MARYSBURG — With a veteran crew, the Marysburg Royals are looking once again to contend for league and provincial titles.
It will be the 104th consecutive summer that a senior baseball team will represent Marysburg. While its current crew – which opens the season on May 19 against the Dodgers in Saskatoon – has obviously not played all of those seasons, the players certainly know each other well. Player/organizer Curtis Strueby said that four members have played together for more than 20 years. A couple others have competed for almost 15 years and about eight players have played seven to 10 seasons. Regarding the team’s veterans, Strueby said:
“We are family and childhood friends. It means a lot for us to play together in our home community. The amount of pride is immense. Five of us are fourth generation Royals. We have a couple third generation and a few second generation as well.
“And for the others that have joined the last number of years, they are all from the area. They have come to Marysburg to play some senior ball and have some fun hanging out with a great group of guys. It means a lot to have them on our team. I guess we just all enjoy the game and enjoy playing the game together.”
That camaraderie, as well as talent, has led to success. Last season the Royals has the best record in the Saskatoon Senior Baseball League last season, finished second in the league playoffs, and were second in the Senior AA Tier 1 provincials.
Everyone returns from that squad except for Brett Doepker, who moved away for work. Strueby said it is a loss as Doepker both pitched and caught for the Royals.
“We have our core back that’s been around for a number of years now led by Cole Bauml. He continues to be a force all over the diamond at the senior level,” Strueby said of the former Trinidad (Colo.) State Junior College and Northern Kentucky University standout who spent four seasons in the minor leagues with the Detroit Tigers organization.
The team’s lone new player is Ethan Rueve. The pitcher joins the squad from the U18 AAA ranks.
The Royals’ strengths will be their offensive depth and strong defence, Strueby said. He also noted the roster has some good young starting pitchers.
Maryburg’s schedule features 20 league games, As well, it will compete in a Father’s Day Tournament in Saskatoon, the Big Moose Baseball Tournament in Kenosee, and the Tier 1 provincials.