The Cascades are in a fairly unique position this season. To their fan’s excitement, they had a fantastic 2018 campaign that saw them exceed until their championship game. Facing off against the Okanagan College Coyotes, they lost the conference title game by a score of 10-9. If that’s not close, I don’t know what is. With that said, what can we expect for this season?
Though we are four games into the season after last weekend, we already know a few things. One thing fans can be sure of is that a few of the returning Cascades from last season are set to once again lead the team to regular season and postseason success. Starting pitcher Dylan Emmons posted a top-10 finish for strikeouts last season while also getting a lot of time and experience on the mound, as he fielded 46 1/3 innings. This along with his 2018 The Canadian College Baseball Conference (CCBC) second-team all-star selection gives fans a lot of hope for solid and consistent pitching in 2019, and he isn’t the only star pitcher on the team. Left-hander Brad Bishop looks to be a potential starter in 2019, playing very well this past weekend. The bullpen for the UFV Cascades is shaping up to potentially be one of its best yet.
When it comes to batting, look out, because Riley Jepson is back. A batting title (0.489), top five finishes in home runs and runs batted in, and the league leader in walks, Jepson is the Cascades’ premier swinger. His numbers in the playoffs were even better. A number of other Cascades will look to expand their batting stats this season, and this along with a growing bullpen should have fans of UFV baseball very excited.
The question around this team will be the exact same question most teams get when they reach the top but come up just short: very simply, can they do all again, but even better? The key for the Cascades this year is experience, as many of their premier players are heading into their second and third years. A few first-year players signal a positive new lineup of potential stars for the squad, but it is the battle-tested batters of yesteryear that really have the potential to turn it up a notch come the post season this year. But the most exciting part? Rotations. The Cascades have a plethora of solid position players of varying experience and years played (first to third year) which signals options should a first-year standout emerge.
All in all, this could very well be the year that the student population gravitates toward this up-and-coming baseball team. Though the Canada West teams playing in U SPORTS get a solid amount of attention, UFV is now fielding a very legit squad in the CCBC. All that’s left for this Cascades team is the conference championship.
Image: UFV Cascades Flickr