Thunder Bay Border Cats Start the Season
THUNDER BAY – Sports – Are you ready for baseball. The Thunder Bay Border Cats kick off their 12th season in the Northwoods League tonight when they open a two-game series at Tbaytel Park against the St. Cloud Rox. The first pitch is scheduled 7:05PM.
Mother Nature must be a Border Cats fan. The forecast is calling for good weather with winds getting lighter this evening.
Righthander Tyler Lequire from Kentucky’s Pfeiffer University is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Cats. The first 500 fans through the gates receive a 2014 Border cats magnetic schedule courtesy of Boston Pizza. It’s also the first “TV Tuesday” of the season as one lucky fan will win a 43-inch Samsung television from the Power Centre. It’s just the second time in franchise history the Cats have opened the season at home.
The Cats are looking to rebound after recording just 21 wins last year and turn to a new manager this season in Johnny Hernandez. The 33-year old Hernandez, who coaches in New York at Long Island University-Brooklyn, is a former 15th round draft pick of St. Louis and played professionally as an outfielder in the Cardinals organization.
The 2014 roster consists of five returning players, including outfielder Cory Kay, who is back for his third season in Thunder Bay. The native of Arlington Heights, IL., has played 106 games in a Border Cats uniform, batting .237 overall with six home runs and 42 runs batted in. Cory’s younger brother, Gunner Kay, a freshman pitcher from Dallas Baptist University, joins the Cats this season, becoming the third Kay brother to play in Thunder Bay. Brett Kay, who now plays shortstop in the San Francisco Giants organization, suited up for the Cats in 2011-12. Other returning players this year include all star pitcher Zach Thiac, who posted a 2-1 record with 2.85 earned run average in 23 games last season. Outfielder Alex Bautista will look to improve his 2013 numbers when he hit four home runs in 52 games with 18 runs batted in. Infielder Adam Collins exploded onto the scene when he joined the Cats in late July last season. The infielder from Central Michigan University played in 11 games and batted .381 with three home runs, five doubles and 11 runs batted in. Thunder Bay’s Carter McEachern, coming off an outstanding college season at Trinity University in San Antonio, TX., returns for his second year with the Cats. The outfielder hit .333 in 10 games in 2013.