The newest sports team in Brandon last year was the Wheat City Whiskey Jacks. The team joined the Expedition League which is a collegiate baseball league that welcomes top players from around North America that are looking to stay sharp for their collegiate seasons.
After going 12-52 last season, the ball club is back again this season and they're ready to change the fate. With 64 days until Opening Day, Ray Walker has been busy acquiring top-end talent including a bench boss. The team has added Walker Bullington who is currently on the coaching staff at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama. In the past, he led the Little River Blue Crabs to a CSCBL Championship in 2018. He also has MLB experience in youth development with the Atlanta Braves, Washington Nationals, and New York Yankees.
"Our first year was a real education process. Hiring Bullington was something we wanted to achieve first," said Ray Walker, General Manager. "Bullington will add something really special to the fans of our baseball club. We've re-signed a couple of returnees that were all-star players in our league last year. I think fans are starting to get excited for the season to start."
Of course, many sporting events have either been postponed or cancelled due to the growing concern of COVID-19. The Expedition League has released a press release saying the safety of fans, players, employees, and interns are the most important thing at a time like this. They continued to say they are closely monitoring the current situation. With 64 days until the first pitch; however, the league is preparing for the start of the season to begin on time.
As mentioned above, it's been a busy off-season for Walker and company as the organization looks to lock up a roster that can compete at an elite level day in and day out. The team has announced the return of Lucas Allen. The catcher was an all-star and fan favourite with the Whiskey Jacks last season. He batted .288 with 44 hits, 21 RBI, and three home runs.
In another big announcement, the team is set to welcome back their Most Valuable Player from last year, Cody Kehl, a sophomore 2nd baseman from Quincy, Washington. Cody had 69 hits last season and a batting average of .309.
"Cody is one of the great personalities that the Whiskey Jacks were able to add last year," continued Walker. "We're really excited to have him back; he's an excellent player and a great guy. We can play him in any sort of situation and he can deliver."
The Whiskey Jacks open up their season at Andrews Field in Brandon on May 26. They welcome the Badlands Big Sticks to town to open up a three-game home stand. The team follows that up with another three-game set on home field against the Spearfish Sasquatch. If you are planning on making a trip down to the Wheat City to watch the Whiskey Jacks, Walker says you won't be disappointed.
"The community of Dauphin is so well known for supporting sports, we know that," added Walker. "Brandon is just a short ride. We'd love if you came down for the weekend to watch a couple of games. The talent level is top-notch and we know you're going to enjoy everything that happens at the park."
The team's season finale is on August 8 at 4:35 p.m. as they play on the road against the Pierre Trappers.