Okanagan Athletics program director Evan Bailey (left) and Okanagan College Coyotes coach and manager Geoff White are in Toronto this weekend coaching Team B.C. at the Blue Jays’ Tournament 12. -Image: Douglas Farrow/Contributor

Coaching duo at Rogers Centre with Team B.C.

Kelowna’s Geoff White and Evan Bailey are coaching Team B.C. at the Blue Jays’ Tournament 12

As is often the case, Geoff White and Evan Bailey will be spending much of their weekend immersed in baseball.

Only this weekend, the two Kelowna coaches will be inside Rogers Centre, Canada’s baseball mecca and home of the Toronto Blue Jays.

White and Bailey are helping guide B.C.’s U18 team at Tournament 12 (T 12) an annual showcase of the top 14- to 19-year-old players in Canada.

The four-day event, hosted by the Blue Jays Baseball Academy, features eight teams and 160 players auditioning their talents for professional and college scouts from across North America.

White, the head coach and manager of the Kelowna-based Okanagan College Coyotes, is making his second trip to Tournament 12.

“This is a pretty good opportunity to see the best kids in Canada,” said White, who first coached at the tournament in 2o12. “It’s a big deal for the kids, one of the most important events of its kind in the country.

“From my perspective, it’s great to be on the field with 20 of the best B.C. kids.”

For White and his Okanagan College program, T 12 is also an opportunity to recruit talent from all across the country.

“To see all those kids up close and personal is going to be good,” said White, who started the OC program in 2008. “You’re not in a situation too often where you get to recruit kids of that calibre. I’m going there with the intention of signing at least a couple of kids.”

Bailey, the program director and head coach of the B.C. Premier Baseball League’s Okanagan Athletics, is making his coaching debut at T 12.

“I’m excited for the opportunity, to be one of three coaches selected (for Team B.C. ) is an honour,” said Bailey, in his ninth season coaching the A’s. “This is the golden nugget of events like this for the kids. It’ll be cool for them, 16, 17, 18, to sit in the same dugout as the Blue Jays and just experience the environment at Rogers Centre.”

One current member of the Athletics, Carter Morris, is in Toronto this weekend. The 16-year-old pitcher from Vernon is on the B.C. Futures team roster.

Three former Athletics have played at past T 12 events—Sam Avila, Trevor Lofstrom and Noah Patterson.

B.C.’s U18 squad will play a minimum of five games at the tourney. The other teams are: Alberta, Prairies, two from Ontario, Quebec, Atlantic and Futures.

Coyotes alumni weekend…

The Okanagan College Coyotes are holding their fifth annual Alumni Tournament this weekend at Elks Stadium. Games are set for 6:30 p.m., both Friday and Saturday nights.

The Coyotes are celebrating their 10th season in the Canadian College Baseball Conference.

Twenty alumni players from the club’s first nine seasons will take part in the games against the current Coyotes’ squad.

Admission to the games is free.

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