EDMONTON, AB - Only 27 days remain until the Edmonton Prospects kick off their season against the Lethbridge Bulls at RE/MAX Field, but the club continues to renovate their roster under Jordan Blundell.

The club recently announced the additions of RHP’s Joe Karall and Jesse Poniewozik. Karall (St. Albert) and Poniewozik (Spruce Grove) represent the latest local signings for the Prospects as they approach the 2019 WCBL season.

“We’ve definitely contacted a lot of players that are local,” said Blundell on the club’s recruiting strategy. “We’re still kicking tires on a few from in and around the area. Sometimes, it just doesn’t work out timing-wise for some, but we definitely have a relationship with those players whether they end up signing with us or not.”

While both Karall and Poniewozik are joining the ‘Spects for their inaugural seasons, there will be some familiarity with Blundell behind the bench.

“I’ve coached both players before,” said the first-year bench boss. “Joe played with the (Prospects) Academy last season, and I coached (Jesse) five or six years ago in Bantam. He was actually the only first-year player on the team I coached that summer.”

Karall is currently in his freshman season with Cloud County Community College. In 12 appearances on the mound this year, Karall is 2-2 with 28 K’s and a 4.63 ERA.

“Joe’s a guy I’ve got to know quite well over the last twelve months,” said Blundell. “He’s played in a ton of big games in a variety of roles. He’s got a ton of potential to grow with us as a pitcher.”

“It was an easy decision to contact him. Between my experience with (Joe) and knowing what kind of a person he is off the field, he’s someone we really wanted to get signed.”

Poniewozik, 20, is a sophomore at Okanogan College in Kelowna, BC.

“Over the last twelve months, Jesse’s really come into his own as a pitcher. I’m excited to see what he’ll be able to do (in Edmonton). He’s got a real chance to grow within our program, while still having a chance to contribute right away. He’ll be able to give us quality innings when his number’s called.”

Ideally, says Blundell, this isn’t a one-and-done situation for either of the Prospects latest recruits.

“As young local players, they’re players we’d like to have around for a while and build a future with. I think they’ll fit in nicely with the mix of pitchers we have, both on-and-off the field.”

While the home opener may be creeping closer, don’t expect the club to be done tinkering with the roster.

“We’re at 32 players signed right now, with some roster exceptions still available for younger players until the middle of July,” explained Blundell. “It gives us an opportunity to extend looks to more local players as (we) look to build our roster throughout the year. By mid-July, our final roster has to be set at 30.”

Prospects training camp begins on May 23rd at RE/MAX Field.

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Once stood in front of Cedric Alexander in line at a hotel. Slightly big deal.

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