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This article was published 20/7/2017 (1433 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Manitoba’s baseball team will have its final tuneup before the Canada Summer Games next Wednesday in Hamiota.
The Manitoba team, which includes Westman players Jared Bridges and Reece Wilson of Brandon, Jared McCorrister of Boissevain, John Patmore of Pipestone, Lyndon Zimmer of Inglis and Noah Geekie of Strathclair on its 20-man roster, will face Saskatchewan at 6 p.m.
Admission is $5.
Manitoba head coach Faron Asham said it should be a good game.
"You’re going to see a Manitoba team that we are very confident in what we can put on the field but you’re also going to see a team from Saskatchewan that won the Canada Cup last year and they’ve got six or seven returning players," Asham said. "We know that they’re a loaded team. Obviously it’s a game that everybody’s going to appear in so if there are some local favourites out there they are going to get some game action.
"It’s a chance to literally see the players of the future for Manitoba and Saskatchewan."
Hamiota Minor Baseball will be operating the concession and there will be a 50-50 draw as well.
Nicole Madsen, who is helping organize the game, said there is some excitement in the region.
"The communities that have players representing those areas have been asking about it and everyone seems to know," she said. "I think with some local kids on the team it should be a big draw."
In addition, game sponsor Woodworth Dodge will have a truck on hand to collect used sports equipment for KidSport.
Saskatchewan captured its national title in Fort McMurray, Alta., last September.
Manitoba played a number of exhibition games against junior and senior teams this summer before heading on a trip through North Dakota and Minnesota last week.
They participated in the 96-team Gopher Classic in Minneapolis, the largest Legion tournament of players aged 16 to 19 in the United States, posting a 3-2 record.
"We had some practice time and accompanied that with some competition time with some real live fire," Asham said of the trip. "We were happy with the performance but not satisfied."
Asham has said ever since the team was unveiled in May that it lacked a single game-changing player but instead has a remarkable group of skilled but unselfish players willing to embrace any role as needed.
"We can roll out nine different guys in nine different positions it seems and still be very effective," Asham said. "It really helps with our pitching staff where we’re not relying on one guy to go a complete game shutout and strike out 12 and win 1-0. We have three or four guys who can come in, do their jobs, throw some strikes, put up some zeroes and the bats can come to play. Just having those interchangeable parts to make some in-game decisions, we always thought we could do it and now we’ve put it into play."
Asham thinks that staging the Canada Summer Games in Manitoba will help his team, in part because every player has played every field where the games will be held. But it’s more than just familiarity.
"We’re the home province," the Brandonite said. "We’re going to hear the roar of that crowd when we walk out for opening ceremonies and hopefully it carries through. Not that they need any extra motivation — I’m not saying that in any way — but the fact that it is there and we can build on that adrenalin, it’s a long week and a long process and every little advantage that we can take home with us is something that we’re going to try to take advantage of."
Asham said one of their games will be nationally televised.
With the event just over a week away, the team takes the weekend off to allow its players to participate in the 18-and-under AAA provincials with their home clubs.
They reconvene in Brandon on Tuesday to practise in the afternoon and meet in the evening, practise again on Wednesday morning and then play in Hamiota in the evening, sleep in Brandon that night and then bus into Winnipeg on Thursday to check into the athlete’s village, with another practise that evening.
They open the Canada Games tournament against Nova Scotia at Elmwood Giants Field on Saturday.
It’s the culmination of what’s been a three-year process in identifying and developing the top players born in 2000 or later. All but Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia are also allowed two players born in 1999.
"It’s mixed emotions," Asham said. "I’m anxious, I’m excited, I’m worried, I’m ready to go, all those things. It’s all come together. It’s been a real exhaustive process but we’re very happy as a staff to have made those final decisions, many, many of them very tough, but we’re satisfied with the group we’ve put together and we’re very optimistic that this is a club that can sneak up on some people but also come in the front door and say ‘Look, here we are.’ We can swing the bat a little bit, we have pretty good pitching and defence so if all three of those components come together, we might be able to surprise some people."
» Twitter: @PerryBergson
Saturday, July 29
7 p.m. — vs. Nova Scotia — Elmwood Giants Field
Sunday, July 30
1 p.m. — vs. Newfoundland and Labrador — Whittier Park
7 p.m. — vs. Team New Brunswick — Whittier Park
Monday, July 31
7 p.m. — vs. Prince Edward Island — Shaw Park
Tuesday, Aug. 1
4 p.m. — vs. Ontario — Elmwood Giants Field
Wednesday, Aug. 3
4 p.m. — Tie-breaker game — Elmwood Giants Field
Thursday, Aug. 4
10 a.m. — Quarter-final game — Elmwood Giants Field
Thursday, Aug. 4
4 p.m. — Semifinal 1 — Shaw Park
7 p.m. — Semifinal 2 — Shaw Park
Friday, Aug. 5
3 p.m. — Bronze-medal game — Shaw Park
7 p.m. — Gold-medal game — Shaw Park
Thursday, Aug. 4
11 a.m. —Consolation semifinal 1 — Whittier Park
1 p.m. — Consolation semifinal 2 — Elmwood Giants Field
Friday, Aug. 5
11 a.m. —Consolation final — Whittier Park
Alberta, British Columbia, Quebec, Saskatchewan.
Manitoba, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador.
2. Jared Bridges, Brandon
4. Lyndon Zimmer, Inglis
5. Martin Gisiger, Winnipeg
6. Owen Harms, Winnipeg
7. Zach Giesbrecht, Landmark
8. Cole Pike, La Salle
9. Jared McCorrister, Boissevain
10. Tanner Boyle, Portage
11. Jordan Lussier, Winnipeg
12. Noah Geekie, Strathclair
13. Jordan Peck, Winnipeg
14. Cameron Thickson, Winnipeg
16. Kyle Dyck, Winkler
17. Yanykk Nadeau, La Broquerie
18. Tristan Peters, Winkler
19. John Patmore, Pipestone
21. Darnell Wyke, East St Paul
22. Reece Wilson, Brandon
24. Ethan Walpole, Winnipeg
27. Noah Funk, Winnipeg
Head Coach: Faron Asham, Brandon
Assistant: Blair Tweet, Russell
Assistant: Glen Hunter, Winnipeg
Assistant: Ryan Borody, Portage
Manager: Aaron Tycoles, Rivers
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition July 20, 2017