Cubs open at home 2 p.m. Sunday

Kincardine to play in new Midwestern League

By Josh Howald

The Kincardine Cubs will have a new league to try to conquer this summer.

The Cubbies, who have won provincial championships at three different levels over the last four seasons, will play in the newly-formed Midwestern Ontario Senior Baseball League.

Most of the teams from the Thames Valley Senior Baseball League are also making the move to the new league as the Thames League was taken over by other London-based teams. Nearly every team from the TVSBL will make the move to the Midwestern Ontario Senior League this season. The Listowel Legionnaires, the Mitchell Astros, the Hanover Hitmen, the Ingersoll Blue Jays, the Woodstock Nationals, the St. Thomas Cardinals, the London Area Angels, the Lucan Irish Nine and the Byron Storm will all make the shift.

The Cubs have been working out already, and the season is quickly approaching. Kincardine will host the Nationals this Sunday, with first pitch scheduled for 2 p.m.

Infielder Greg Stepaniak said Friday that there are roughly 30 players who have been working out with the club. That number needs to be cut to 25 for league, tournament and OBA action.

"Some tough decisions will have to be made," said Stepaniak. "It is a good mix of young up-and-comers as well as savvy veterans who have been with the team a long time."

The Cubs have the annual Blue vs. White intrasquad game scheduled for tonight (Wednesday) at Connaught Park, which will be the team's final tune-up before the season starts Sunday.

The Cubs also announced the Mike McLelland Memorial Classic will take on a new format this year. The New Lowell AA Knights and the Sarnia AAA Braves have confirmed they will attend to compete in a three-team tournament with three seven-inning games. The Cubs Classic is set to take place July 2.

New Lowell is the team that ended Kincardine's string of Ontario Baseball Association provincial championships last season. After winning OBA C, OBA B and OBA A titles in three consecutive years, the Knights knocked the Cubs out of the provincial OBA AA tournament last season.

Kincardine starts the season with a bit of a home stand. After Sunday's home opener, the Cubs will play a doubleheader May 28 at Connaught Park against the Ingersoll Blue Jays. Then, on May 31, Kincardine will host the Hanover Hitmen for a Wednesday night tilt at Connaught Park.