by Jonathan Hodgson
March 26, 2014 (ISN) – Vancouver Island Baseball Institute (VIBI) is excited to announce plans for Opening Weekend 2014 at Serauxmen Stadium.
Opening Weekend takes place Saturday, March 29th, and Sunday, March 30th at Serauxmen Stadium in Nanaimo, with VIBI playing Thompson Rivers University in a 4-game series. Opening Day on March 29th will be followed by NMBA Minor Baseball Day on March 30th.
Saturday, March 29th is VIBI Opening Day, with first pitch being thrown at 1:00 PM. VIBI is excited to give fans their first look at the 2014 team, as well as showcase an enhanced game day presentation, which will greatly increase the game day experience for all fans in attendance.
VIBI will recognize two of its prominent alumni prior to game time, as Adam Paulencu and Cody Phipps will be in attendance to throw out the ceremonial first.
A native of Edmonton, Alberta, Adam Paulencu was a dominant right-handed pitcher for VIBI from 2009 to 2011. A three-year career at VIBI saw Paulencu start a team record 23 games, winning 12, which is second in team history. He posted a 2.42 ERA over his 153 innings pitched, which is third in VIBI history, and recorded 158 strikeouts, a team record.
Following his 2011 season, Paulencu became a 13th round draft pick of the San Francisco Giants. He was again drafted in 2012 by the Colorado Rockies after electing to play at Embry Riddle University in Florida in the spring of 2012.
A native of Round Hill, Alberta, Cody Phipps had one of the great offensive careers in VIBI history. The former Houston Astros draft selection played for VIBI from 2009 to 2012, and is the all-time VIBI leader in six offensive categories including: at-bats, hits, RBI’s, runs scored, walks, and total bases.
Both Paulencu and Phipps were members of the 2010 VIBI team that won the team’s first Canadian College Baseball Conference championship.
Opening Weekend continues at 11:00 AM on Sunday, March 30th as VIBI and Thompson Rivers conclude their 4-game series on NMBA Minor Baseball Day. VIBI is proud to partner with the Nanaimo Minor Baseball Association for this day which will see all NMBA players invited to the game, to get a look at baseball ‘at the next level’.
NMBA President Scott Leaf will be in attendance and will throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the first game of the 11:00 AM doubleheader.
Following the second game of the doubleheader, NMBA players will be invited onto the field to meet the VIBI players. The VIBI coaching staff, Head Coach Jordan Blundell, and Assistant Coach Nick Salahub will also address the youth players at that time.
The creation of NMBA Day continues a partnership between VIBI and NMBA that has seen the team host baseball camps for youth players in Nanaimo each year.
VIBI continues its tradition this season, of accepting non-perishable food donations at the gate, in support of the Nanaimo Community Food Bank. Donations will be accepted at every VIBI home game.
VIBI Assistant Coach and Recruiting Coordinator, Nick Salahub comments on the anticipation of Opening Weekend the partnership formed with NMBA,
“It is great to see VIBI and NMBA working together to make baseball something special in Nanaimo. Between the two organizations, there is competitive baseball for ages 5 and up with the various divisions of NMBA and the VIBI college program. Throughout the numerous camps VIBI has hosted this year, the kids have gotten to know some of the college players so it will be good for them to see those guys having success putting their teaching into action.”
“Its also exciting to get the opportunity to kick off our 2014 charity initiatives including our continued partnership with the Nanaimo Community Food Bank. We look forward to releasing details of further outreach partnerships in the near future. We encourage all fans to come out and help us support these various organizations, as well as watch the best college baseball on the Island.”
Jonathan Hodgson, the Communications Director of VIBI speaks on the Opening Weekend plans,
“I could not be more excited about what we have planned at Serauxmen Stadium this season. We feel we have stepped up our game with the game day presentation at the ballpark creating an environment fans will want to be a part of. We would like to thank NMBA for partnering with us on what we believe will be a fantastic experience for NMBA players, as we work together to grow the game of baseball in Nanaimo.”
“Further, we are very pleased to be in partnership in community outreach projects like continuing our food drive in support of Nanaimo Community Food Bank. I look forward to releasing further partnerships with more great organizations in the very near future.”
VIBI is thrilled to throw the first pitch on the 2014 baseball season in Nanaimo, and are honored to be able to do it in partnership with the Nanaimo Minor Baseball Association, and two of our great alumni.
VIBI is extremely excited to showcase our product to Nanaimo and all of Vancouver Island this season and events such as these will greatly enhance the experience of VIBI baseball for fans and players alike.
Admission to VIBI home games is just $2.