7th Inning Stretch: McCoy Pearce

First baseman McCoy Pearce is doing his part to put the “Bomb” in “Bombers” this season.

Making his way to Brooks by way of Kamloops, Kelowna and – more recently – McPherson College in Kansas, the 6-foot-3 batsman has been a consistent performer at the plate through 22 Western Canadian Baseball League (WCBL) games, leading the team in runs batted in (RBI) with 24, runs (18), hits (35), and home runs (6).

Pearce was recruited to Brooks by Kyle MacKinnon – the head coach for the Bombers and the hitting coach for the McPherson College Bulldogs – along with several of his college teammates.

We caught up with the hard-hitting infielder and pitched him seven questions as part of our 7th Inning Stretch series. Here’s what Pearce had to say:

1. You have some teammates from McPherson College playing for the Brooks Bombers (outfielder Kris Perez, reliever Jarrod Manick and starting pitcher Garrett Connor). What came first, coach MacKinnon recruiting you to the Bombers or hearing about teammates going there and wanting to follow?

Actually, coach Mac asked me early in the fall to come and play at Brooks and at that point I had no idea who’d be on the team. I was happy to learn later on that some of my teammates were also going to be playing.

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Pearce (left) mans first base at Elks Field in Brooks … photo by Ian Wilson

2. Your junior season with the Bulldogs looked productive from a statistical point of view (.291 batting average, 27 RBI and 20 runs in 44 games). How do you look back on your season there?

For the most part, I was disappointed with my performance as I didn’t achieve some of the goals I had set for myself. My conference batting average was .320 but my slugging percentage was not where I wanted it to be.

However, as a team we had a very successful year and made playoffs.  I learned a lot last season and McPherson has a great baseball program in a competitive conference, and they have a great facility.

3. You’re originally from Kamloops. How is the baseball scene there?

Kamloops has a great youth baseball program and they have a college team (Thompson Rivers University) in the CCBC (Canadian College Baseball Conference).

My dad actually coached me for most of my younger years and he still coaches in the Kamloops Minor Baseball Association. But when I got to grade 10 I moved to Kelowna to play in the more competitive Premier Baseball League with the Okanagan A’s program. Baseball popularity is really growing in the interior of B.C.

4. Do you have specific goals or expectations for this summer season? If so, what are they?

My biggest goals for the summer are to just enjoy playing baseball and try to improve every day. I would like to work on consistency, both at the plate and defensively.

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Pearce (left) chats with Okotoks Dawgs pitching coach Joe Sergent (middle) and Tristan Peters (right) at Seaman Stadium in Okotoks … photo by Ian Wilson

Ultimately, for me I know as long as I’m enjoying it I’m going to play well, and when you play this many games in this short of time you can’t lose sight of the fact that you play this game because you love it.

5. You have had a very good rookie campaign in the WCBL so far, but the team has struggled at times. Brooks currently sports a 6-16 record. What has your experience been like with the Bombers so far?

It has been an awesome experience so far. The community has been welcoming and my billet family has been great. We have amazing guys on this team and everyone is having a lot fun playing ball at this competitive level. We would like to be having better results and are hoping that we’ll have some more wins now that everyone has arrived.

6. What’s your favourite baseball movie and why? And tell us your preferred activity on the bus. 

I’d have to go with Bench Warmers because I’ll never not laugh at that movie –  it has some hilarious scenes. On the bus, I either listen to music or watch Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

7. Last question: McCoy is a unique name. Is there a story behind it?

My parents said it was really important to them for me to have a different name, so my mom went through, like, seven baby name books to find it. She found the name McCoy, liked it, and saw that it was Irish and meant ‘son of fire.’ I also have Irish ancestry from my dad’s side of the family, so that was what my parents went with.

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Pearce (No. 22), seen here on deck at Seaman Stadium, has been a consistent hitter for the Brooks Bombers this season … photo by Ian Wilson
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