April 22nd, 2024

PBA looks to depth in new CCBC season


By Lethbridge Herald on March 29, 2024.

Herald Photo by Justin Seward PBA's Mark Brisson takes batting practice on Wednesday at Lloyd Nolan Yard.

By Justin Seward

Lethbridge Herald

The Prairie Baseball Academy Dawgs start a new Canadian College Baseball Conference season today with a lot of confidence in a deep roster that hopefully  willlead them to success in the next few months.

“I think the pitching end of it, we’re very deep this year and I think that’s going to, when it’s all said and done, help us win a championship at the end of the year,” said Todd Hubka, PBA head coach.

“Offensively too, I think we’re a really good team. We’re athletic, we can move and we can pitch.”

PBA will look the likes of Zaden Wake, Koby Smith, Aldo Rojas, Kai Ryden and Kendall Burns for leadership this season.

“With those guys, they’ve been there, done that and they’ve shown this year that they’re willing to be the leaders and move forward,” said Hubka.

A focus in PBA’s off seasons has been building strength.

“I think we did a really good job in the weight room this year and conditioning,” said Hubka.

“We’re a physical group and that’s hats off to coach Mac (Ryan MacDonald) and the weight program that he runs these kids through.”

Hubka said getting healthy when asked about challenges going into this season.

“Like I said, we’re a little bit beat up on the mound right now and that first couple of weeks I think we’re going to be short a couple arms,” said Hubka.

“So if we can get through these first two weeks and start getting some guys back on the mound, that’s one of the challenges.”

Hubka sees road trips as the other challenge.

“We got to go to Victoria on a weekend, we got to go out to Fraser Valley on a weekend and those are long trips,” said Hubka.

“When you spend 11 to 13 hours on a bus, and try to get some sleep that night and play the next day, those are challenges. That’s why we do what we do in the offseason to get these guys in the best shape possible (and) to be able to handle all the extra-curricular stuff.”

Hubka said expectations are always high here to win a championship and nothing’s different this year.

An important thing to Mark Brisson is watching the players becoming a team.

“I think the best teams are the teams that come together,” said Brisson.

“I mean when one guy’s struggling, (you’re) picking that guy up, you know, not sulking on the bench, having that pick me up kind of attitude (and)playing for one another. Coach Hubka always says personal accolades are going to come at the end of the year, so play for each other right now and winning is everything.”

The Dawgs open the CCBC season at Kamloops for four games against the TRU Wolfpack  this weekend.

PBA’s home opener is April 6 against the University of Calgary Dinos.

The Dawgs will host the CCBC World Series again on May long weekend.

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