April 9, 2014 (ISN) – Vancouver Island Baseball Institute (VIBI) is back on the field in Nanaimo this weekend as Okanagan College visits Serauxmen Stadium for a four-game series.
VIBI enters play this weekend with a 2-4 Canadian College Baseball Conference (CCBC) regular season record after a 2-2 series split with the University of Calgary last weekend. VIBI won both ends of their home opening doubleheader on Saturday in walk-off fashion, before Calgary swept the Sunday doubleheader.
Okanagan College enters the series at 4-7, after going 2-2 against Prairie Baseball Academy and Thompson Rivers University last weekend.
Game time is set for 2:00 PM on Saturday, with a pair of seven-inning games scheduled.
Game time on Sunday is 12:00 PM, with a pair of nine-inning games scheduled.
All games at Serauxmen Stadium in Nanaimo.
WALKOFFS IN CALGARY SPLIT
Connor Merilees (Jr., North Vancouver, BC) and Steve McKinnon (Fresh., Duncan, BC) both played the role of walk-off hero last Saturday, as VIBI took the first two games against the University of Calgary in their last at-bat. Game one was an eleventh inning 4-3 victory, backed by 10 strong innings from starting pitcher Connor Russell. Game two featured a 4-run ninth inning to win 6-5.
Game three of the series saw Calgary take a convincing 9-2 win before they jumped out to a 6-2 lead in game four. The script from games one and two was almost repeated in the final game. Trailing 6-3, VIBI counted 2 runs in their final at-bat, before the rally was cut just short, at 6-5.
SWINGING THE BATS
VIBI carries a .293 team batting average into this weekend, which is second best in the CCBC. Shortstop Cody Pendergast (Sr., Calgary, AB) leads the team with a .409 average, which is third in the CCBC, with a team-leading 6 RBI’s. Infielder Tyson Dyck (Soph., Wymark, SK) is second on the team hitting .389 with a homerun and 3 RBI’s.
On the mound, Connor Russell, who has been strong in his first two starts, has led VIBI thus far. His 10-inning, 2 run, 8-strikeout performance against Calgary, brings his season total to 16 innings, allowing just 9 hits with 14 strikeouts and a 3.37 ERA. Jeremy Harasymchuk (Sr., Edmonton, AB) impressed in his first start of the season against Calgary, throwing a complete game allowing 2 earned runs on 7 hits with 3 strikeouts against just 1 walk.
Okanagan College is hitting .244 as a team, led by Braeden Heyland (Soph., Lethbridge, AB) who is hitting .353 while also leading the team in RBI’s with 9. Garrett Wiese (Jr., Consort, AB) is hitting .333 with a homerun and 5 RBI’s, while Brandon Graham (Soph., Prince George, BC) has 8 RBI’s with a .276 average.
As a team, Okanagan College is 18 for 19 in stolen bases.
Marcus Drewry (Jr., Courtenay, BC) has been their leader on the mound, with a 2-0 record and a 1.92 ERA after 2 starts, covering 14 innings.
VIBI will recognize the five seniors on their roster prior to the first game on Sunday afternoon.
VIBI has battled the elements early this season. In addition to the 16 games remaining on the regular season schedule, the team has 6 makeup games to play due to inclement weather in recent weeks.
For those unable to attend, all VIBI games are carried live on VIBI Webcasts presented by the Canadian Baseball Network. Jonathan Hodgson has play-by-play on the live audio-video webcast beginning 15 minutes before gametime on www.vibaseball.ca/live-webcast.