Entering a den of wolves isn’t likely to be a good experience for hitters attending the Senior AA Tier Two provincials this weekend at Lynn Prime Park.
The Estevan Tap House Wolves have repeated their Harbourne Cup title this year and will host the event Aug. 10-12 and have had some solid arms leading the way for them all year.
“We’ve got a good team and the strength of our club versus other teams who play senior ball is our pitching,” said Wolves coach Tom Copeland. “I don’t think you’ll find a team at our level anyways, that has the balance in the pitching staff that our team has.”
Not many teams can go into the Harbourne final having an arm like Jordan Fieber’s ready to go, Copeland said.
“He pitched an excellent game,” Copeland said. “Our top four guys… I’d put them up against any of these AA tier two teams. I think we’re as good as anybody top to bottom.”
During the Saskota Baseball League regular season, the Wolves allowed only 49 runs in 18 games, a whole 31 runs better than the first place Oxbow Chiefs and 29 better than third place Carlyle Cardinals.
“(Oxbow) beat us in the regular season and they’re so offensively gifted,” Copeland said. “One through eight it’s a really excellent lineup.”
Copeland would like to see his team minimize errors as much as possible. They may need to manufacture some of the runs they’ll need to get as well.
“We stole home in the semifinal (and) I don’t know that those opportunities will necessarily exist,” he said. “We’ve got some guys who can really fly at the top of the lineup and when you get to our 2-3-4-5 hitters, you’ve got some guys who can really blast home runs. We kind of count on that to put runs together when we’ve got guys on base.”
Calder Clark’s speed can put a lot of pressure on the defence when the ball is in play, Copeland said, and Kolby Fleury and Dylan LaFrentz can both do the same thing.
The depth in arms through, has affected the way the Wolves approach their pitching staff.
“Most senior teams don’t run the plan like we do with when to bring in relievers and thigns like that,” Copeland said. “We’ve got enough pitching and most of these (teams) are running guys out there hoping he’ll go seven innings. For us, we try to get into the third time through the lineup.”
Copeland doesn’t know a lot about the Lloydminster Border City Blue Jays or the Yorkton Yankees but does have some familiarity with the Kindersley Stallions.
The tournament gets underway at noon Friday with a game between Kindersley and Carlyle. The Wolves get their first game action at 6 p.m. that evening against Border City.
They then play Yorkton at noon Saturday and close off the round robin with a match against Kindersley at 6 p.m. Saturday. If needed, tiebreakers will go at 8 a.m. Sunday with the semifinals at 11 a.m. and the gold medal final would be at 2 p.m. But if a tiebreaker isn’t needed, the semi will take place at 10 a.m. and the final will be at 1 p.m.
The ballparks themselves will be in good condition, as they were last year at this time when the Southeast Performance Pump Twins hosted midget AAA provincials at the same ballparks.
“Some of the guys that are helping them out are putting a lot of work into it,” said Copeland. “Minor baseball and the City of Estevan do a pretty good job of keeping it up…
“Overall it’s not too bad, if they put in a good one or two days work there they can get the lion’s share of it.”