Kyle Dyck and Tristan Peters made the final cuts for Team Manitoba. Above, the two won bronze medals at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Park in Orlando, Florida while members of Team Manitoba White (when there was still two teams of players competing for the final roster.
Two Winkler athletes are among the 20-man roster named to Team Manitoba, preparing for the Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg.
Kyle Dyck and Tristan Peters were named to the team that includes players from Brandon, Inglis, Winnipeg, Landmark, La Salle, Boissevain, Portage, Strathclair, Winkler, Pipestone, and East St. Paul.
Kyle Dyck won his spot by attending an open tryout last summer. He said the competition was intense.
“All those guys on the team are very good,” he said.
Dyck is looking forward to the experience. “It’s a great opportunity to represent the province in the summer games,” he said.
A pitcher known for his steadiness on the mound, Dyck also plays high school ball with GVC, Winkler Minor Ball and with the Altona Jr. Bisons in the Manitoba Junior Baseball League.
Tristan Peters said he was excited to make the team. “It feels awesome,” he said. “It’s just really good baseball, especially at the Canada Summer Games.
Peters said initially he wasn’t sure if he’d make the team. “As the year went on I started to get a lot better and then I got confident,” he said.
Peters plays for the Okotoks Dawgs, and saw his game improve during the season. “In the winter with the Dawgs we focussed a lot on hitting,” he said. “I used to be a pitcher. They signed me as a pitcher but they’ve kind of turned me into a hitter and a fielder.”
Peters said he’s looking forward to the Canada Summer Games.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” he said. “There’s going to be a lot of scouts and great competition to.”
Team Manitoba Head Coach Faron Asham said they’re pleased to get both Winkler players on the roster.
“Peters is going to be a huge part offensively for us,” he said. “He’ll be able to pitch for us, he’s going to play in multiple positions in the infield and be a big offensive force for us somewhere in the middle of the order.”
Asham described Kyle Dyck as a “stabilizing force” on the pitching staff.
“He brings a calm, cool demeanor, something the coaching staff really appreciates,” Asham said. “In any number of situations nothing’s going to change for him. His mechanics are going to stay the same, his heart rate is going to stay the same.”
“He’s going to come in and give us the same performance whether it’s the bottom of the seventh with loaded bases or top of the second with nobody on,” he added. “We know what we’re getting with Kyle.”
Asham said the team shares many attributes including adaptability, the ability to play multiple positions or to be used in multiple situations. But it was also the leadership shown by Dyck and Peters that drew the attention of the coaching staff.
“Both Peters and Dyck bring that great leadership,” he said. “They’re the ones that go out on the field, give 100 per cent effort 100 per cent of the time and lead that way.”
“They have the ability to put a team on their shoulders and carry that team to success,” he added.
Asham said because of the vast talent pool in Manitoba, this wasn’t an easy roster to assemble. But he said having interchangeable parts is key.
“That versatility is so big for us because we just don’t have that one superstar, that shutdown pitcher,” he said. “Manitoba’s never had that. We know going in that we’re going to need guys to come in and give us multiple short term outings on the mound. Come in, get six outs, get out, hand the ball to the next guy who will do the same thing.”
The team faces an aggressive schedule filled with tournaments and exhibition games in the U.S. which will pit them against some top pitching, the type they’ll see from the Canada Summer Games favourites such as Quebec, Ontario and B.C. But Asham said they are looking forward to the games.
“Each and every player has fully bought into the program,” he said. “We’re excited. We like the energy and we’re certainly happy with the roster we’ve put together.”