The verdict is in, after a 6-4 victory over University of Fraser Valley’s Cascades Monday (May 6), the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack has secured the number one seed heading into finals. The WolfPack, at their home field Norbrock Stadium this upcoming weekend (May 9th-12th), will host the Canadian College Baseball Conference Nationals.
Finishing the season 21-7 the WolfPack record was tied with the Okanagan College Coyotes. Seeding came down to runs for and against in direct match-ups with one another, allowing the ‘Pack to hold the first place position and first-round bye. The WolfPack hasn’t won nationals, which are in essence conference finals as all 7 teams in the league will be in attendance, since 2009. The team is hoping to end the dry spell this weekend.
Coach Ray Chadwick says “we’ve played the best defense we’ve played since we won in 2009, so hopefully that’s a sign of things to come.” Coming into the tournament Chadwick attests most of his team’s success to two main factors, the teams pitching and strong defensive presence. “Those are the two things that I think have lead to most of our success; pitching [Tyler] Hodder, [Tyler] Moskalyk, and [Bryant] Jameus and, [Joseph] Siniscalchi behind them, our starting pitching has been great and our defense behind those guys when they’re out there. And because of the success of our pitching the defense is a lot better because they’re ready to play and make plays behind those guys. So again we’ve been really good pitching and defensively.”
Moskalyk, who was named a CCBC all-star last year, is on track to repeat being named to the all-star team this season as well. Leading the league in wins (7), and strikeouts (80), and sitting at second in the league for ERA (1.68), Moskalyk has approached this season with a different mindset than those he has previously played. “I’ve done it this year where I’ve tried to appreciate every moment. We might have a 12-hour road trip to Lethbridge, I now appreciate those things as opposed to dreading them. I don’t really know how I’m going to feel once I step off the mound and it’s the last time, but I’m just going to try to go into the tournament and just appreciate every single pitch, every moment because I’m not going to be able to do that again.”
Games will run Thursday, May 9th-Sunday, May 12th. Games begin at 10 am with the #4 Prairie Baseball Academy Dawgs facing off against the #5 seed Edmonton Collegiate team (game 1). The games continue into the afternoon with the #3 UFV Cascades vs. #6 the University of Calgary Dinos (game 2, which will be played at Canada Games Field and webcast is unavailable). #2 seed OC Coyotes will also play the #7 Vancouver Island University Mariners at 1 pm (game 3, played at Norbrock. Winners of the 1 pm games will meet to play at 4 pm (game 4). At 7 pm TRU WolfPack will play in front of their home crowd against the winner of game 1.