For some, playing baseball at any level for any team is a dream all in itself. The thought of playing for a team you grew up watching doesn’t even cross their minds.
But for Bryce Oriold-Fraser, he’s getting the chance to do both. The Lethbridge product admits it’s one of his favourite things about playing in the Western Major Baseball League (WMBL), as he finds himself as one of the starters for the hometown Bulls.
The 6-foot-1, 180-pound righthander is coming off a workhorse campaign with the Colby College Trojans. Appearing in 14 games (including 11 starts), Oriold-Fraser racked up a 7-3 record, striking out 58 batters in 61+ innings of work and compiling a 6.13 ERA. The Trojans, who have a total of five Albertans (Oriold-Fraser, Jacob Bouzide, Drake Kirkwood, Matt Coutney and Nathan Stark), were rewarded with an appearance at the NJCAA Region VI Central District playoffs in Wichita this spring.
Fresh off his best start of the season, where he allowed just one run on three hits and struck out 13 batters in seven innings of work in the Bulls’ 16-1 beatdown of the Brooks Bombers, Oriold-Fraser took some time to answer the questions for “1 Thru 9.”
1. What is your walk-up/warm-up tune?
My walk-out song is now “Someday” by Flipsyde.
2. What is the best pre-game meal?
When I was in the US, I would always get a sub from Jimmy John’s before our games.
Love stats? Wanna see where some of #Alberta’s best young talent, like @ErikSabrowski, @Oulton_1, @JacksonWark & @BryceOriold24, stacked up against the country’s best? Great rundown here by @kwallCAN. #ABbaseball https://t.co/PyRq12d1Zl
— ABDugoutStories (@ABDugoutStories) June 25, 2018
#3. Your family sends you a care package. What’s in it?
Probably money hahaha! And some candy because I love candy! Skittles are the usual go-to.
4. What is your favourite stadium to watch or play baseball in?
My favourite stadium to play at was probably the Rogers Centre (at the T12 tournament in 2015) because it is a Major League field.
5. Who has had the biggest influence on you as a baseball player and why?
It would probably have to be Coach Mac (Les McTavish) out in Vauxhall because was the first person to believe in me and made me into a really good ball player.
Dylan Borman had two home runs and six RBI as the Lethbridge Bulls defeated the Brooks Bombers 16-1 on Thursday night!
Bryce Oriold-Fraser pitched 7 dominant innings, striking out 13 in the winning cause.
— Lethbridge Bulls (@lethbridgebulls) July 20, 2018
6. Who was the best teammate you’ve ever had and why?
Ataru Yamaguchi. He was always confident in us even if we were losing. He was up and always thought we were going to win.
7. What is the best thing about playing baseball in the WMBL?
Getting to play in front of so many fans. I grew up wanting to play on the Bulls so it’s exciting to finally be able to do that!
8. What is your favourite baseball memory?
It was this year making it to Wichita. It was the first time our school made it in five years so it was pretty exciting.
Well done. Congrats to Bryce Fraser and Colby baseball on the Championship. https://t.co/5GeS2ZeDmY
— Vauxhall Academy (@VABjets) May 7, 2018
9. What is the best piece of baseball advice you’ve ever received?
Just to trust myself and to not think too much.
(Featured image provided by the Lethbridge Bulls with credit to Cindy Adachi Photography)