WATERLOO, Ont. - Major League Baseball spring training has started and the Laurier men's baseball team is also gearing up to play games this spring for the first time in school history. The OUA season is run in the fall, however Laurier will play eight non-conference games this spring in preparation for next falls 2011 OUA season.
On Saturday April 2nd and Sunday April 3rd, Laurier will travel to Windsor to take on the University of Windsor Lancers in two double headers at Villanova HS. Windsor does not currently compete in the OUA, however Windsor is a baseball hot bed and their coaching staff are working at developing a program at the school that will eventually see them compete in the OUA.
Following the school's exam period, Laurier will play four more games on the weekend of April 30th and May 1st. On April 30th, the University of Guelph will come to town to take on the Golden Hawks at Bechtel Park for a double header starting at 1 p.m. The following day, May 1st, Laurier will travel to Toronto to take on the Varsity Blues in a double header starting at 12 p.m.
"This is a very exciting step forward for our program," commented Laurier head coach SCOTT BALLANTYNE
. "Our student-athletes work hard all winter to prepare for their summer seasons with their summer teams, but this year, we have something else to look forward to. The games in Windsor will be a lot of fun as we have never played them before."
These spring games will mark the Laurier debut of LHP Brett van Pelt. Van Pelt, a transfer from Saint Mary's, a Division I school in California, sat out the fall season recovering from Tommy John surgery; however the left-hander has been re-habbing his injury for over a year and is ready for game action. These eight games will allow the coaching staff to evaluate the talent that Laurier has in preparation for the 2011 fall season. 28 of Laurier's 32 players from the 2010 team are eligible to return and with a strong recruiting class, competition for roster spots will be fierce this spring.