Brandon Denis (left) and the Kelowna Cubs are playing this season in the B.C. Midget AAA Baseball League.

Newly-formed Cubs utilize entire roster

Kelowna is one of five new teams this season in the B.C. Midget AAA Baseball League

For every one 18 players on the Kelowna Cubs, there is no fear of riding the bench for a prolonged stretch of time.

One of five new teams this season in the B.C. Midget AAA Baseball League, the Cubs’ coaching staff has instituted a policy of equal opportunity.

“We have 42 games this season and everybody is going to get lots of playing time,” said Cubs’ head coach Rob Law. “Each player is guaranteed two starts in a four-game weekend. We don’t want to see any kids sitting.”

With a number of skilled young players looking for a place to play, and the recent dissolution of the Okanagan Athletics junior program, Law said the Cubs offer an ideal opportunity to play some quality ball and have fun at the same time.

“It’s our mission to help build and develop athletes and players and to provide these kids with a positive experience,” added Law, “We’re also here to see that these guys have fun while playing at an elite level.”

The Cubs are the first Kelowna-based team to play at the provincial midget AAA level in seven seasons when the Rutland Rockies last fielded a club in 2008.

The West Kelowna Diamondbacks are now in the fourth year after joining the league in 2012.

The Cubs’ initiation to the B.C. midget AAA league was a positive one as Kelowna swept a doubleheader from the Vernon Canadians last weekend.

Naz Prowse picked up the win and Dante Dennis earned the save as the Cubs won the opener 4-3. Keaton Meier had two hits and a triple, and Taylor DeGruchy had two hits and two RBIs.

In Game 2, Brandon Mallum-Kunz had two RBIs and scored three teams, while Noah Ringness-Law had three hits and three steals. Dante Dennis earned the win.

All in all, Coach Law likes what’s he seen early from his young team and is excited about the remainder of the season

“I feel like we have a pretty good ball club and the boys are busting their butts,” Law added. “It’s early but they’re already gelling. They’re becoming a team and a family. It’s going to be good.

Law is assisted by Trent Kuntz, while Mike Senger works with the Cubs as a consultant.

The Cubs will play their first ever home openers this weekend when they host Ridge Meadows on Saturday at 1 and 4 p.m. at Lombardy Park.

On Sunday, Kelowna will play a pair against the Tri-City Indians.

West Kelowna Diamondbacks

The West Kelowna Diamondbacks were fast out of the gate, sweeping a doubleheader from Aldergrove last weekend on the Lower Mainland.

Solid starting pitching efforts from Nathaniel Woods and Connor Runnels led the D-Backs to 14-1 and 9-1 victories.

Michael Gini hit a two-run home run in the opener, while Gini, Jacob Holland, Ty Leoppke and Ben Dojohn each scored twice.

In Game 2, Carter Martens scored a pair of runs, with seven other D-Backs players chipping in with a run each.

This weekend at Boucherie field, West Kelowna (2-0) will host the Tri City Indians for two on Saturday, and Ridge Meadows for a doubleheader on Sunday.

West Kelowna has 17 players, with 11 being either in their first of second years with the team.

“While the team is young, we still expect this team to be very competitive this year,” said D-Backs coach Tom Katelnikoff.

 

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