Category Archives: Baseball

Yellow Jackets Announce New Partnership

The Saskatoon YellowJackets today announced the signing of a partnership agreement with the Joplin Blasters, an expansion team with the independent professional American Association.

Under the terms of the agreement, YellowJackets who have completed their senior college year and who have the ability to play at a professional level will be able to move to the Blasters once the WMBL season has been completed. They will also be available for promotion to the professional club for injury replacement.

“The YellowJackets have always been successful in helping groom professional baseball players. This year, three of our alumni were selected in the MLB draft,” said YellowJackets President Rye Pothakos. “The partnership agreement with the Joplin Blasters will give our players another pathway to professional baseball and assist us in recruiting top-quality players.”

“This partnership arrangement with a professional baseball club help the YellowJackets in recruiting high-end graduating college players,” Pothakos said. “Many players have moved from independent leagues to major league organizations. We’re creating another pathway to success for players while improving the quality of baseball for Saskatoon fans.”

The Joplin Blasters are an expansion team that will begin play in the American Association in the 2015 season. The American Association is the continent’s premier independent league and includes the Winnipeg Goldeyes as its sole Canadian team.

Saskatoon Yellow Jackets’ Called At MLB Draft

Three former members of the Saskatoon YellowJackets were selected in the 2014 MLB Draft. Jess Amedee was drafted in the 27th round by the Pittsburg Pirates. Amedee is a right-handed pitcher who played for the YellowJackets in 2011. Amedee completed his college career with the University of Texas (Arlington) Mavericks. This season he led the Mavericks in saves and rang up 46 strikeouts in 48.1 innings pitched.

Jared Deacon was drafted in the 33rd round by the San Francisco Giants. Deacon is a catcher who played for the YellowJackets in 2011. Deacon finished his college career with the Cal State Fullerton Titans where he won a reputation for defense and game-calling. He threw out 12 of 20 base-stealing attempts and guided the Titan’s pitching staff to a school record 2.25 collective Earned Run Average.

Bryan Sova was drafted in the 25th round by the Philadelphia Phillies. Sova is a right-handed pitcher who played for the  YellowJackets in 2012. In his last year with the Creighton University Blue Jays, Sova had a record of six wins and one loss with a 2.09 earned run average. Opposing batters hit a collective .225 against him.

Jackets Look To Get Poetic This Weekend

Great baseball and Iambic Pentameter will be featured at the Saskatoon YellowJackets next home game on Friday, June 6th.

Throwing out the first pitch and reading baseball poetry during the seventh inning stretch will be Saskatoon baseball poet Dwayne Brenna, author of Stealing Home: Baseball Poems.

“What Shakespeare was to love poetry and Homer to verses about epic struggle, Brenna is to baseball poetry,” said YellowJackets President Rye Pothakos. “On Friday we are bringing fans some great poetry as well as great pitching and hitting.”

The YellowJackets will be playing three home games this weekend. On Friday, June 6th, the YellowJackets play the tail end of a home and home series against the Swift Current Indians. First pitch is at 7:05. On Saturday (6:05 first pitch) and Sunday (2:05 first pitch), the Medicine Hat Mavericks are at Cairns Field.

Joining the team for this week’s action will be two NCAA Division 1 players, shortstop Conner Lloyd from McNeese State University Cowboys and first baseman Luke Lind of the University of North Dakota Bisons. The arrival of both players was delayed because of their college teams participation in play-off action. Lloyd had an especially strong post-season, batting .438 and playing error-less defense in the Southland Conference playoffs.

YJ’s Get Their SS

The Saskatoon YellowJackets anchored their infield defense by signing junior shortstop Connor Lloyd from the McNeese State University (Louisiana) Cowboys.

“Connor has been the starting shortstop for McNeese from day 1 of his college career,” said YellowJacket’s President Rye Pothakos. “This is unusual in a Division 1 school with a winning program in a very tough conference. It speaks to his talent, work ethic and determination.”

Lloyd is known as a wizard with the glove, averaging over 5 chances per game with a .961 fielding percentage and participating in 25 double plays. Offensively, he batted .251 and was fourth on the play-off bound Cowboys in both runs and RBI’s.

YJ’s Add Four From BYU

The Saskatoon Yellowjackets today announced the signing of four NCAA Division 1 players
from the Brigham Young University Cougars.

“Brigham Young plays in the very tough West Coast Conference. Four members of the graduating class turned professional at the end of the college season,” said Yellowjackets President Rye Pothakos. “Recruiting a group of players from a program of this calibre gives the Yellowjackets an exceptionally solid core for the 2014 season.”

Infielder and pitcher Brendon Erickson is a sophomore from Phoenix, Arizona. During his high school career at Sandra Day Connor High School in Phoenix, Erickson received all-state honours in both baseball and football. He was selected to the Arizona State High School All-Star Team.

Outfielder Bryan Heyward is a junior from Ogden, Utah. He played two years at the Salt Lake Community College, where he received an honourable mention for all-region. In his first season at Brigham Young, Heyward did not make an error for the Cougars.

Bronson Larson is a freshman catcher from Fruit Heights, Utah. As a high school player, he was named twice to the all-state team. Larson started 15 games in his first college season and showcases raw power, with two thirds of his college hits going for extra bases.

Court Iorg is a utility player from Pleasant Grove, Utah. Baseball runs in the Iorg family. His father, Dane Iorg, won a World Series ring with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1982 and delivered the game winning hit for Kansas City in the 1985 World Series. Courts uncle, Garth Iorg, played third base for the Toronto Blue Jays in the 1980’s.

The Saskatoon YellowJackets are a member of the Western Major Baseball League (WMBL), Canada’s Premier Collegiate Summer League. The WMBL consists of 11 teams in Saskatchewan and Alberta. It provides prairie baseball fans with the opportunity to watch a high level of baseball while giving college baseball players the opportunity to compete and develop their skills outside of the academic year.

Yellow Jackets Release Home Sked

The Saskatoon YellowJackets have released their home schedule for the 2014 season.

The first pitch of the season will be thrown at Cairns Field on Saturday, May 31. The YellowJackets will play 23 regular season home games through the months of June and July. “We’ve had a great winter recruiting and have some real exciting talent,” said YellowJackets’

President Rye Pothakos. “Five YellowJackets alumni are projected to be picked in this year’s Major League draft. With the strength of this year’s team, I expect the team to be represented in future drafts as well.”

Wrapping Up The Week With Dave’s Dis N’ Dat

Time to wrap up the week with a little of Dave’s Dis N’ Dat… So here we go:

The Saskatchewan Roughriders are in Calgary to take on the Stamps tomorrow night. All eyes will be on the running backs, Kory Sheets and Jon Cornish. Perhaps the focus should be on the defensive line and which can exert their will and not only stop the running game but also keep the quarterbacks in the pocket.

Phil Andrews will join me on the pre-game show tomorrow and one point up for discussion will be who the game is more important to. I’m leaning towards agreeing with Phil that the pressure is on Calgary to come up with a dominant performance to not only clinch first place in the west but also to send a message to the Green and White entering the post season.

More from the CFL and Ricky Ray completed 21 straight passes en route to the Argos win over Winnipeg last night. With a meaningless game coming up next week for the Boatmen, Head Coach Scott Milanovich has already said that Ricky Ray won’t play in the finale. That means that his 77.7% completed passes percentage will go down as the best single season mark in league history.

A Smattering Of Dave’s Dis N’ Dat To Wrap Up The Week

Well here with go with some scattered thoughts I like to call Dave’s Dis N’ Dat…

The biggest game of the Riders season goes tomorrow afternoon at Mosaic Stadium. This is going to be a dandy! The Riders in my opinion need to host a play-off game in order to make it to the Grey Cup on their own field and victory will all but secure that. The Lions truth be told don’t want to come back to Regina before the Grey Cup so they need a home play-off game just as much. .

I’ve been asked numerous times this week, “Why would the CFL/Riders schedule a late October game for 5pm in Regina?” The answer I think is simple. 5 o’clock in Regina is 7 o’clock in the East and the other sports program on at 7 eastern on a Saturday night is???? Hockey Night in Canada. TSN is attempting to give the CBC a ratings run for their money with their consistently largest television audience (whenever the Riders play) providing the ammo.

I find the debate interesting between Jon Cornish and Kory Sheets as to who is the best running back in the CFL. At this point I would have to give the edge to Cornish given his body of work. I honestly don’t know where Sheets would be if he wasn’t injured. I do know that we should know the answer in the next couple of weeks as both backs will be looking to carry their teams in a pair of big games, including a head-to-head match-up next week.

Another Top 10 Thoughts On A Tuesday: From The Riders To DeLaet They Crack The List

Good Day and welcome to another of my Top 10 thoughts on this Tuesday morning…

From the good to the bad and in between you will find them all right here from the past 7 days in the world of sports in no particular order…. Until #1!

10 When they do good no one remembers but when they do bad no one forgets. That could be the title of a Saskatchewan Roughrider novel. The Green and White were in Saskatoon yesterday for a Saskatoon Hilltop fundraiser. And while the highly publicized arrests of a two players continues to be talked about, the Riders offered up some big cheques yesterday! $40,000 to the Saskatoon Hilltops to help them make the bottom line, and an additional $50,000 to help with the proposed upgrades to Gordie Howe Bowl. Let’s just call it a curious world we live in when $90,000 can be invested in a community and nary receive a mention but when a situation arises that may shed 2 of 53 or 54 players in a shady light the media is all over it. I’m just sayin’!

9 The other big move, literally, that the Saskatchewan Roughriders made on the weekend was acquiring 6’ 6” rush end Alex Hall from Winnipeg.

A Questionable Look At Some of Dave’s Dis N’ Dat:

Well it’s the end of the week and the week that was in the world of sports raised a lot of questions. Here is a look at some of them and my answers to them.:

Would you donate to Darian Durant’s collection for his fine that he in turn is turning over to charity? Would I probably not but I do like the Rider quarterback taking responsibility for his actions and his outburst on Twitter. Even better is his decision to pay the fine and hand over the funds to Geroy Simons charity.

Have you lost faith in the Riders? That is a big question that I have been fielding the last three weeks. While I feel it is wrong to give up on anyone unless all hope is lost. Is that the case with these Riders? No, but they better figure a way to turn things around and quick as hope is starting to slip.

So what is wrong with the Riders? The easy one is the offence can’t stop the blitz and stay on the field. Why can’t offensive guru George Cortez figure it out? Well I think he has! If you look at his previous body of work in the CFL he beat the blitz by throwing the ball to his running backs; Joffery Reynolds in Calgary and Chevon Walker in Hamilton.