The Waterloo Warriors baseball team have played their first game at the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) regionals today, defeating Laurier’s Golden Hawks 7-6. After making it into the OUA Final Four last year and winning an impressive 19 games this season, the Warriors are ready to take the title and win the entire tournament this year.
The Warriors are hoping to win by utilizing their impressive starting lineup. Jake Roberts, Jacob Ray and Myles Robinson are included in this year’s starting pitchers and are among the league leaders with their impressive stats. Additionally, Head Coach Ben Norris recognized the team’s center fielder Adam Leatherland as being a terrific offensive player with an uncanny ability to “steal bases almost at will”.
Then there’s last year’s OUA all star and “outstanding defender” Evan Morris. Morris, who is shortstop and ace starter, is recognized by the coach for “taking it to a whole new level” and who has posted the “most statistically relevant season”. It’s hard to see the tournament being anything but a success with such high enthusiasm from the team.
Despite the loss of many veteran players, the team continues to hold its own thanks to the development of the underclassmen and their efforts to fill their predecessors’ shoes. Within five years, Norris says that the Warriors have become a “powerhouse team” and are sure to present a strong offense this tournament.
However, it will take more than talent and ambition to get the Warriors through this tournament. Taking place in a round robin format, the Warriors will face Laurier’s Golden Hawks first, followed by Windsor’s Lancers and Western’s Mustangs. According to Norris, each team will present tough competition, with Windsor and Laurier both having “elevated their game” and Western remaining a “fundamentally strong” and “difficult to beat” team. The Warriors will need to bring their A game if they are to become this year’s OUA champions.