Posted on: October 23, 2018
The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack baseball team are heading East with a mission: win a National University championship.
The WolfPack are the lone Western Canadian rep at the inaugural University baseball championships which are being hosted by Humber College near Toronto.
“I have been approached the last five years about having a team from the West come out there. This year, one of our alum Duaine Bowles is on the organizing committee and asked us to come out,” says WolfPack head coach Ray Chadwick. “ I talked to the guys and we were in.”
The WolfPack have had an excellent fall—16-7 going into the Nationals. They believe they are ready.
“The guys that have returned have played very well, “says Chadwick. “ The younger guys have produced as well. I think we will be pretty good.”
“I think everybody is playing their part and not concerned about themselves. We have knows what their role is at the end of the day. We have been playing as a team, “states Malik James, one of three players on the WolfPack from Ontario, all who will have their parents in attendance.
“I think we have a really good chance,’ says Thunder Bay pitcher Tyler Moskalyk, who will likely start one of the first two games. “The West is usually more predominant in baseball. Ontario will have some good teams. But we are very talented and I think we have a good chance of winning this thing.”
James is from Whitby, Ontario. “This is going to be a real treat. I will have a lot of friends and family coming out to watch. They haven’t seen me play since I was in college. It should be a lot of fun. It is exciting to be playing for a national championship. Usually fall ball is about getting loose. This year we have something to compete for. I think all the guys are ready to get going.”
“I don’t know what to expect because we haven’t seen these teams before but definitely excited about going out there,” said outfielder/pitcher Adam Filmon (Winnipeg, MB). “Will be a good experience to see their style of play.”
“I think the guys will bring a high intensity level this week,” he adds. “We have played really good defense and had good pitching all fall. That’s a recipe for success for us because we will definitely be able to hit.”
“We are excited to get out there and see what the rest of the country has to show,’ stated infielder Liam Rihela (White Rock, BC). “Everything we had been putting out on the field this fall has been pointing towards this. We are anxious to see where this goes. We came into this fall focused on this goal. In the past, our fall hasn’t been super serious. This year we are all set to show the rest of the country what we are made of. We are going to do the best we can. There will be some pressure but we will do what we can. We believe we are skilled and we are a good team.”
“We got a good leadership core,” says designated hitter Vance Fode (Bow Island, AB). “We will try and contribute as much as we can. We know a lot is expected of us and we will do our best to show up.”
Fode says if the team’s hitting is having an off day, the pitching and defense picks things up and visa versa. He says that will be key to being successful at nationals.
The WolfPack will open things up on Thursday afternoon (1 pm EDT) against the Fanshawe Falcons. They then play right after against the Ontario College champions: St Clair Saints of Windsor, Ontario.
The championship playoffs are set for Friday (Oct 26).
“They don’t know anything about us,” says Chadwick. “ They don’t know anything about us. We will show up and play our game.”