MEDIA RELEASE – 2018 MJBL SEASON PREVIEW
Posted April 26, 2019
Manitoba Junior Baseball League
MEDIA RELEASE – 2018 MJBL SEASON PREVIEW
The MJBL engine is ready to get started on another successful season in 2018. While the original outlook pointed to growth with the addition of the Portage Phillies, the momentum quickly subsided when the Phillies needed one more year to assemble an MJBL caliber team. We look forward to an MJBL with Portage and even more great baseball towns in the future.
The Canada Games Silver medal winning team was a boost for the entire baseball community and the MJBL will directly benefit from the infusion of young talent on rosters all over the league. More players are committing to US programs than ever before and the MJBL proudly boasts alumni playing Division 1 baseball at places like Virginia Tech, Creighton, Stetson, and Cal St Northridge. We are also celebrating more players playing and coaching abroad in France, Italy, Australia, and the Netherlands. Former Winnipeg South Chief Chris Shaw is still working his way up the ladder in the Baltimore Orioles organization. Former Altona Bison Scott Peters was in the opening day lineup for the Toronto Blue Jays this season – as a Duke University graduate and Assistant Physical Therapist with the Jays. The MJBL is all over the baseball map this season.
The 2018 All Star Game will be held July 7th in Morden, MB hosted by the Pembina Valley Orioles. The MJBL is looking to host a kid’s clinic in conjunction with the game to reach out to future MJBL male and female players.
Defending MJBL champions, the St James A’s are in new territory this season trying to stay at the top of the heap. With some key additions added to a solid core of veterans the A’s are in great shape to contend for this season and beyond while they rebuild the once great program. Led by MJBL MVP-Cole Armstrong, St. James will have five third-year players this year, Troy Martinuk, Armstrong, Jordan Turney, Wyatt Kemball and Brady Allan. MJBL Defensive Player of the Year Austin Pistawka is back to handle the pitching staff with Matt Johnson (Vancouver Island University) leading the way from the bump. New additions for this season - Jordan Peck (Northwest Missouri State University/Canada Games Team MB), Brody Moffatt from Portage la Prairie and Tanner Bercier (Frank Phillips College in Texas).
The St. Boniface Legionaires are hoping to rebound from last season’s finish near the bottom of the MJBL standings. Having lost 7 veteran players from their roster, they are in a rebuilding state as they move the program forward. New skipper Darryl Manchulenko will try to bring some alumni luck from his successful past in the organization to this year’s squad. Heading into this season, the blue and gold are looking for leadership from veterans Brad Warkentin, Jeremie Pantel and sophomore Nathan Agar. The Legionaires will be adding many first year players to their roster, and are expecting some good things from many of them, including Adam Senden (Mayville State University commit) and Rheal Letain.
The Pembina Valley Orioles are looking forward to a fresh reset this season with a new coaching staff consisting of Jon Odlum- Head Coach, Sheldon Bergman - Assistant Coach, and Phil Hildebrand: Assistant Coach. The Orioles have a good core of veterans Mackenzie Hamm, Seth Staple, and Brenden Hatley (Midland College- Texas) returning that will make the Orioles competitive and fun to watch. The Pembina Valley Orioles are also excited to host the MJBL All Star Game on July 7th in Morden.
With returning all stars Nik Kauenhofen, Liam Lenton, and Noah Vogt, the Carillon Sultans are looking to go deep into the playoffs this year. Led by veteran Cody Bartel, the Sultans will be joined by 2017 Team Manitoba players Yannyk Nadeau and the Canada Games Gold Medal game starting pitcher, Zach Giesbrecht. This team will be young, fast and exciting with a compete level second to none. Having made the switch from St. B to Carillon, Coach Kevin Dunn will offer great deal of baseball knowledge to help propel the 2018 Carillon Juniors to great success.
The Altona Bisons will be a very young team as they graduated four players. They will be made up of first and second year juniors and rely on the successful midget program that produces top level talent year after year for them. Don’t sleep on the Altona Bisons folks, their new field is about to get lights and remain one of the hottest tickets and toughest places to play in the league.
The Brandon A&W Junior Marlins are preparing to defend their 2017 Western Canadian Championship and set their sights on the 2018 League Pennant! They begin the regular season on Thursday, May 10th at Andrews Field vs the 2017 League Champions, the St. James A’s. Talk about a great start to the season! The 2018 Marlins team features seniors Ashton Anderson, Bradley Schoonbaert, Marshal Burgess (Jamestown University), Mitchell Lyall (University of Sioux Falls), and Jordan Robertson. Joining the 2018 Marlins, from Manitoba’s Silver Medal Canada Summer Games team, are Noah Geekie (Barton CC commit), Reece Wilson, Jared McCorrrister (Mayville State University commit) and John Patmore. The 2018 version of the Marlins will rely on a strong pitching staff lead by Lyall (6-1 record and an ERA of 1.92) and Robertson (3-1 record and an ERA of 2.80) . The offense will rely on 2 individuals who led the team in Batting Average, Riley Shamray (.333) and Schoonbaert (.282) who both return from the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.
The majority of the Interlake Blue Jays lineup returns for the 2018 season. Interlake started eight rookies each and every game in 2017. Long-time MJBL coach Adam Kirk expects bigger things from his returning players this season. Baily Proctor, Emerson Klimpke, Brennan Cheasley and Derek Petrasko, along with Ben Anderson (University of British Columbia) look to take the next step in the second year in the MJBL. Rookie Jeremy Wasilewski will add depth and experience on this young roster.
The Elmwood Giants are never too far away from any conversation regarding the top of the standings. Ed Kulyk annually produces a tough lineup that no one wants to face come playoff time. Brendyn Perron will lead the pitching staff along with Evan Funk (Merced College – California), and Jackson Dartnell (Thompson Rivers – BC). Aiden Brook (Valley City State- North Dakota) will also provide that leadership gained under a few successful seasons with Kulyk an co.
For further information, please contact MJBL President Jamie Bettens 204.299.9267 or firstname.lastname@example.org