Another Okanagan College Coyotes Baseball season is upon us soon. Over the next few weeks leading up to their 10th Canadian College Baseball Conference season, we will be highlighting four areas of the team; Pitchers, Catchers, Infielders and Outfielders.
First up will be the Pitchers.
The 2017 season was a down one for the OC pitching staff. Their biggest fault was allowing too many walks, it would be the first time in 4 years not leading the league in least amount of walks. The staff was also hampered by injuries all season, which took toll down the stretch.
2018 will look to be an immediate rebound year as the core of the pitching staff has returned and also has added some solid freshman arms.
“Last season was a weird one for the pitching staff,” says Pitching Coach Jared Johnson. “We battled through some small injuries that didn’t go away, from forearm tendonitis, some shoulder discomfort, even ribs popping in and out. Not big things but enough that we struggled to keep guys consistently on the mound. Our relief pitchers had to log a lot of innings which isn’t what you always want. This year though will be different as everyone is healthy and ready for a bounce back year. We believe we have the deepest staff in the league and no matter who we put out there, they will be successful if they attack hitters and throw multiple pitches for strikes.”
Leading the staff will be 5th year seniors Cole Parussini (RHP, Vancouver, BC) and Brandon Becking (RHP, Coquitlam, BC), and 4th year seniors Zac Yandeau (RHP, Plumas, MB) and Trevor Brigden (RHP, Toronto, ON).
Parussini (below) has been a main stay in the Coyotes Starting Rotation over the last three season, accumulating a record of 10 wins and 7 losses, a 3.61 ERA and 129 strikeouts in 142.1 innings. In his last season, he will be looked upon to lead the Coyotes by example and continue his solid college career.
Becking (below) battled through injuries last season and will look to be back helping the pitching staff in any way he can. Since 2014, Becking has been both a Starter and Reliever throwing a total of 111.1 innings, a 4.13 ERA and has struck out 66 batters. His overall record stands at 8 wins, 8 Loses.
Yandeau (below) began his career in the bullpen but has been a starter for the past 2 seasons. His overall record is 3 wins and 4 loses, and has a 4.19 ERA, in 90.1 innings and has struck out 86. Yandeau sports a mid-80’s Sinking Fastball which gives hitters fits.
Brigden was the Coyotes Closing Pitcher last season and was dominant all year. He will look to continue his dominance as he has sported a 91mph Fastball during the winter training. Last season he threw 17.2 innings in relief, had 4 wins as a closer, struck out 30 batters and finished with an impressive 0.50 ERA.
Also returning to the staff from last year’s starting rotation are sophomore’s Aiden Mordecai (RHP, Cloverdale, BC) and Noah Wood-Jolivet (RHP, Toronto, ON). Both Mordecai and Wood-Jolivet had solid freshman seasons and will continue to improve going into their sophomore seasons.
Rounding out the returners are Senior Bo Meiklejohn (LHP, Edmonton, AB), Juniors Wyatt Hummel (RHP, West Kelowna, BC) and Sam Stelnick (RHP, Toronto, ON), Sophomore Darren Reay (LHP, Edmonton, AB) and RS Freshman Jesse Poniewozik (RHP, Edmonton, AB). They will all be looked upon to contribute to the pitching staffs success.
The new faces to the Coyotes pitching staff are freshmen Chris Wyslobocki (RHP, Toronto, ON), Nick Lee (RHP, Victoria, BC), Brett Reid (RHP, Exeter, ON), Justin Lanigan (RHP, Cloverdale, BC), Alex Dawson (RHP, Richmond, BC), Dustin Unruh (RHP, Buick, BC), Dylan Koenig (RHP, Medicine Hat, AB), Gavin Barrett (RHP, Kelowna, BC) and Connor Leavitt (RHP, Airdrie, AB)
The OC Staff is deep this year with a good mix of returners and freshmen. All pitchers are still battling for spots in the starting rotation and the relief core.