Dawgs hook Cornhusker catcher

Baseball: Taylor Fish hopes to land big one with WMBL title

By: Bruce Campbell

  |  Posted: Wednesday, May 28, 2014 03:08 pm

Okotoks Dawg Taylor Fish takes his cuts with the Nebraska Cornhuskers.
Okotoks Dawg Taylor Fish takes his cuts with the Nebraska Cornhuskers.
Scott Bruhn, University of Nebraska

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An Okotoks Dawg won’t feel like a fish out of water when he plays in front of the big crowds at Seaman Stadium.

As a catcher with the Nebraska Cornhuskers, Taylor Fish is used to seeing plenty of fans at a sporting event.

“Husker Nation is just ridiculous,” Fish said. “We don’t have a pro team in Nebraska, so they live for Nebraska football and Nebraska athletics.

“A perfect example is today. We had close to 20,000 today.”

However, it wasn’t just any game. The Huskers were playing in the Big 10 final in Omaha. They lost to Indiana 8-4 Sunday.

Although, Fish didn’t play in the Big 10 tourney, the back-up catcher was a contributor in Big Red’s 40-19 record and their 21st ranking in the NCAA.

He started 18 games and hit .262, driving in 13 RBIs for Nebraska.

“I feel like I did pretty well defensively and I came in late some games and got some big hits,” Fish said.

However, a catcher has to do more than hit. He’s the catalyst in the baseball battery.

“I feel good back there (behind the plate),” Fish said. “I feel my arm has gotten stronger over the years and I am more quick and agile back there.

“I feel I can be on track with the pitchers and call a game pretty well too.”

He’s already been in touch with new Okotoks head coach Brett Thomas, who was behind the plate during Okotoks’ three Western Major Baseball League championship seasons from 2007-2009.

“Coach Thomas has told he loves working with catchers and he is excited to be working with me — I am looking forward to it,” Fish said. “As a player, I just want to do anything I can to help the team.

“Whether it’s hitting nine hole and putting a bunt down or hitting three-hole, it doesn’t matter to me. I just have to make the best of my opportunities and do what the coaches ask of me.”

Fish got word of the Dawgs when one of his friends, infielder Dillon Schroeder from University of Nebraska-Kearney, had signed with the Okotoks team.

“He told me I should look into it so I coached Dawgs coach Val Helldobler and he told me they were interested in getting a catcher and things just fell into place perfectly,” Fish said.

Fish is used to coaches who have the intensity of Thomas.

The Huskers’ coach is former major leaguer Darin Erstad, who won a World Series with the Halos in 2002.

“He’s very intense and he gets the best out of you,” Fish said. “All of our coaches are intense.

“That’s the way I like them.”

He’s got one goal in Okotoks and that’s to win a ring —maybe not the size of Erstad’s but a WMBL ring would fit Fish nicely.

“I want to win a ring — that’s what every player wants,” Fish said. “I want to go out and win a championship.”

He’s got one other goal. He wouldn’t mine dropping a line or two in the world-famous rivers in southern Alberta.

“I hear there is a little bit of fishing up there, which I am really excited about,” Fish said.

He may be delayed in getting to Okotoks. The Cornhuskers have made it to the regional playoffs for the College World Series. As much as he wants to get to Okotoks, he is willing to wait if the ’Huskers can get to the World Series in Omaha, Nebraska.

“If we don’t get to super-regionals, I will be booking my flight to Okotoks,” he said.

The Dawg season starts on June 1 when Okotoks take on the Medicine Hat Mavericks in The Hat. The Dawgs home-opener is June 5 at Seaman Stadium at 7 p.m.

For ticket information go to www.dawgsbaseball.ca or call 403-262-DAWG.


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