Salt Lake City native Bobby Edwards went to work at his father's tile contracting business at 6:30 Thursday morning, just like any other day.
By Thursday night, he was living a lifelong dream, pitching professionally for a Salt Lake team at Derks Field.And Edwards, an East High graduate who got the call to join the team from Manager Barry Moss at 1:30 p.m., while he was still at work, did exactly what Moss wanted.
Partly because Edwards was able to fill the Trappers' long-relief spot adequately for the night, and partly because Medicine Hat Blue Jays' Manager Rocket Wheeler had to pull his starting pitcher with a 3-0 lead because he'd reached the Toronto organization's limit on number of pitches, the Trappers won for the 4th straight night, and the Jays lost a golden opportunity for their 4th win of the season.
The Traps, shut out by Rick Nowak for five innings, pounced on Jay relievers for a 13-run seventh inning and a 14-3 victory.
Salt Lake is now 21-10, Medicine Hat 3-28. They play again tonight and Saturday night at Derks.
Medicine Hat looked sharp all around while Nowak was striking out seven. He gave up four hits, never more than one in an inning.
To start the sixth, though, Nowak had thrown 89 pitches. The Jays' limit is 100. Wheeler pulled him. "I wanted him to leave on a good note," Wheeler said.
"He was staying ahead in the count, and when we hit the ball, they made good plays," said Moss. "I'm not that surprised. They get good pitching for parts of the game; if he ever gets it all together one night, he'd have it (a win)."
The biggest Trapper inning in years came on seven hits and three Jay errors. "Mental lapses," Wheeler said. The Trappers had 11 runs before making an out and sent 16 men to the plate. Every Trapper in the lineup scored at least once, and Pat Waid, Randy Moore, Greg Ehmig and Ray Karczewski scored twice each in the inning. Moore, put in as a pinch runner, scored the fifth run, then came to bat later in the inning, doubled in a run and scored again on an Ehmig two-run triple. Kelly Zane also had a two-run triple in the inning.
By that time, Edwards was back on the bench, having done his job, holding the Jays quiet until the Trappers could force the issue.
Fred Riscen (3-0) had started, giving up two unearned runs in the second. Moss was uncomfortable. "I didn't think he was in a good frame of mind. He had trouble getting loose in the bullpen." He called for Edwards.
"I was surprised," said Edwards. "I had a lot of surprises today. They told me I would be the first one up, but I didn't expect it in the third inning."
After a groundout, Edwards served up a triple the Trapper outfield was playing shallow to Terrance Jones. A groundout scored him, and a tap back to Edwards finished the inning. Edwards faced only three men in the fourth, four in the fifth and three in the sixth.
"He did just what I wanted," said Moss.
Edwards, who's worked out with the Trappers about once a week and was on their list since tryout camp, was signed when it was determined the two Japanese pitchers weren't coming because of visa problems. Trapper owners, said Moss, let him "solidify our pitching staff" with Edwards.
Moss used him on his first day as an official team member because it was Edwards' turn to pitch Thursday night in the Beehive League, where he's been staying in shape.
Edwards went from East High to College of Southern Idaho he calls that his big break because of the care the coach there showed in his players and the junior college world series title he participated in then went on an LDS mission, returned to CSI and went on to University of Arkansas. He got no offers after graduating from Arkansas.
"Nobody even nibbled, but I don't really mind," he said. "I'm from Salt Lake and went to hundreds of games at Derks. Like every boy here at the park, my dream was to play here, and my dream came true," he said.