Two more UBC Thunderbirds have been added to the Kamloops Northpaws’ roster.
Ty Penner plans to bring a big bat to the expansion baseball franchise, which is scheduled to join the West Coast League ranks next summer.
Penner, from Lethbridge, is a sizeable first-baseman, a UBC sophomore who stands 6-foot-4 and weighs 215 pounds.
“I try and bring a bat that can hit for extra bases, whether it’s doubles or even home runs,” Penner said in a NorthPaws’ press release. “I think my bat is the difference-maker in the game, but I also try to play some solid, steady defence at the corners of the infield.”
Sammie Starr, an assistant coach for the NorthPaws and T-Birds, is familiar with Penner’s game.
“Ty is a plus defender at first base and he’s got power potential as a big left-handed batting first baseman,” Starr said in the release. “He’s grown and gained muscle over the past couple of years.”
T-Birds’ sophomore shortstop Mike Fitzsimmons of Chilliwack has also committed to the NorthPaws.
“I don’t think there’s an infield coach better than Sammie in Canada. If I can go anywhere he is in the summer, then I think that’s putting me at an advantage,” Fitzsimmons said in a press release. “Obviously, Kamloops is pretty close to home and my mom has been missing out on some games. She’s eager to watch, so that’s good, too.”
Added Starr: “Mike is a really good defender, brings energy, plays hard. He’ll be a menace on the base paths, he’s quick.”
Three UBC players have signed on to play in Kamloops next year.
Pitcher/infielder Ryan Beitel will also make the trip up the Coquihalla for the summer ball campaign.