UBC Thunderbird Baseball Fan Page
Old Alumni 8, Young Alumni 3
Written by Administrator
Saturday, 15 October 2005 10:00
Page 1 of 3
The Young Alumni roster had three pitchers currently playing pro ball. The problem was, Jeff Francis (14-12, 5.68 ERA with the Rockies) played centre field and first base, Cory Stuart (3-1, 0.83 ERA with the Staten Island Yankees) played shortstop, and Brooks McNiven (7-2, 4.24 ERA with the San Jose Giants) played right field.
Instead, the starter for the Young Alumni was Chris Ames, who pitched only 2 1/3 innings during his undergraduate career. Ames gave up a lot of runs before handing the ball over to Brent Mutis after getting only one out. Mutis did OK, and the remaining Young Alumni pitchers did even better. Dan Osachoff did a couple of shutout innings, and another pro ballplayer, Mark Zamojc (.237, 5 HR with the Beloit Snappers of the Twins organization) pitched the last inning.
Francis was 2-3 at the plate. John Campbell, another pitcher-turned-position player who never had a turn at bat as an undergraduate, hit a ball into left field that went a long way.
UBC Coach Terry McKaig played for the Old Alumni, and made the defensive play of the game, a catch in left field foul territory.
The starting pitcher for the Old Alumni was Mike Johnson, and the relievers were Gary Tongue (who played for the British National Team), and Tim Findlay.
In a post-game interview, Francis said that he has adjusted well to life in Denver. He doesn’t qualify as a local celebrity; the Rockies are not attracting much attention because they aren’t doing well. He believes that this will change, because the Rockies were getting great fan support a few years ago. As to what will make this change happen, Jeff said that he didn’t have any more information on this other than what has appeared in the press; the Rockies have a lot of good young players, and they will try to hire a veteran catcher and a better bullpen to help these young players along. (The webmaster shamelessly collected an autograph at the conclusion of this interview.)
When asked about Jeff’s significance to the UBC program, Coach McKaig said, He’s been really important, to be drafted in the first round, and be our first player that’s made the big leagues. What he showed Canadians kids is, you don’t have to go to the United States to play college baseball. There’s a program now, at UBC and in Canada, that will get as much exposure as any US Division I school. So Jeff’s importance was to show Canadian kids that you can be at UBC, and don’t have to be at USC or somewhere to get noticed by scouts.
The Alumni game was preceded by an intra-squad game for the current UBC team. Richard Smythe and Fletcher Vynne hit the ball hard, and UBC’s coaches are “expecting good things” from Smythe in 2006. Brad Ashman and Jeff Tobin pitched well. Tim Henderson was injured by a line drive that hit his throwing hand. One surprise pitching appearance came from Connor Janes, who did a couple of innings. Janes has previously played mostly first base. Today’s experiment went OK, and Connor will probably make more appearances on the mound in the future.
Story from naiabaseball.net: UBC Alumni Game Attracts Pros/Alums from Across the Country
Jeff Francis, Matt Miller, Chris Ames, and Jordy McNiven.
Photo by Wilson Wong