March 20, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – Vancouver Island Baseball Institute is preparing for an exciting weekend, as they host Opening Weekend at Serauxmen Stadium this Saturday and Sunday.
Despite a 4-7 non-conference record, VIBI is fresh off of a pair of non-conference wins against Okanagan College last weekend in Kelowna. Opening Weekend will mark the beginning of the Canadian Collegiate Baseball Conference (CCBC) regular season with Prairie Baseball Academy providing the opposition in a rematch of the 2012 CCBC Championship Game.
The schedule for Opening Weekend is as follows:
Saturday, March 23:
12:00 PM vs. Prairie Baseball Academy
3:00 PM vs. Prairie Baseball Academy
Sunday, March 24:
10 AM vs. Prairie Baseball Academy
12:30 PM vs. Prairie Baseball Academy
Eighth-year VIBI Head Coach, Jordan Blundell (Edmonton, AB) has announced that right-hander Connor Russell will get the ball for the Opening Day start at 12:00 PM on Saturday. A junior at Vancouver Island University, Russell is the ace of the staff in his third year at VIBI, and has been in midseason form already in the non-conference season.
The native of Victoria, BC is 2-1 in 3 starts with a 2.86 ERA. In 22 innings, Russell has allowed just 18 hits and has recorded 24 strike outs against just 6 walks.
Also expected to get the ball in the series are Cody Chartrand (Soph., Nanaimo, BC) and Reiley Grose (Jr., Wymark, SK).
Offensively the team has been led in the early season by center fielder Darren Kolk (Jr., Duncan, BC), who is hitting .293 with 5 RBIs and team-high 7 steals in 11 games. Kolk is also an important part of the bullpen, having recorded 2 saves.
Right fielder Aaron Witzke (Jr., Lethbridge, AB) leads VIBI with his .316 average, adding 5 RBIs. Nanaimo product Cody Andreychuk is expected to be back in the middle of the lineup after missing the Kelowna series last weekend. The sophomore third baseman still leads the team with his 7 RBIs in 7 games.
Admission to all VIBI home games at Serauxmen Stadium is FREE of charge.