06/23/2022 1:46 PM -
It may only seem like a couple of weeks, but the Lethbridge Bulls are already 20 games deep into their title defense season. Through the first month of the WCBL season, the Bulls sit a record of 9-11 and are coming off a series split in Swift Current.
It was expected that Lethbridge would be carried by an explosive offense. However, it has been quite the contrary as the pitching staff and defense has been excellent. The Bulls have posted a .685 OPS as a club through 20 games compared to posting a .793 team OPS last summer.
So far this season, the new arms in the bullpen have made an impact for the Bulls. Right handers Devin Benavides (Laredo, Texas), Blade Strzelczyk (San Antonio, Texas) and Ben Erwin (Spruce Grove, Alberta) have provided the Bulls a formidable trio at the back end. Head Coach Chance Wheatley says the bullpen in general have been well above advertised.
“Our bullpen guys, Benavides, Strzelzcyk, as well as guys like Erwin have been excellent and that’s definitely exceeded my expectations.”
The Bulls are looking to make their way above the .500 plateau in their upcoming homestand which opens Friday with a three-game set with the Fort McMurray Giants, a single game against the Okotoks Dawgs and the Canadian Tire Canada Day Doubleheader against the Brooks Bombers.
In one previous matchup with the Fort McMurray Giants this season, Lethbridge suffered an 8-3 setback. Wheatley says there is a bit of unfamiliarity with the Giants roster.
“We’ve only seen them once, you don’t know a lot of them still. But being a team coached by Ray Brown, you know they are going to take care of the baseball and play very good fundamental baseball.”
It is Family Night presented by KISS 107.7 on Friday, first pitch flies at 7:05pm from Spitz Stadium.