July 21, 2024

Giants head coach Joe Ellison is optimistic within the staff’s talents this season. He is aiming for 36 victories after final season’s 30 wins.

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The Fort McMurray Giants kicked off the season with a large 13-3 victory in opposition to the Edmonton Prospects on Friday evening at Legacy Dodge Discipline. However what started as a victorious season opener changed into a weekend of blended fortunes because the Prospects gained 6-5 on Saturday and 4-1 on Sunday.

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Joe Ellison, head coach of the Giants, stated he’s optimistic within the staff’s talents this season and is hoping for 36 victories. The opening weekend confirmed him the Western Canada Baseball League (WCBL) has plenty of expertise that the Giants will face.

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“From what I’m seeing across the league, there’s a whole lot of expertise that we’re going to must be ready to satisfy each problem we face,” stated Ellison on Monday. “You place out that many hits and that many runs proper out of the gate, and it’s very robust to return again and do.”

Ellison stated he was happy with how aggressive the Giants fought on Saturday to just about tie, and probably win, the sport. He stated Sunday’s defeat was due to expensive errors.

The staff is brief, however Ellison hopes so as to add extra gamers by July. He believes the staff will carry out higher as soon as that occurs, however he’s impressed with the combat he’s seen in them to date.

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“Final 12 months we pitched rather well though our offense was spotty. This 12 months, we’re going to place the ball in play slightly extra and play sooner,” he stated after Friday’s victory.

Bryn Biemiller of the Fort McMurray Giants pitches during the home opening game at Legacy Dodge Field on May 24, 2024. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray Today/Postmedia Network
Bryn Biemiller of the Fort McMurray Giants pitches throughout the residence opening sport at Legacy Dodge Discipline on Could 24, 2024. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray At present/Postmedia Community

The present roster is a mixture of veterans from final 12 months’s season and rookies. Some gamers on this 12 months’s roster didn’t play quite a bit throughout faculty this previous 12 months, so Ellison says they’re getting again into the swing of issues.

Final 12 months, the Giants had been swept within the first spherical of playoffs by the Okotoks Dawgs. The Giants completed the 2022-23 season with 30 wins and 26 losses.

Ellison can be thrilled with the general public turnout. Greater than 3,500 individuals got here out for your entire weekend, which Ellison says was 20 per cent of final season’s whole attendance. Saturday was gentle as a result of the sport was scheduled throughout the Edmonton Oilers’ playoff sport in opposition to the Dallas Stars, however Ellison is hoping extra individuals will come out.

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“One of the crucial thrilling issues was seeing the ballpark stuffed tonight. Hopefully individuals wish to come out each single evening we’re right here and the fellows play. Hopefully we get higher and higher as we go,” he stated.

Mixture of veteran, rookie gamers returning this 12 months

That is Ellison’s second summer season as head coach. His previous expertise contains being the recruiting coordinator for the McPherson Faculty Bulldogs in Kansas. He was nominated for the Nationwide Affiliation of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Ball Assistant Coach of the 12 months in 2023.

He additionally spent 13 years with the Ontario Blue Jays as pitching coach, pitching coordinator, recruiting coordinator, baseball operations director and common supervisor.

Ellison, who’s from Mississauga, Ont., has additionally welcomed three new coaches to the Giants. They embody hitting coach Nathan Robl, pitching coach Alex Escobar and bench coach Nico Saldias.

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Jaden Wiley of the Fort McMurray Giants slides into residence throughout the residence opening sport at Legacy Dodge Discipline on Could 24, 2024. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray At present/Postmedia Community

Robl competed for McPherson Faculty and went on to turn into a coach in 2021. Escobar is a former pitcher for McPherson Faculty and was beginning pitcher for the Giants final summer season. Saldias is a veteran of the Ontario Blue Jays. He has pitched in two summer season collegiate circuits and for Connors State Faculty in Oklahoma and Saint Xavier College in Chicago.

Returning athletes embody Bryn Biemiller, Bryn Biemiller, Ethan Pittman, Ethian Mayuk, Gage Ninness, Jayden Shafer, Joe Finder, John Shields, Lincoln Fugle, Max Stagg, Matt Whitney, Michael Buckley, Michael Szpak, and Rob Schmidt.

Newcomers embody Adam Thuss, Benicio Diaz, Braden Iannetti, Chan Yoon, Corey Morro, Cruz Oxford, Darcy Barry, David Benitez, Ethan Pittman, Jaden Wiley, Jakob Brandenberger, Jason Maldonado, Keith Manby, Liam Watt, Mack Mitchell, Manny Alberto, Peyton McDowall, Phoenix Johnson, Broc Selstrom, Ryan Wells, Trevor Syer, and Jun Ho Son.

Mayuk, Szpak, Iannetti and Pittman are all from Fort McMurray.

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Jun Ho Solar and Joe Finder run in direction of third base throughout the residence opening sport at Legacy Dodge Discipline on Could 24, 2024. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray At present/Postmedia Community
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Members of the Fort McMurray Giants cheer throughout their weekend residence opening sport in opposition to the Edmonton Prospects at Legacy Dodge Discipline on Could 24, 2024. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray At present/Postmedia Community

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