The Badgers’ baseball season begins with a challenge: two of their last three seasons have seen them win the national championship. This year, the first to have the sport recognized by the OUA [Ontario University Athletics], they hope to resume the winning tradition. They come off an incredibly challenging season. After two national championships, Brock was looking for a three-peat. However, after making it to the semi-finals, they fell one game short of defending their title.
Their expectations this year are nothing short of a return to the national championship, and a solid offensive core might be just the thing to get them there.
“It will be a great disappointment if we don’t win the OUA,” said Badgers coach Jeff Lounsbury. All-Canadian outfielder Raul Borjas is returning to play this year, along with team captain Matt Stezycki. They will bat third and fourth in the lineup, respectively. Both players are looking to take it to the next level this year, and are hungry for a championship. The Badgers have a deep pitching repertoire featuring the arm of Number one starter Devon Cooper, who is promising to impress this year.
The Badgers strengths lie in their depth on the mound and in their hitting. Borjas is an awesome offensive threat that will provide excellent power, as will Stezycki, while much improved player Chris Coughlin will be a great threat at the plate and will be looking to break some Badger records. Pitchers James Gardner, Daron Walker and Devon Cooper hope to lead the pitching staff this year.
A possible weakness may be up the middle, after the loss of last year’s star shortstop Rod Murray, but the team is confident that this can be overcome with fresh players. MVP Greg Arbour has graduated and will be missed.
Some of this year’s rookies include Dan Boribeau, a catcher who transferred from the University of Iowa, Matt Barrett and Dan Derrealle. Boribeau brings a solid defense and a powerful presence at the plate, while Barrett and Derrealle are both confident and swift middle infielders.