The Estevan Sherritt Coal Bantam AA Haulers have been preparing for the Western Canadian Baseball Championships in Morden, Manitoba.
The Haulers, competing as Team Saskatchewan, will open the tournament August 17 with games against Team Alberta and the host team from Morden. Then they'll play Team Manitoba on August 18 and Team B.C. on the 19th.
“We should have a good idea, going into Sunday morning (August 19), how we stack up, to see if the B.C. game is even a factor in the standings,” said Haulers coach Kent Phillips.
The top two teams in the round-robin will advance directly to the final. Phillips doesn't know much about the other four teams entered at Westerns, but the teams they faced at provincials were very good squads.
He expects the Haulers will do well at Westerns.
The Haulers have added a couple of pitchers: Dustin Schill from the Carlyle Cardinals and Tanner Fritzke from the Swift Current Indians. Schill spent last year with the Haulers.
“We know what we're getting with him,” said Phillips. “As far as the other kid goes, he's well-known to the boys, and we got a chance to watch him this year because we played against them lots, and saw how good of a job he did against us.”
Both will pitch when needed, regardless of whether it's as a starter or a reliever.
Several Haulers have been able to keep their skills sharp since winning provincials in July, as they were part of Team South East that won the bronze medal at the recent Saskatchewan Summer Games in Meadow Lake.