Brock Athletics committed to Community Involvement
Community involvement will top the batting order at Hometown Baseball this weekend when Brock University hosts a provincial all-star team in an exhibition game.
Not only is admission free to the 1 p.m. first pitch Sunday at George Taylor Field in St. Catharines, but the first 100 children through the gates will also get a Brock Badgers baseball cap.
Part of the university's Homecoming Weekend celebrations, the game against the Ontario Blue Jays will feature plenty to do off the field in addition to watching the action on it. There will be free face-painting, a family zone, as well as a fundraising barbecue benefitting the Brock baseball program.
Much like the Steel Blade Classic for the men's hockey program, Hometown Baseball has turned into a "great tradition" for Brock's boys of late summer and early fall.
"It gives the community a chance to see the high quality of baseball at Brock, plus it's a great time for the family," he said. "The players really enjoy interacting with the fans and are very appreciative of their support."
Bringing sporting events to the Niagara community once again is a goal of the university's athletics department.
"Off the heels of a soldout Steel Blade Classic last weekend, Hometown Baseball is another great opportunity to host the community," Brock Sports associate director Emily Allan said. "Our Badgers baseball team is one of the best in the country, and they love competing in front of a hometown crowd."
A high baseball IQ when it comes to fundamentals is a strength of this year's team.
"Hitting and strong defence have been the keys to our success so far. Our young pitching staff is showing promise, but our bats have been a real strength for us," LePage said.
The game against the Ontario Blue Jays, a development program that prepares up-and-coming talent for the next level, will be the Badgers' third in two days. On Saturday, the Badgers, 5-4, host the Guelph Gryphons in a doubleheader getting underway at noon.
Brock returns to the diamond hoping to rebound from 6-4 and 6-5 losses to St. Bonaventure University in Olean, N.Y., last Saturday.
George Taylor Field, formerly known as Community Field and once home to the St. Catharines Blue Jays and Stompers, has served Brock's home field for nearly 20 years. In that time, the Badgers have captured two Canadian championships and four at the provincial level, the last in 2014.
Brock went 2-1 in pool play at the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) championships in Ajax but failed to advance when the eventual champion Laurier Golden Hawks clinched the wild-card berth on a tiebreaker based on run differential.
Gates for Sunday's Hometown Baseball game open at 1 p.m.
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