In each of the past two Mays, the TRU WolfPack has had to watch another team celebrate the Canadian College Baseball Conference championship on TRU’s home field.
A chance to rectify that is right around the corner for the WolfPack.
TRU is scheduled to open the CCBC championship tournament today, 7:15 p.m., against the Okanagan College Coyotes at NorBrock Stadium. There are two earlier games — the Prairie Baseball Academy Dawgs will play in both, against the Vancouver Island Baseball Institute Mariners at 11 a.m., and the Calgary Dinos at 2 p.m.
All five of the CCBC’s teams are set to play in the tournament, which wraps up Sunday.
PBA, which won the 2011 tournament, is the No. 1 seed after a 20-6 regular season, while the WolfPack is No. 2 thanks to a 17-10 campaign. VIBI (13-15) is seeded third, with Okanagan (12-15) fourth and Calgary (5-21) fifth.
PBA beat the Mariners 8-5 in the 2011 CCBC final, after VIBI had defeated the WolfPack 7-4 in 2010. Both of those tournaments were played at NorBrock Stadium, where the 2013 championship also will be played.
The WolfPack last won the CCBC championship in Lethbridge in 2009.
TRU is coming into the tournament on a bit of a roll, having won 12 of its last 16 games. But PBA also won 12 of its last 16 games, and also has an advantage after securing the top seed — it plays twice today, meaning the pitchers who throw today could be available for a weekend semifinal or Sunday’s final.
The WolfPack, meanwhile, will play twice Friday and once Saturday. On Friday, TRU is up against Calgary at 11:30 a.m., and VIBI at 7 p.m., before finishing the round-robin against PBA on Saturday at 4:30 p.m.
The top four teams following the round-robin will advance to the semifinals, which are scheduled for Saturday at 7 p.m., and Sunday at 10 a.m. The championship final is scheduled for Sunday at 1 p.m.
The WolfPack scored more runs than any other team during the regular season, and has two of the league’s top batters in Alex Condon and Dave Hole.
Condon, a third-baseman from Victoria, led the conference with nine home runs and 30 RBI, and also hit .311 to finish ninth overall.
Condon’s strong season kept Hole, a catcher/first-baseman from Vancouver, from winning the Triple Crown. Hole led the league with a .374 average, and was second with seven home runs and 29 RBI.
On the other side of things, TRU right-hander Denver Wynn was in the top-six in three pitching categories. Wynn led the league with five victories and was second with 51 strikeouts. His ERA, 2.70, was sixth in the league.
PBA’s Alex Regan and VIBI’s Connor Russell also put up stellar numbers. Regan won four games, striking out 42 batters, which was fifth-best in the league, and posting a league-best ERA of 1.07, while Russell also won four games, striking out a league-high 57 and finishing second in ERA at 1.10.
The tournament will officially kick off with a morning banquet and the opening ceremonies at 7 p.m.
Friday’s games are scheduled for 9 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 2 p.m., and 7 p.m. There will be a home run derby at NorBrock Stadium at 4:30 p.m.
The Saturday round-robin games will run at 11:30 a.m., 2 p.m., and 4:30 p.m.