Spruce Grove’s Ben Erwin might have been getting sick of watching Greg Cullen hitting the ball against he and his teammates in the Western Major Baseball League (WMBL).
The two were opponents when Erwin pitched for the Lethbridge Bulls while Cullen starred for the Okotoks Dawgs during the 2017 campaign.
But Erwin’s tune might have changed once they became teammates with the Niagara University Purple Eagles. Cullen hit a blistering .458 to lead NCAA Division 1 hitters on his way to being drafted by the Atlanta Braves.
READ MORE: MLB Draft Review
Erwin, meantime, is doing his best to turn some heads. At Niagara, the 6-foot-1, 170-pound freshman went 5-2 in 17 appearances, sporting a 4.39 ERA (good enough for fourth on the team).
A warm welcome to Ben Erwin @Benerwin15 joining the Niagara Baseball family! Congrats Ben! @VABjets pic.twitter.com/v6FSmOPNVV
— Niagara Baseball (@NiagaraBASE) November 15, 2016
The 2014 Baseball Alberta Bantam AAA player of the year is back for his second tour of duty for the Bulls. And while the Vauxhall Academy product won’t have to face Cullen this summer, Erwin did face the questions that make up “1 Thru 9” for Alberta Dugout Stories.
1. What is your walk-up/warm-up tune?
“Desperado” by Rihanna.
2. What is the best pre-game meal?
I usually like to eat some sort of pasta before I play.
3. Your family sends you a care package. What’s in it?
There would definitely be some food in it and also some candy. If I’m lucky, they might throw in a Will Ferrell movie in there.
4. What is your favourite stadium to watch or play baseball in?
My favourite place to watch baseball is definitely Safeco Field in Seattle.
5. Who has had the biggest influence on you as a baseball player and why?
My dad has definitely had the biggest influence on me. He has been supporting and teaching me since day one. He gives me things that he sees but I also give him insight on some things so I think it goes both ways.
6. Who was the best teammate you’ve ever had and why?
I’ve had lots of really good teammates that have helped me a lot so I can’t really pick one. I love all the guys I’ve played with. They are brothers to me and all helped me in different ways.
Ben Erwin getting ready to pitch at the T12. Several Jets having a good tournament.@BlueJaysAcademy @Alomarbaseball pic.twitter.com/GCNbtRCbV5
— Vauxhall Academy (@VABjets) September 17, 2016
7. What is the best thing about playing baseball in the WMBL?
To me, the best thing is getting to meet a new group of guys every summer and play with them. The fans and the baseball atmospheres around the league are also a lot of fun!
8. What is your favourite baseball memory?
My favourite memory is probably winning the “Best of the West” tournament in my grade 12 year in Vauxhall. I’ll never forget winning that with all my best friends.
Parkland Twins Midget AAA – Provincials Champions 2017! A.Macko semi 6-1, @Benerwin15 final 5-0. Coach Rob & staff, #Roxanne, #BoysWithClass pic.twitter.com/ZVmEMcVrOb
— Vladimir Macko (@macko_vlad) August 9, 2017
9. What is the best piece of baseball advice you’ve ever received?
The best piece of advice was when my coach told me that “you’re here for a reason so don’t doubt what you can do.”