The 2016 Canadian College Baseball Conference’s championship tournament in Kelowna is still eight months away.
But preparations can’t begin too early for Geoff White’s Okanagan College Coyotes.
The OC program takes to the field this weekend at Elks Stadium with a Red vs Black inter-squad at noon on Sunday, kicking off a busy fall season.
“We are hosting the championships this year and want to make a run at the title and it all starts day one,” said White, the Coyotes head coach. “We have an extremely busy fall schedule with 47 games planned and then 70 in the spring.”
Coyotes players will have the opportunity to compete and hone their skills in game situations over the course of the season, culminating with a five-team CCBC round robin finale in mid-May at Elks Stadium.
“We have a really solid core returning and a group of new players that will challenge for starting spots.” says White.
The bulk of the pitching staff that led the CCBC during the regular season that with 3.42 ERA will be back this season.
Among them is first team all-conference starter Cole Parusinni who will be back for his junior year.
At the plate the Coyotes will look for senior catcher Logan Wedgewood to pace the offense. In 2014 he led the team with a .338 average.
“It is the biggest aspect we have tried to address with this recruiting class, we struggled to score runs during the last half of the regular season and specifically in playoffs,” adds White. “We have graduated some key players and will need some guys to step up.”
The Coyotes will play inter-squad games each day until next Thursday, then will host the Okanagan Athletics Friday, Sept. 11 and Saturday, Sept. 12 in exhibition play, with first pitch both nights at 6 p.m.
Among the fall’s other events, is a tournament at Elks Sept. 24 to 27 featuring 10 of the top high school teams from Western Canada.