Preview of the 2016-17 season
The 2016-17 edition of the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack baseball team could be the deepest ever.
“We have depth at all positions for the first time that I can remember,” says Thompson Rivers assistant coach Alex Reid, who is a former player. “We have players so deep at every position that we could put out multiple different line ups.”
The WolfPack have a number of players returning who were Canadian Collegiate Baseball Confrence all-stars in 2016. Tyler Hodder (2nd year, pitcher, Fort McMurray, AB) had the best earned run average and was unbeaten in his rookie campaign.
He is back to lead the pitching staff along with American import Josh Snider (Moses Lake, WA). Returnee Dillon Ferguson (Kirkland, WA) and rookie Scott Wood (Stratford, ON) will likely be the other two starters in the rotation.
Other CCBC all-stars that are back this year are infielder Blayne Halland (Kamloops, BC), Ethan Mohan (Calgary, AB) and Isiah McDonald (Grand Forks, BC).
Veterans who are expected to see bigger roles this year include Josh Iannetti (Fort McMurray, BC) who will battle for the starting catcher’s position. Malcolm Upton (Maple Ridge, BC) and Jordy Cunningham (Delta, BC) are likely to see more time on the field this year.
Head coach Ray Chadwick did a lot of recruiting and have brought in players from three of the four western provinces to provide some of the aforementioned depth. Players to watch for include Winnipeg, Manitoba natives Adam Filmon and Aaron Lemoine, Austin Dundas of Regina, Saskatchewan, Alberta’s Nick Bolt of Brooks and Vance Fode of Bow Island. BC rookies include catcher Connor MacKenzie (Kamloops, BC) Joe Siniscalchi (Coquitlam, BC) and Nick Peters (Tswwassen, BC).
Two other highly touted rookies are Yutaro Takasaki (Aichi, Japan) and Malik James (Whitby, ON).
The Canadian Collegiate Baseball Conference officially added a team for this season. The University of Fraser Valley Cascades have joined the fold. The University of Alberta has a team this year and will be playing exhibition games against the WolfPack.