After having 12 games already washed out in a rainy March, the Okanagan College Coyotes will be looking for a little cooperation from Mother Nature this weekend.
The Coyotes are set to host the University of Calgary Dinos in a four-game series to open the Canadian College Baseball Conference regular season.
Game one is set for Friday, 6 p.m. at Elks Stadium.
The ‘Yotes and Dinos will play a doubleheader Saturday at 3 and 6 p.m., before closing out the four-game set at noon on Sunday.
The Coyotes, who posted a 14-14 record during the 2016 regular season, reached the league final last spring in Kelowna before losing 5-4 to the PBA Dawgs.
Overall, OC went 40-28 last season.
In 2017, Coyotes head coach Geoff White will have plenty of veteran talent on the roster to lean on.
“This is definitely the most experienced team we’ve had,” said White. “We’ve got a lot of older guys and we’ll be leaning on them. We have an older pitching staff and a lot of third and fourth year position players too, so we’ll have lots of experience. We have some really good freshman, too.”
Friday, the Coyotes will begin the season with senior Cole Parussini on the mound, a starter all four years at OC.
On Saturday, Junior Zac Yandeau and freshman Aiden Mordecai will be on the hill, while Sunday’s finale will feature another freshman pitcher, Noah Wood. This year’s staff is one of the deepest the Coyotes have had and will look to be a huge reason for their success this season.
The Coyotes offense will look to put up even better numbers than last year when they were second in batting average at .283.
With a very deep lineup, the expectation is to put fear into the other team’s pitchers and defense using both their bats and legs. Seniors Jared Frew, Jared Dulaba and Brandon Graham will be looked upon to lead their team at the plate as all three hold extra base power.
The Coyotes will play 32 regular season games, then will host the CCBC championship for the second straight year, May 9 to 14 at Elks Stadium.
The league has added a sixth team for the 2017 season, the University of Fraser Valley. The University of Alberta will be coming on board next season.