The Soo Major Bantam Black Sox prevailed in their debut 5-1 over the JV Rudyard Bulldogs this past Tuesday, May 7th. The Sox struck early in the matchup, scoring in each of the first three innings of play.
The Sox were led by starting pitcher Malcolm McGugan, who registered 3 scoreless innings while picking up the win. The lefty managed to keep an efficient pitch count, needing only 45 pitches in the contest.
“At this time of the year it’s all about repetition and practicing fundamentals to build on moving forward,” said Jordan Trudeau, returning assistant coach. “It’s important to build up arm strength to the point where they can make hard and accurate throws from all areas of the field, especially without risk of injury.”
Trudeau, 21, offers a unique bridge of youth from the players to the rest of the coaching staff. Joining Trudeau is veteran skipper Chris Walls who will be returning behind the bench for his second consecutive season as head coach. As the oldest team in the local program, Walls expects his group to set an example for baseball in Sault Ste. Marie.
The Sox went on to split the double-header with JV Rudyard, falling 8-5 in the following game. Lucas Malcolm, Carter Gallivan, and McGugan each chipped in with a pair of hits in the loss.
The busy week for baseball continued as the Sox followed up with a double-header in Soo Michigan on May 8th. Despite their best efforts, the Sox dropped both games against JV Soo High to the tune of 11-6 and 7-3.
Playing multiple games over a short time period is common in the world of baseball. “We have a lot of long 4 or 5 game weekends this season,” Trudeau added. “The players have to be conditioned and prepared to perform at a high level.”
For the first time in Soo baseball history, the Sox will be competing in the highly regarded Sun Parlour Baseball League. Located in Windsor-Essex region, a hotspot for Canadian baseball, the Sox will be able to test their skills against strong southern-Ontario competition.
Next action for the Sox will be a return trip to Michigan for a double header against the Rudyard Bulldogs on May 15th.