The Coyotes are now bac from their spring trip which took them down to Las Vegas and Arizona to play some of the top Junior College programs in the country, including #6 College of Southern Nevada. The trip lasted twelve days starting in Las Vegas for four games, then travelling to Arizona for three games and then back to Las Vegas for three more. As usual, the Coyotes are in tough during the trip as it is their first time back on the field since October and are playing teams that have been on the field for over a month.
The Coyotes would get off to a slow start on the trip and the rust would show when they faced off against CSN, losing the first game by a 10-0 score. Their second game of the trip would be against College of Southern Idaho, a team they played well against in the past. CSI would win a high scoring game by a score of 17-9. Game three would see OC again play CSN and the outcome would again go in CSN’s favor, 5-0. The last game of the first leg in Vegas would see CSI come out on top 6-1. Struggles at the plate and on the mound would be the difference in the first four games of the trip.
The Coyotes would jump on a bus and head to Arizona in hopes to learn from their first four games and look to improve their play. The first game would have them go up against Chandler-Gilbert Community College, and OC would finally get a favourable outcome, winning 7-4. The Coyotes would put together a solid game on the mound and on offense to show a glimpse of what they are capable of. The next two game would see the Coyotes play against Ottowa University – Arizona, a new NAIA program. The first game would be a close contest until OUAZ would score six runs in the 7th and five runs in the 8th to win 13-4. The second game would see OUAZ walk off in the 9th inning on an error, the final score would be 5-4.
OC would then return to Las Vegas to play a three game set against CSN and would look to put up more of a fight against the tough Junior College program. Game one would see Sophomore Jesse Poniewozik throw a solid five innings giving up 2 runs and striking out 4. Freshman Nic Taylor would throw 3 innings in relief and would only give up one run. The OC offense would once again be shut out by the CSN pitchers and could only muster four hits. The second games would see OC come out early and take a 2-1 lead after 4 innings. Sophomore pitchers Chris Wyslobocki would battle some command issues early, but would get through 4.1 innings, allowing 2 runs and striking out four. Sophomore Justin Lanigan would take over on the mound and would get out of the inning. He would throw 2 innings, allowing 3 runs before being replaced by freshman Tyler Monks. Monks would only allow one hit in .2 innings of relief. The Coyotes offense had 5 hits including three from Senior Jake Fischer who has a homerun shy of the cycle. The last game of the trip had the Coyotes feeling the fatigue of playing in their 10th game of the week. They would fall behind early and would love the game 8-2.
Standouts from the trip Offensively were Senior Jake Fischer (.391 avg), Freshman Nolan King (.533Avg) and Tyler Monks(.400 avg). On the mound Sophomore Gavin Barrett (1.80 ERA in 5 innings), Freshman Jayden Clayton (1.50 ERA in 6 innings), Freshman Nick Lee (2.70 ERA in 6.2 innings) and Freshman Nic Taylor (2.46 ERA in 7.1 innings) all had great outings.
This trip is always a highlight of the year and is a great starting point for the Coyotes in the spring. It gets the team to understand where they are at, where they are exceeding and most importantly where they can improve heading into the 2019 Canadian College Baseball Conference Season. The team is excited for the product they have on the field and are looking forward to defending their 2018 Championship.