June 16th, 2024

Bulls swing into 25th season

By Lethbridge Herald on May 24, 2024.

Herald Photo by Justin Seward Lethbridge Bulls Josh Kabayama takes his reps during batting practice on Friday at Spitz Stadium.

By Justin Seward

Lethbridge Herald

The Lethbridge Bulls kick off their 25th anniversary season today in the Western Canadian Baseball League.

Head coach Ryan MacDonald is going  into his second stint in the position  with the team after the departure of Chance Wheatley to the league’s newest franchise, the Saskatoon Berries.

“Just kind of building off [of] last year’s team and filling the missing pieces that kind of helped us  fall short last year,” said MacDonald.

MacDonald has to fill power bats, quality starters, power arms and catcher positions.

MacDonald sees the team being good defensively, the pitchers on paper look solid and team speed has increased this season.

“I think one thing we haven’t had the last couple of years is a little bit of speed,” said MacDonald.

“We have  a bunch of guys that move pretty good. So we’re looking to create a little bit of havoc on the bases this year compared to years in the past as well.”

MacDonald said there’s quite a few guys to name, when asked the leadership.

“It’s just exciting to have that core base of guys to come back and kind of be leaders with this team,” said MacDonald.

MacDonald expects the players to play the right way.

“It is summer baseball with a laid back atmosphere but there’s certain expectations on how we play the game here with the organization, and if we go out and compete every day ,and don’t throw games away, I think we’re going to have a good chance to make it deep,” said MacDonald.

Local Josh Kabayama spoke to further strengths of the team.

“I think we’ll swing it [the bat], we’ll pitch, play some defence,” he said.

“I think we’ll be well rounded.  I mean we’re led by a good group and the coaching staff is great.”

Kabayama sees success in the WCBL through the game-by-game approach.

“Really you just need to focus on the moment,” said Kabayama.

“You can’t get looking too far ahead. I mean wins don’t come easy with how many good teams there are and good players that they bring into this league.”

Roberto Chaparro is a rookie on the team this season from the El Paso Community College in Texas.

“Just win one game at a time, take one game at time and just focus [on] one day after the other ,” said Chaparro, on the focus.

The Bulls begin a nine-game road trip tonight in Okotoks.

“It is a chance for everybody to get to know each other, and I think it’ll be good because we’ll be

a tight knit group and the closer we get, the better we’ll play together,” said Kabayama.

The Bulls home opener is on June 5 against the Medicine Hat Mavericks .

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