Depth has been the name of the game for the Medicine Hat Mavericks in 2018.
The team stampeded towards a 38-9 regular season record to enter the playoffs as a favourite to win the Western Major Baseball League championship. With that impressive mark, the Mavericks had three first-team and two second-team all-stars. Many think their depth had a lot to do with their win total.
One position where that’s prevalent is behind the plate. Starter Colton Wright was among the three to be a first-team all-star, mustering a .345 batting average in 42 games with nine home runs and 47 runs batted in. That success has continued in the post-season, as he’s hit .321 with two home runs and nine RBIs through Tuesday’s game two against Edmonton.
Not to be outdone, Enchant’s Reed Odland made the most of his 19 regular-season appearances. He hit .322 with a home run and 10 RBIs. The 5-foot-11, 205-pound backstop had three singles in five at-bats in his one playoff appearance, a 17-4 romp over Lethbridge in the deciding game four of their opening round series.
Odland’s success should come as no surprise to Southern Alberta baseball fans. He was an all-star in Vauxhall, named the league’s Defensive MVP after helping the Vikings win the league championship in 2017. As a freshman with Allen Hancock College in California, he hit .250 with 11 RBIs in 30 games this spring.
The Taber Golden Suns Midget AA hockey alum recently sat down to answer a few questions for the latest installment of our “1 Thru 9“ series.
1. What is your walk-up/warm-up tune?
“For Whom The Bell Tolls” by Metallica.
2. What is the best pre-game meal?
Spaghetti and meatballs.
3. Your family sends you a care package. What’s in it?
4. What is your favourite stadium to watch or play baseball in?
Athletic Park because the field plays so true. The stadium is taken care of very well.
5. Who has had the biggest influence on you as a baseball player and why?
My father. He is a die-hard Blue Jays fan and passed that train on to me. He was always throwing to me in the cage and helped me work on every aspect of my game.
6. Who was the best teammate you’ve ever had and why?
Josh Harmony. He would do anything for the team. He also will do his best to help every teammate with their swing.
7. What is the best thing about playing baseball in the WMBL?
The best part has to be how invested everyone is. The whole team wants nothing more than to win. The whole city is behind us and supports us. The fan base at our games is great!
Mavs are on the board! Mavericks lead the Bulls 3-1 in the top of the 3rd inning off a 3 RBI double from Carson Johnson! Louie Canjura, Reed Odland, and David Salgueiro all come around to score! #GoMavsGo pic.twitter.com/DJx1JTrnyG
— MedHat Mavericks (@mhmavericks) August 4, 2018
8. What is your favourite baseball memory?
Winning provincials in high school with the Vauxhall Vikings.
9. What is the best piece of baseball advice you’ve ever received?
The best piece of baseball advice I ever received has to be a quote from Ronnie Deck: “keep your highs low and your lows high.” This has helped me to be more consistent and realize that baseball is a game of failure. The key is to learn how to deal with that failure.