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ISN Pre-Season Baseball Preview Part III

Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)

Welcome to Island Sports News’ third installment in our 2012 Baseball Preview, this time featuring a pre-season review of the Victoria Mariners Junior Premier squad.

Despite a pair of tough one-run losses in their opening weekend of play, the Victoria Mariners Junior Premier baseball team could be a force to recon with in the BC Junior Premier Baseball League this season.

The Junior Mariners bring a good mix of experience and athleticism into the 2012-2013 season. With 5 returning players and 13 new faces, the Junior Mariners embark on the season with high expectations of contending for the Provincial Championship, with the primary focus being on developing players for the next level.

Behind the plate, the Mariners will count on returning starter Brandon Ashford to anchor the pitching staff and produce in the middle of the line up. Athletic newcomer Evan Badry will also be counted on to log innings behind the plate and produce with the bat.

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Returnee Brandon Ashford (left) and newcomer Evan Badry (right, playing in 2011 for the Bantam AAA Eagles) should see the bulk of the duty behind the plate for the 2012 Junior Mariners (Photos by Christian J. Stewart – ISN).

On the mound the Mariners will be led by returning pitchers Dan Phillips and Tyler Deman, as well as second year Junior Premier player Dallas Patterson. All three will be looked at to anchor the starting rotation and throw a lot of innings over the course of the season. Newcomers Nick Dawson, Noah Brasset, Kieran Russell, Jacob Barnard, Quinn Shelby, and Mitch Bryan will also see a lot of time on the mound in key situations.

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Veteran Dan Phillips (left) and second year player Dallas Patterson (right) will log key innings for the Mariners in 2012 (Photos by Christian J. Stewart – ISN).

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Mariner rookie Kieran Russell will give the Junior squad a left-handed option on the mound (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN).

Around the infield the Junior Mariners will be led by returning veterans Lucas Piechnik and Chris Fougner who will anchor the left side of the infield while being expected to get on base and spark the offense. Tanner Hess and Dakota St. Laurent will see time at the corner spots and be counted on to drive in runs in the middle of the lineup but will also be valuable assets to the pitching staff as well. Zack Downey, along with Grade 9, Michael Varley will be counted upon heavily with their versatility to play the infield as well as being a major cog in the Mariners offense. Both players will also see time on the mound.

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Chris Fougner (left) and Lucas Piechnik (right) will anchor the left side of the infield for the Junior Mariners in 2012 (Photos by Christian J. Stewart – ISN).

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Michael Varley (left) and Tanner Hess (right) are two additional weapons the Mariners can use in key infield spots in 2012 (Photos by Christian J. Stewart – ISN).

In the outfield the Junior Mariners will have an abundance of speed with Grade 9 Jesse Mycock, along with Mitch Bryan and Nick Dawson who all have the ability to play centerfield and get on base.

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Jesse Mycock (left) and Mitch Bryan (right) provide the Junior Mariners with outfield speed as well as speed on the bases (Photos by Christian J. Stewart – ISN).

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Nick Dawson (left) will see time in the outfield and on the mound, while Dakota St. Laurent (right) will anchor first and provide power in the line-up (Photos by Christian J. Stewart – ISN).

The Jr. Mariners 44 league game schedule kicked off April 14th versus the Vancouver Cannons at Queens Park in New Westminster and they will open at home against White Rock on Sunday April 29th. They will also participate in a ‘Triple Play Tournament’ in Seattle, WA on the Memorial Day Long weekend along with the ‘Independence Day Tournament’ in Bellingham, WA on July 4th.