The CIS collegiate league, the Canadian inter-university baseball league, gets under way tomorrow, and Bull League scouts are sure to be following the action closely.
While most college and high school leagues run during the late winter and early spring seasons, the academic and climatic season in Canada make this schedule difficult to mimic over most of the country. So, the shortened Canadian college baseball season runs instead from the beginning of September until about mid-October when the playoffs end.
Tomorrow, six games are on tap for the Canadian Collegiate Baseball Association (CCBA), one of the two CIS conferences. These are actually six teams playing two double-headers:
- Saint Mary’s Huskies at Acadia Axemen
- McGill Redmen at Carleton Ravens
- St. Francis Xavier X-men at UNB Cougars
Teams in the CCBA will play 16 games in total, or four against each of the four divisional opponents, with no games against the opposing division due to geographical distances. Most games will be played on weekends, with several mid-week games throughout the schedule, for example the McGill Redmen at Montreal Carabins game on Tuesday, September 5, which promises to be an exciting game against the two rival schools.
The ten Ontario universities that make up the OUA (Ontario University Athletics) conference get a start a week later, and will play an 18-game schedule. Action for these teams will start on Saturday, September 9, with the following double-headers:
- U of T Varsity Blues at U of W Warriors
- Brock Badgers at York Lions
- Western Mustangs at Guelph Gryphons
- Queen’s Gaels at Laurier Golden Hawks
Western is looking particularly dangerous this season, with CIS top-ranked 1B Payton Bint featuring in the lineup. The switch-hitting 21-year-old from nearby Chatham-Kent, Ontario, is said to have a gifted swing from both sides of the plate, with considerable power. LHP Corey Trottier will likely get the nod to start the first game.
Western are currently favored to win the OUA and move on to the CIS National Playoff finals in October.
Watch for regular updates as the CIS season progresses, just as the Bull League season reaches its playoff climax.