WolfPack eager to get CCBC season started

The Canadian College Baseball Conference season is only two months long, which means the TRU WolfPack has had a bad taste in its mouth for the last 10 months.

The WolfPack is scheduled to open the CCBC season with a pair of weekend doubleheaders against the Prairie Baseball Academy Dawgs at NorBrock Stadium.

The WolfPack played a fall exhibition season and also played 18 preseason games over the last month, but hasn't forgotten its last CCBC game - a 7-4 loss to the Vancouver Island Baseball Institute Mariners in the league final at NorBrock Stadium on May 16.

"A lot of these guys were here and they don't want that same taste in their mouths," said WolfPack head coach Ray Chadwick, at a Wednesday press conference.

"There's a lot of hungry kids."

The WolfPack will play host to the CCBC championship again this year, with the six-team tournament scheduled for May 13-15 at NorBrock.

TRU will play each of the other teams in the Chris Reitsma Division - PBA and the U of Calgary Dinos - eight times during its 28-game regular season, with four games each against the Larry Walker Division teams, the Okanagan College Cubs, VIBI and the newly-formed Victoria Mavericks.

Saturday's games are to start at 1 and 3 p.m., with Sunday's to start at 11 a.m., and 1 p.m.

The Saturday doubleheader will mark the first time the WolfPack gets to play on NorBrock - because of the late winter, TRU's players have been practising indoors, but will be able to get some work in on another McArthur Island field today and Friday.

"We've been inside the last three months, every day, twice a day," said third-year WolfPack pitcher Danny Moore, who will start one of Saturday's games.

The WolfPack won the regular-season crown in 2010, going 20-8, but that squad is a lot different from the one that will take the field Saturday.

The pitching staff lost its ace, Jordan Broatch, to graduating, but Moore and Denver Wynn, both big righties, will be Chadwick's top two pitchers. Cam Strachan, a 6-foot-3 lefty from Trail, is pegged as the No. 3 starter, while four others will vie for the weekend's last start.

"Our fourth guy could be one of four guys," Chadwick said. "It will depend on who pitches in relief in the first three games and on the lineup of the team we're facing."

This WolfPack team has power. Chadwick said Wednesday that none of his seven previous squads has had the depth in the middle of the batting order that this one does.

Dillon Morgan, Alex Condon, Jimmy Semaschuk, Greg Dealy, Kyle Sandulescu and first-baseman David Hole, who was named the WolfPack's top hitter in 2010, will anchor the lineup.

"We have some big boys on this team, and they can all hit the ball very hard and very far," said Hole, a 20-year-old Vancouver native. "But it doesn't matter what we do in batting practice and before the games start, all that matters is what happens during the games."

If history is any indicator, the WolfPack will be among the top teams in the CCBC - it usually is and has played in four straight league finals. It has won the league three times during Chadwick's tenure - in 2005, 2007 and 2009, a trend that isn't lost on Chadwick.

"It's been brought our attention that we've won every other year, and this is our year again," he said. "Hopefully that stands true."

mhunter@kamloopsnews.ca

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