Boys of summer slide into Games

Baseball: Foothills sends four players to Airdrie

By: Remy Greer

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Jul 16, 2014 06:00 am

Danny Donnelly stretches out a base-hit in action with the Okotoks Bantam Dawgs. Donnelly is one of four foothills area athletes who will be competing for Zone 2 at the Alberta Summer Games, July 24-27 in Airdrie.
Danny Donnelly stretches out a base-hit in action with the Okotoks Bantam Dawgs. Donnelly is one of four foothills area athletes who will be competing for Zone 2 at the Alberta Summer Games, July 24-27 in Airdrie.
Remy Greer/OWW

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Four Okotoks Dawgs products from the foothills will be flying a different flag next week.

Bantam Black Dawgs Jacob Libbus, Kai Seitz, Mitch Newman and Danny Donnelly are trading uniforms for a few days as they swing for the fences with Zone 2 at the Alberta Summer Games’ baseball tourney in Airdrie.

“I’ve been with the Dawgs organization for a couple years now and I’ve really started to develop my skills there,” said Newman, from the Blackie area. “I tried this year just to see what it would be like against all the best players around Alberta and made it.

“I think it will be a good experience watching really good baseball, playing good baseball.”

The Zone 2 prospects were put through the paces in familiar surroundings for the Junior Dawgs at Tourmaline Field with batting practice, 60-metre dash as well as position specific drills from behind the plate to gauging arm strength in the outfield.

Newman, a second-year Bantam, expects to pitch and move from the outfield to second base for the Zone 2 outfit.

“I can lay down drag bunts all right and can hit singles quite a bit. I’m not one of those big hitters,” he said. “I can keep myself calm while I’m pitching and not stress too much over it.”

He could be working closely with a teammate as part of an all-Dawgs battery with Libbus, a first-year Bantam, calling the game behind the plate.

“They did our pop times for catching and after did a couple pitching tests so I caught some of the pitching,” said Libbus, from Turner Valley, on the tryout. “I got to show off a little of my blocking.

“Last year I was too young to tryout so I was really excited to get to tryout this year.”

Donnelly, a speedy centre-fielder and top of the lineup hitter with the Bantam Dawgs, will be looking to be a table-setter for Zone 2 in Airdrie with an eye on impressing the scouts in the stands.

“It’s an exciting opportunity,” said Donnelly, from Okotoks. “I’m looking forward to seeing good pitchers and playing against the best of Alberta.”

The tournament, reserved for the top 15 year old and under players from each of the eight zones in the province, is the beginning of the high performance system in Alberta. The Summer Games participants on the diamond will be evaluated for Alberta’s 15 and Under Prospects Team for the Prospect Series on Labour Day weekend.

“That (prospects) team, it’s one of my goals to make it,” Donnelly said. “That’s very exciting if I could make it.”

The Alberta Summer Games run July 24-27 with the baseball competition hosted at Chinook Winds Park in Airdrie.

For more information go to 2014airdriegames.ca


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