The Fort McMurray Giants are shaking off the rust to start the season.
The Giants wrapped up their first week of the WCBL season with a 1-4 record, including a most recent two-game sweep at the hands of the Okotoks Dawgs.
Despite the rough start – Manager Ray Brown tells Mix News he expects the team to turn it around for this week’s home opening series.
“Fans can expect a good brand of baseball this week,” Brown said. “I think we’ll be competitive as will Medicine Hat. I think they’re going to see some runs scored and some great pitching. Can’t guarantee the amount of runs we’ll score but it will be a good brand of baseball.”
As a result of the first week, the Giants currently sit 2nd last in the WCBL’s Western division.
Brown feels the record is not quite indicative of how well the team’s played.
“You hope you go better than 1-and-4 but you have to give everybody an opportunity to play to show what they can do. Sometimes, along the way you don’t win the games you should win but you have to be fair to players. You can’t just bring them in and not let them play without seeing what they can do.”
It’s not all been doom and gloom – with several players having shown what they can do at the plate.
Victoria native Tanner Hess leads the team and the league with a whopping .684 batting average, including a team leading 13 hits.
He’s trailed by Matt Hilderbrant, BJ Minarcin, Brody McGrath and Richard Ortiz – who are all batting .300 or above.
Ortiz is also the WCBL home run leader with four in six games.
Brown says while the wins haven’t come in piles yet – he’s optimistic his squad will shake off the rust.
“We had a chance to win three of these past five games, maybe even all five. But we had to do some evaluation. I like how we swing the bat; I like how we’re pitching, and I like how we never say quit. We kept coming back in every contest and making a game of it.”
The Giants host Medicine Hat on Thursday at Shell Place – with first pitch after 7 p.m.