The Okanagan College Baseball team is out for revenge this spring. After a heartbreaking series loss in the 2019 CCBC championships at the hands of University of Fraser Valley Cascades. The team looks to improve after a strong 2019 campaign, which saw broken records in strikeouts (268), wins (21), and stolen bases (96).
Chris Wyslobocki (RHP, Jr, Etobicoke, ON) and Wyatt Hummel (RHP, Sr, West Kelowna, BC), are both poised to lead the charge at the front of the 2020 Okanagan College rotation. Wylsobocki is coming off a solid 2019 campaign. He posted a 1.84 Earned Run Average, racking up 41 strikeouts in 34.1 innings, propelling him to a First Team All-Conference award. Hummel had a strong 2019 season as well, setting a new program record for Earned Run Average (0.87) along with 22 strikeouts in 20.2 innings pitched.
Jared Johnson, Pitching coach for Okanagan College’s baseball team, stated, “Our pitching staff will again have a lot of depth. We lost only a couple arms from last year’s team which led the CCBC in ERA, strikeouts, and shutouts.” He continued on point out the depth of the pitching staff, “This depth will allow us to be competitive in every inning we play. We have guys that can strikeout a lot of batters, which leads to good outcomes. When you have 8-10 guys that could start in any program in the league, it is usually a good problem to have.”
Geoff White, Head coach, said, “Our pitching staff is a big part to our success and this year’s group is very talented.” White adds, “If we can stay healthy, we will be very tough over a weekend.”
Overall, the pitching staff is deep with talent with multiple impact arms available to step up for key innings out of the bullpen.
The outfield for 2020 will see Trevor Mlait (OF, Jr, West Kelowna, BC) captain the outfield in 2020. Mlait looks to build off a steady campaign in which he boasted a .328 batting average and stole 11 bases in 2019. Other outfielders competing for roles are Nolan King (OF/1B, So, Regina, SK), Ethan Loran (OF/1B, So, Oyen, AB), Chace Davidson (OF, Jr, Saskatoon, SK) and Damian Obrigewich (OF/1B, Jr, Edmonton, AB). When Mlait was asked how he hopes the team builds off last years success, he emphasized, “We have a great group of guys to build off from last year and a ton of new talent ready to contribute…” He concludes his statement looking on towards the season, “…It will be great to see [the hard work] pay off once we hit the field.”
White states, “The outfield will have some new faces, with the graduation of Davis Todosichuk and Jeremy Buckley, and it will be competitive throughout the first 12-16 games of the season to see who will perform and take a starting spot. There will be several players competing during our spring trip and it will be interesting who can separate themselves.”
With multiple spots in the outfield all but taken, outfielders will be looking to impress as the season gets rolling.
The infield will be led by Brendan Luther (INF, So, Mississauga, ON), Mike Duwyn (INF, So, Delhi, ON), Elias Erdman (1B, Jr, Quesnel, BC), Hayden Misfeldt (1B, So, Corvallis, OR). Luther had an impressive freshman year, posting a .358 batting average while making it into 24 of the possible 28 games throughout the 2019 CCBC season. Duywn will look to secure second base, with his smooth hands and great range in the field he will be difficult to compete against for the role. First basemen, Erdman and Misfeldt look to compete while splitting time at first-base to start the season, as well as look to improve on their numbers from a season ago.
Jake Fischer (C/1B, Sr, Lacombe, AB), will resume catching duties for Okanagan College. Fischer, a leader on the field and in the clubhouse, posted an impressive .368 batting average (3rd in CCBC), driving in 32 runs (1st in CCBC), and launching four home runs (4th in CCBC). When asked how he feels going into the season he said, “I am feeling very confident going into this season. I have been working hard on all aspects of my game this offseason, and feel that I am going to be playing better than ever this spring.” Behind Fischer; Daniel Baydek (C, So, Calgary, AB), and Steven Butler (C, So, Coquitlam, BC) battle it out for the number two duties behind the plate. Baydek posted a .262 batting average through seven games played in 2019. Butler has yet to make it into a conference game.
White accentuates the excitement the coaching staff has for this upcoming season, “Overall as a coaching staff we are excited for this upcoming season.” He adds, “We have high expectations for this group and I know the players have high expectations. We are really looking forward to getting going on the 14th of February and see what we can do.”
Overall, the 2020 Okanagan College Coyotes have an abundance of depth and are dedicated to competing for the 2020 CCBC championship.
February 12 the Okanagan College baseball team heads down south on their annual Vegas/Arizona trip where they will play Central Southern Nevada College (NJCAA), Central Arizona College (NJCAA), Ottawa University (NAIA). The Coyotes look to compete in preparation for their 2020 CCBC season.