As is case with all baseball teams, the pitching staff will be a key piece of the puzzle if the Okanagan College Coyotes are to challenge for the Canadian College Baseball Conference championship in 2015.
OC head coach Geoff White has put together what he hopes is a competent crew of arms, as the Coyotes launch their new season Feb. 5 in San Marcos, CA against St Katherine’s College.
Marcus Drewry (RHP, senior, Parksville) emerged in 2014 as the staff ace, posting a perfect 5-0 conference record and first team All Conference selection.
“Marcus has grown significantly in our program, from his freshman year to now he has become one of the best pitchers in our conference,” said White.
Zach Burlon (LHP, junior, Etobicoke, ON) and Austin Orsted (RHP, sophomore, Calgary) will also be in the starting rotation mix. Burlon is coming off of a up and down season that saw him post a 1-3 record and 5.45 ERA while Orsted was 1-1 with a 2.42 ERA.
The fourth spot in the rotation looks to be solidified over the course of the preseason. There are some notable returners that are up for the job but also some new faces that are making a bid for it. Joel Lamont (RHP, junior, White Rock), Brandon Becking (RHP, sophomore, Coquitlam), Zac Yandeau (RHP, sophomore, Plumas, MB) are three returners that could fill the last spot in the rotation.
New faces that will also make a strong case for the last rotation spot will be Jason Merz (RHP, freshman, North Vancouver), Will Russell, (RHP, freshman, Kelowna), and Bo Meikljohn,(LHP, freshman, Edmonton).
Russell is a year out of playing for the local Okanagan Athletics, (BCPBL) where he pitched a team-leading 58 innings in 2013. “Russell had a strong fall and has the ability to throw on short rest, so we will see how the early spring plays out in a variety of roles,” White said.
Other players rounding out the pitching staff are Mitchell St Laurent (RHP, junior, Edmonton), Joey Fraser (RHP, freshman, West Kelowna), Wyatt Hummel (RHP, freshman, West Kelowna), Tyler Lemke (RHP, freshman, Penticton), Brett Fleming (RHP, freshman, Penticton), Braden McCready (RHP, freshman, Richmond), Jake Gaetz (RHP, freshman, Okotoks) Cole Parusinni (RHP, sophomore, Coquitlam).
“It should be fairly competitive for innings this spring with a deep pitching staff,” White added.