The desert sun will provide the backdrop for the Okanagan College Coyotes who kick off the 2018 baseball season this week with their annual winter trip to Arizona.
Beginning Friday, Geoff White’s Canadian College Baseball Conference team will play 14 exhibition games in an eight-day span against U.S.-based college programs.
Among OC’s opponents will be three schools cited in Perfect Game’s pre-season rankings of junior colleges—No. 4 College of Southern Nevada, No. 7 Central Arizona College and No. 12 Yavapai College.
“It’s an opportunity to get a ton of games in a short time, in good weather against some really good competition,” said White, the Coyotes head coach and program manager. “It usually takes a game or two to shake off the rust, then the guys start to find their game. There’s no better way for us to kick off the season.”
The Coyotes, who are making the trip to Arizona for the seventh straight year, have 38 players on the roster this season, including 13 freshman.
White said it’s one of the more experienced OC teams to hit the field in the program’s 10-year history.
“We have an older group this year, we have six fifth-year seniors and good group of fourth-year guys,” said White. “We have a lot of experience and hopefully that will be an advantage for us when it comes to conference play this season.”
White’s club will be led into battle in 2018 by the likes of senior Davis Todosichuk, and fellow outfielders Jeremy Buckley and Alex Russell.
Leading the infield are fifth-years Brandon Graham, Jared Dulaba and Jared Frew, while Jake Fischer and Jacob Holland are returning behind the plate.
The pitching staff will be anchored by fifth-year seniors Cole Parussini and Brandon Becking, and fourth-years Zac Yandeau and Trevor Brigden.
— OC Coyotes Baseball (@YotesBaseball) February 4, 2018
Upon returning home, the Coyotes will visit Douglas College for a pair of exhibition games, March 3 and 4, then will host Edmonton in a pre-season series March 16 to 18 at Elks Stadium.
OC will open the CCBC regular season the following weekend in Kelowna against the seven-time defending league-champion Prairie Baseball Academy Dawgs.
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