Coming off of a Canadian College Baseball Conference (CCBC) title win, Flynn Ridley set his sights on a summer season in the Western Canadian Baseball League (WCBL).
When it came time for the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) pitcher to find a team to play for, another championship squad – the Medicine Hat Mavericks – seemed like a perfect fit.
In his first season in the WCBL, the right-handed reliever from Vancouver has delivered an effective campaign thus far. The 18-year-old has a 3-1 record, two saves, a 2.49 earned run average (ERA) and 17 strikeouts through 21.2 innings pitched.
His play has been impressive enough that he was selected to play in the WCBL All-Star Game in Edmonton, alongside three other CCBC players.
We spoke with the 6-foot-4 mound manager as part of our 7th Inning Stretch series. Here’s a look at answers to seven questions we threw his way:
1. What was it like winning a CCBC championship with the UFV Cascades earlier this year?
It was awesome. We came in as the third seed … we went in there and fought our way to the finals.
I pitched game one in the final. We won game one, got walked off in game two, and mercied (the Okanagan College Coyotes) in the final to win it. We came out to play that weekend.
2. How did you find your way to southern Alberta this summer?
A lot of the top guys that I play with in the CCBC come and play here in the WCBL – usually the top dogs come out here.
I had my coach do my recruiting for me, and he said that the champions from last year were looking for a new pitcher and I said, “I’ll go.”
I was looking forward to coming out here and playing with these guys from big schools and stuff. Coming from a little Canadian school and not having a lot of guys really know who I am, I came out here to work with them, especially (Mavericks star Austin Sojka). He’s been helping me out a lot.
3. There are a lot of players who go from playing in the CCBC to the WCBL. Is it a fairly smooth transition from one league to the other?
Definitely. The amount of guys that you meet in the CCBC, it’s a good opportunity to meet good ball players, but when you come out here you meet guys from the United States that go to all these really good schools. You meet guys that have been playing longer than I have. Picking their brains and getting a lot of good information off of them is awesome. It’s definitely been a good experience for me.
4. What’s made you so successful with the Mavs this season?
I’m getting a lot of weak contact. I’m keeping the ball down in the zone, so guys aren’t really hitting the ball hard off of me.