Kamloops, BC—The demise of the baseball program at the University of Winnipeg has resulted in two new recruits for the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack baseball team.
Head coach Ray Chadwick has announced that catcher Jackson Dartnell (East St. Paul, MB) and infielder Zac Comeault (Pitt Meadows, BC) have transferred to Thompson Rivers and will join his program effecting September 1st.
Both players were in their second year with the University of Winnipeg Wesmen: who ceased operations in the N.A.I.A. (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) a few months ago.
Dartnell is a 6’3” graduate of River East Collegiate. He will be continuing his studies towards a Bachelor of Commerce degree majoring in marketing. “I am beyond excited to join the TRU team and program,” he says. “I am very impressed by the campus.
Dartnell also plays outfield and is playing junior baseball with the Elmwood Giants a “I am a team guy with lots of energy on the bench. I am loud and hard working.”
He adds: “Playing in the N.A.I.A., I got a lot of experience which should help me adjust to playing in the Canadian Collegiate Baseball Conference (where TRU plays).”
Dartnell started four of the 11 games he played in with the Wesmen in 2016-17. He had 22 at bats, scoring five times, had seven hits, one double, one home run four runs batted in and hit .500
Ed Kulyk is the head coach of the Elmwood Giants and coached Dartnell since age 12. “ Jackson has developed from a pitcher in his early years to an outstanding outfielder, catcher and third baseman. His strengths are that of being a great team player first, a strong arm in the outfield and going to the plate with a plan in place. He will help his team do what it takes to win and he will succeed no matter what you ask him to do.”
Comeault is a shortstop and is a product of the Coquitlam Reds program where he played with current WolfPack player Joe Siniscalchi. He is currently playing summer baseball with the Ridge Meadows Royals where his teammates are current TRU players: Nic Peters and Kyron Smith.
“I’m looking forward to a new opportunity to play for a championship.” He states. He too, is enrolled in the Thompson Rivers Bachelor of Business Administration program and is majoring in commerce.
Comeault played in 40 games with Winnipeg last year, starting in 18. He had 129 at bats, 24 runs scored, seven doubles, two triples and three home runs. He had an average of .380.
Comeault believes his quickness and range defensively are his main strengths.
Says Coach Ray Chadwick about his new recruits: “Zac Comeault will probably be our shortstop for the next 3 years as he has great hands and range up the middle. He hit over .300 this past year in Winnipeg so I’m sure he’ll hit for us as well. Jackson Dartnell will definitely help us behind the plate defensively and will compete and push our catchers for playing time.”
Other declared recruits for the WolfPack—who will host the 2018 Canadian Collegiate Baseball Conference championship tournament at Norbrock Stadium in May—are: Eric Turner (6’3”, pitcher/outfield/infield, Grande Prairie, AB-Grande Prairie Regional High School/Northwest “AAA” Northern Lights), and Matt Pidlisecky (5’10”, infielder/, Abbotsford, BC-Mennonite Educational Institute/Abbotsford Senior Cardinals (BCPBL)).
STOLEN BASES: Kulyk has this anecdote about Dartnell: “ Back in Bantam “AAA”, Jackson pitched a complete game two hitter with a sore arm (that I found out about a year later). Then I knew he was a gamer. Jackson Dartnell is a special student/athlete and even a better person. I ‘m proud to have had the pleasure to coach him.
He adds: “ A quote from Jackson this past spring: “Coach, whatever you want me to do or wherever you want me to play, I’m in.”