.

On the mound, the Caps got a great start from Dallas Buck, who tossed seven innings and gave up just one run on six hits with four strikeouts. Jorge Vasquez came on in relief in the eighth and tossed a perfect inning, while Tom Boleska came in for the ninth and gave up one run before closing out the momentous win.

Caps Squash Snakes Again To Take 3-2 Series Lead

Lou Pote tossed eight strong innings to lead the Caps to a 12-6 win over the Vipers in Game 5 on Saturday.

Calgary, AB – The Edmonton Capitals are just one win away from capturing the North Division championship and punching their ticket to the North American League final after beating the provincial rival Calgary Vipers 12-6 on Saturday to take a 3-2 advantage in their best-of-seven series.

For the second straight game, the Caps pounded the Vipers en route to a lopsided victory. Edmonton won 14-7 in Game 4 on Friday night and took the lead in the series with the 12-6 drubbing on Saturday afternoon. The Caps can now eliminate the Vipers in Game 6 on Sunday when the teams head north back to Edmonton for a 2 p.m. matinee game.

Sunday’s afternoon tilt is a special playoff edition of Family Pack Sundays presented by Dental Choice and 630 CHED, as fans can purchase four tickets, four popcorn and four Pepsi for $52. If the Caps are unable to knock out the Vipers on Sunday, Game 7 will be played Tuesday in Edmonton at 7 p.m.

The Caps smashed five home runs out of Foothills Stadium on Saturday, as right fielder Tom Collaro went deep in back-to-back innings, while first baseman Brent Metheny, left fielder Todd Linden and catcher J.D. Closser also hit big flies. Collaro drove in four runs and scored two himself, while Metheny and Closser each knocked in a pair, and Metheny and Linden each crossed the plate three times.

Edmonton got a fantastic pitching performance from veteran hurler Lou Pote, who tossed eight innings and gave up just three runs on eight hits with six strikeouts, in addition to hitting a triple, scoring a run and earning one RBI. The 2002 World Series champion with the Anaheim Angles picked up the win, while fellow former MLB pitcher Brandon Villafuerte eventually shut the door on the ninth inning.

In the South Division Championship Series, the Rio Grande Valley Whitewings swept the San Angelo Colts 4-0 on Friday and are awaiting the winner of the NDCS between the Caps and Vipers. The North champion, whether it be Edmonton or Calgary, will host the entire best-of-seven NAL championship starting Thursday, September 8.

Playoff tickets start at just $10 in advance and can be purchased 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).

Caps Clobber Calgary 14-7 To Even Up Series

After getting blown out 15-3 in Game 3 the night before, the Caps hammered the Vipers 14-7 in Game 4 on Friday to even the series 2-2.

Calgary, AB – The Edmonton Capitals gave the Calgary Vipers a taste of their own medicine and evened up the North American League’s North Division Championship Series on Friday at Foothills Stadium with a dominant 14-7 victory.

The Vipers took a 2-1 series lead on Thursday with a 15-3 blowout win, but it was the Caps’ turn for an offensive explosion in Game 4, as they scored 14 runs on 14 hits with three home runs to tie the series and create a best-of-three scenario with Game 5 slated for Saturday at 2:30 p.m. in Calgary. The Caps scored half of their runs in an outstanding fourth inning, and added four more in the fifth to take complete control of Friday’s contest.

The Caps are now guaranteed at least one more home game, as the series will return to Edmonton for Game 6 on Sunday with a 2 p.m. matinee, which will be a playoff edition of Family Pack Sundays presented by Dental Choice and 630 CHED, as fans can purchase four tickets, four popcorn and four Pepsi for $52. Game 7 if necessary will be Tuesday in Edmonton at 7 p.m.

The Caps were led by lead-off hitter and centre fielder Steve Brown on Friday, as the Colombian went 3-for-6 with a grand slam, a double and two runs scored. First baseman Brent Metheny went a perfect 4-for-4 against his 2010 squad with his second home run of the playoffs, a double, three RBI and three runs scored. Catcher J.D. Closser also played a significant role at the plate, going 2-for-3 with three RBI, while second baseman Enrique Cruz blasted the team’s third home run of the night.

Edmonton got a solid pitching performance from their regular season ace, Rory Shortell, as he followed up his 11-4 season with a six-inning outing in his first playoff start, scattering five runs and nine hits with four strikeouts for the win. Chad Blackwell and Bartolome Fortunato closed out the game for the Caps, who will look to go up 3-2 in the series in Game 5 on Saturday.

In the South Division Championship Series, the Rio Grande Valley Whitewings swept the San Angelo Colts 4-0 on Friday and will await the winner of the NDCS between the Caps and Vipers. The North champion, whether it be Edmonton or Calgary, will host the entire best-of-seven NAL championship starting Thursday, September 8.

Playoff tickets start at just $10 in advance and can be purchased 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).

Caps Snakebit In Lopsided Game 3 Loss To Vipers

The Caps now trail the Vipers 2-1 in their best-of-seven NDCS thanks to a lopsided 15-3 loss on Thursday in Calgary,

Calgary, AB – The Edmonton Capitals got a rather unfriendly welcome to Calgary for Game 3 of the North American League’s North Division Championship Series on Thursday night, as the host Vipers put a whopping 15 runs on the board in a lopsided 15-3 decision.

Calgary now leads the best-of-seven NDCS 2-1 with a pivotal Game 4 scheduled for Friday night also at Foothills Stadium. The series winner advances to the NAL final against the South champion. The Rio Grande Valley Whitewings currently lead the San Angelo Colts 3-0 in the all-Texas series and can clinch a berth in the championship with another win on Friday.

Former Caps infielder Chad Ehrnsberger inflicted the most damage against his old team in Game 3, as he went 3-for-6 at the plate with a double, four RBI and one run scored. First baseman C.J. Ziegler also continued to hurt Edmonton, as he went 2-for-3 with three walks, two RBI and two runs scored. Mark Michael earned the win for the Vipers on the mound, tossing 6.2 innings and giving up just one earned run on three hits.

Only one Caps batter managed to record more than one hit on Thursday, as former Viper Brent Metheny went 2-for-3 with a solo home run. Metheny also pitched for the final two outs of the game, closing out a tough night for the Edmonton hurlers, started by Jesse Smith, who surrendered eight runs on eight hits through three innings to suffer the defeat.

If the Caps are able to win one of the next two games in Calgary, the series will return to Edmonton on Sunday for a 2 p.m. matinee game, which will be a playoff edition of Family Pack Sundays presented by Dental Choice and 630 CHED, as fans can purchase four tickets, four popcorn and four Pepsi for $52.

Playoff tickets start at just $10 in advance and can be purchased 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).

Linden Leads Caps To Series-Tying 7-5 Victory

Caps catcher J.D. Closser slides into home during Wednesday's 7-5 victory in Game 2 of the NDCS, which evened up the series against the Calgary Vipers at 1-1.

Edmonton, AB – Right fielder Todd Linden went a phenomenal 5-for-5 at the plate including his second home run of the post-season as the Edmonton Capitals evened the North Division Championship Series at one game apiece on Wednesday with a 7-5 victory over the provincial rival Calgary Vipers.

The best-of-seven North American League NDCS now shifts down the highway to Calgary for Games 3, 4 and 5 on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Unless one Alberta squad wins all three games at Foothills Stadium, the series returns to Edmonton for Game 6 on Sunday at 2 p.m., and Game 7 if necessary is scheduled for Tuesday at 7 p.m.

The NDCS winner will take on the victors of the South Division Championship Series, currently being played between the Rio Grande Valley Whitewings and San Angelo Colts. The Whitewings currently have the upper hand in the series with a 2-0 lead. The teams were idle on Wednesday night.

It was a slow start offensively for the Caps in Game 2, as they went three innings without being able to send a runner across the plate. They trailed the Vipers 4-0 in the fourth inning when their bats finally came to life, as second baseman Matt Rogelstad and third baseman Enrique Cruz each knocked in a run, and Cruz scored on a wild pitch to cut the lead to 4-3.

The Caps also got RBI from Linden — with his second solo home run in as many games — first baseman Lou Santangelo, shortstop Rex Rundgren and pinch hitter Carlos Duncan, as they scored two more runs in both the fifth and sixth innings, holding on for the pivotal two-run victory.

Pitcher Dallas Buck started on the mound for the Caps and was relieved after 3.2 innings in which he surrendered four runs on five hits. Brandon Villafuerte eventually picked up the win, tossing the next 1.1 innings, while Jorge Vasquez was lights-out for the next three frames, giving up just one hit while striking out six Vipers. Tom Boleska surrendered a run in the ninth inning, but he kept the damage to a minimum to earn the save.

If the Caps and Vipers end up trading victories in Calgary, the series will return to Edmonton on Sunday for a matinee game, which will be a special playoff edition of Family Pack Sundays presented by Dental Choice and 630 CHED, as fans can purchase four tickets, four popcorn and four Pepsi for $52.

Playoff tickets start at just $10 in advance and can be purchased 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).

Calgary Comes Back To Capture Early Series Lead

Caps starting pitcher Lou Pote is greeted at the dugout by Director of Baseball Operations Gord Gerlach and Pitching Coach Mark Randall following his outing in Game 1 against the Vipers on Tuesday night.

Edmonton, AB – The Edmonton Capitals held a slim 1-0 lead through five innings in Game 1 of the North Division Championship Series against the Calgary Vipers, but the provincial rivals battled back with nine straight runs and eventually emerged victorious 9-3.

The Vipers now hold a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven North American League division championship series with Game 2 scheduled for Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Edmonton once again. The series then shifts to Calgary Thursday through Saturday for Game 3, Game 4 and Game 5 (if necessary).

The series winner will battle either the Rio Grande Valley Whitewings or San Angelo Colts in the NAL championship. The Whitewings currently lead the South Division Championship Series 2-0.

Calgary first baseman C.J. Ziegler only had one hit during Tuesday’s Game 1, but it was a massive knockout blow, as he belted a grand slam over the left field wall in the eighth inning to all but secure the victory. The Vipers also got a solid start from Mike Burns, who gave up just one run on five hits through eight innings to earn the victory.

Caps starter Lou Pote also had a strong outing, scattering three runs and 10 hits over 6.1 innings with five strikeouts in what could end up being his final game as a professional baseball player. The two-time defending Caps pitcher of the year and 2002 World Series champion will retire at the end of this season.

At the plate, Burns and the Vipers kept the Caps fairly quiet, as only second baseman Matt Rogelstad and shortstop Rex Rundgren recorded multi-hit games. Rundgren also drove in one run, as did catcher J.D. Closser, while centre fielder Todd Linden hit a solo home run in the ninth to account for the final Caps run.

The Caps will look to even the series at one game apiece on Wednesday in Game 2, which is a special playoff edition of Wiener Wednesday presented by K-97, featuring hot dogs on sale for just $2. Also, fans are encouraged to arrive at the ballpark early since Edmonton Oilers defenceman Theo Peckham will toss the ceremonial first pitch.

Playoff tickets start at just $10 in advance and can be purchased 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).