VANCOUVER – The UBC Thunderbirds baseball team will honour its seven graduating seniors before its final home game of the regular season this weekend.
UBC will face the Corban Warriors of Salem, Ore., in a four-game NAIA West Grouping series, with doubleheaders taking place Friday (12 noon) and Saturday (11 a.m.) at Thunderbird Park.
The seven seniors, Bryan Arthur (Abbotsford, B.C.), Jerod Bartnik (Surrey, B.C.), Kevin Biro (Deep Bay, B.C.), Cam Firth (London, Ont.), Alex Graham (North Vancouver, B.C.), Brody Hawkins (Delta, B.C.) and Conor Lillis-White (Toronto) will all be recognized in between games on Saturday.
With eight regular season contests remaining, UBC, with a 15-5 record in NAIA West play, leads Concordia (Ore.) by two games in the race for the league’s postseason hosting rights.
Corban is tied with Menlo for fifth in the NAIA West standings with a mark of 9-11. The Warriors are three games ahead of Oregon Tech for the last playoff spot.
The Thunderbirds won three of four from Menlo last weekend at home. UBC’s pitching was strong once again, giving up just six runs in the entire series. The offence also broke out for six runs in the finale on Sunday afternoon.
Graham, Lills-White, Jeremy Newton (Toronto) and Alex Webb (Surrey, B.C.), the team’s four starting pitchers, all own earned-run averages below 3.00 and have a combined record of 27-8. Curtis Taylor (Port Coquitlam, B.C.) leads the league in saves (nine) and ERA (1.02). He also made a start last weekend, in place of the injured Graham. The team’s overall ERA of 2.89 is nearly a run better than the next closest squad in the NAIA West.
Bruce Yari (Waterloo, Ont.) leads the roster offensively with a .376 batting average, fifth best in the NAIA West, along with 36 runs batted in. Bartnik’s eight home runs have him ranked fourth in the grouping.