The East Central AAA Dodgers are Saskatoon bound for their annual bout with Canada's Best at the Evan Thomas Tournament. The action gets under way on Friday and runs to the final on Sunday. The tournament, hosted by Scott and Laurie Thomas and their family, is held to remember Evan, lost in the Humboldt Broncos tragedy.
It’s the marquis event of the summer ball season, says Dodgers head coach Derek Rude.
“It’s one of the premier 15U baseball tournaments in Canada, really. There are 16 teams there from Alberta Saskatchewan and Manitoba, so some really high calibre ball. Last year, we were the champions of the tournament, so as defending champs going in, the boys are really excited about it.”
The Dodgers are coming off a good start to the season, particularly picking up three of four wins this past weekend. It’s all about peaking at the right time, notes Rude.
“We’ve won 7 of our last 8 games, and that puts us up to fourth place in the league. We’re getting hot at the right time in July here. It’s been a good season so far.”
Along with the excitement of pitting themselves against the best western Canada has to offer, and doing so as last year’s winner, the legacy of Evan Thomas has special meaning for the team that hails from Humboldt and surrounding communities.
“It’s got special meaning for the guys in this area. Centred around Humboldt, there are lots of Bronco fans in the area. So it’s got some special meaning for us, and Scott and Laurie Thomas and their family put on a really great tournament, so we’re really grateful that we get invited to the tournament.”
Pool games for the Dodgers start on Friday at 9:30 am vs the Saskatoon Expos. Then it’s 1:30 pm against the Swift Current 57s and 4:30 pm on Saturday against the St. Albert, AB Cardinals. Playoff games follow on Sunday. The tournament is held at the Nutana Baseball Complex in Saskatoon.