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Wesmen having a ball despite ups and downs
There has been a lot to like about the University of Winnipeg’s first foray into the world of collegiate baseball — and a lot to improve upon.
The Wesmen were 8-15 (with one final game to play this week against Northland Community College) in exhibition games against American schools from the NAIA and NJCAA in a season of ups and downs.
The university hopes to affiliate itself with one of those circuits within a couple years.
The Wesmen opened with only one win in their first 11 games, but then won seven of their next eight before hitting a four-game losing skid.
"I’d say not bad," was how shortstop Wes Pomeransky summed up the year. "Our record doesn’t show much, but we grew a lot as a team. We hit the ground running, and showed we’re a pretty solid program."
That last statement was the key for the Wesmen this year: to prove to elite players in the city, province and beyond that playing at the U of W is a viable option after high school.
Pomeransky, a North End resident who played junior baseball for the Elmwood Giants, said he had no regrets about his decision to play for the Wesmen.
The shortstop and his teammates were expecting the competition to be much tougher than what they faced in junior baseball, and that’s exactly what they ran up against.
"We knew that a lot of these American schools could hit," Pomeransky said. "Some junior teams have two or three weak spots in the lineup — they’re only good one through seven — but here there’s not as many holes. They’re tough one to nine. And the pitchers too, there’s a big difference. You face top arms every day."
If the Wesmen improve their plate discipline, getting ahead in counts instead of swinging at bad pitches early, Pomeransky thinks next season could end with a much better record.
This season won’t officially end, however, until the Wesmen play one last game against a team that isn’t affiliated with a post-secondary institution. The Winnipeg Goldeyes will face the Wesmen on Friday at 6 p.m. at Shaw Park, in what promises to be a neat experience for the young students.
"It should be fun," Pomeransky said. "It’ll be nice to talk to guys with pro experience. It’s going to be good just to be around them and try to learn some things."
Coach Mike Krykewich said he was "very excited" when the game was scheduled, and looking forward to seeing his players on the same field as the independent-league professional team.
"It should be cool," Pomeransky added. "You don’t hear about many teams doing that. It should be a good time for the guys."
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(1 of 13 articles for this week)03/7/2014 8:27 AM 0
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