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Rain shortens Day 2 of Goldeyes camp

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The Winnipeg Goldeyes baseball team got in only about an hour of work Sunday in Day 2 of training camp as heavy rain forced the players off the field and sodden conditions kept them off.

The 24 players on the roster were joined Sunday by two non-roster invitees.

In addition to right-handed pitcher Dustin Northcott of Rocky Mountain House, Alta., who also worked out with the Goldeyes on Saturday, manager Rick Forney added left-handed pitcher Anthony Friesen of Somerset, Man.

Friesen, who played the past two seasons at Minot State University, is a former member of the Manitoba Junior Baseball League’s Pembina Valley Orioles. In 2010, Friesen set a single-season strikeout record in the MJBL of 116 strikeouts in 66 innings, breaking the 30-year-old record of 115 set by Carey Candy of the Elmwood Giants.

Friesen was named the MVP and top pitcher at the 2010 Canadian National Junior Championship, where he helped Manitoba win the national title.

Goldeyes manager Rick Forney said history has shown giving certain Canadian players a look is worth it.

"You look at Max (Poulin) and what he turned his tryout camp opportunity into and what Donnie Smith turned himself into," Forney said. "When the Northern League (folded after 2010) started, it was the original independent baseball; that’s what it was all about -- giving guys opportunities to play professional baseball and you never know where it ends up."

Smith (1998-2006), a Winnipeg native and pitcher who holds the Goldeyes record for most career appearances with 206, and Poulin (2001-2008), a Quebec native who is the best shortstop in team history, were both walk-ons whose numbers were retired by the Goldeyes.

At Shaw Park, the Winnipeg Goldeyes will host the St. Paul Saints Monday and Tuesday at 7 p.m. and the University of Winnipeg Wesmen on Friday at 6 p.m., where fans can expect to see plenty of the Goldeyes’ young players take the field.

ashley.prest@freepress.mb.ca

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