June 13th, 2024

PBA junior varsity and Longhorns clash in intersquad games

By Lethbridge Herald on April 22, 2022.

Herald photo by Justin Seward Lethbridge Longhorns’ Karsen Haney hustles to catch the baseball in an intersquad game against the PBA Dawgs junior varsity team at Lloyd Nolan Yard on Friday

By Justin Seward

Lethbridge Herald

The Prairie Baseball Academy Dawgs junior varsity team and the Lethbridge Longhorns squared off in three intersquad games from Thursday to Saturday this week at Lloyd Nolan Yard.

Both teams played nine inning games split into three inning sets to see who would win the mini-games. PBA is a college-aged team and the Longhorns are a high school level.

“We just weren’t going full scoreboard,” said Dawgs head coach Andrew Doyle.

“We just wanted to keep it competitive for every inning of the game.”

Doyle thought on Friday his pitchers threw well and had some batters swing well.

The junior varsity Dawgs will normally hold intersquad games with teams in close proximity to them such as the Longhorns and when out-of-town teams come to Lethbridge, a full nine or seven inning game commences.

“It’s good,” said Doyle.

“You know with the large age difference between the two teams , it keeps it competitive. So, obviously we don’t want the score running up and then have guys lose interest in the game and what not. I think having the three innings keeps it competitive and it’s good and you have mini battles every third game.”

Doyle thinks it’s good to have the Longhorns in town as a high school baseball academy.

“Well, prior to this we didn’t have anything forhigh school ball in the fall and in the spring, it was just in the summer,” said Doyle.

“So I think it’s a good opportunity for these kids and hopefully it opens up what we can do for them in terms of where they can play baseball at school —  whether it’s here or somewhere else. But they have that option to come here and I think it just creates a nice system from the time kids come out of junior high.  They have somewhere to go from high school right through college.”

Doyle said a couple of teams they’ve had a tough time winning against, but for the most part the boys are getting along really well

“From day one until now, there’s been a lot of improvement,” he said.

“I think we’re in good shape heading into the JV tournament.”

PBA’s whole theme for the year was getting reps and developing more.

“Just to see the game speed up for the guys, it’s really good to see,” said Chance Wheatley, Longhorns coach.

“This is the level that all these players strive to get to. And with most of our guys being Grade 10, to see it early, it’s nothing but a good thing.”

Wheatley was  happy with the team’s compete level against PBA.

“We played some pretty sound games defensively and for the most part we’ve thrown strikes,” he said.

While the wins haven’t been strung together for the Longhorns, Wheatley thinks the first spring season has been OK.

“Just to see our level of play, it’s definitely from where we started to now, we’ve seen steady improvement in every area,” he said.

Both teams will wrap up the season with the PBA Showcase tournament next weekend.

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