Baseball has taken Humboldt’s Jayden Huls to various Canadian cities, and it will do so once again.
Huls was one of 20 players selected to represent Saskatchewan at the upcoming 2018 Baseball Canada Cup Championships in Moncton and Dieppe, N.B. Aug. 8-12.
“It’s an honour. It means you’re representing something big. It’s where you come from, making a good impression for the whole country,” said Huls of his selection.
“It’s not only representing Saskatchewan it’s representing Humboldt and the community and where I come from.”
Huls will join Team Saskatchewan fresh off his second Midget AAA season with the Muenster Red Sox, where he finished with a batting average of .301.
In his final tune up contests before the Canada Cup, Huls posted top tens at the provincial championship in runs scored, doubles, runs batted in, stolen bases, and average.
While the soon-to-be 17–year-old posted solid numbers offensively, Huls is also a more than capable defender finishing third in assists, fifth in put outs, sixth in defensive innings played, eighth in fielding percentage and tenth in errors, amongst all outfielders in the Saskatchewan Premier Baseball League.
In four games at provincials, the Humboldt native finished second in assists, fourth in defensive innings played, and seventh in put outs.
The Baseball Canada Cup will be Huls’ fourth time representing Team Saskatchewan after previous appearances at the 2016 U15 Ray Carter Cup in Summerside, P.E.I. where his team finished tenth, the 2017 U15 Ray Carter Cup, again in Summerside, where his team won bronze, and at the 2017 Canada Summer Games, where Huls helped Saskatchewan win gold.
Huls also traveled to Ile-des-Chenes, Man. last August, where he helped the Red Sox collect the Western Canadian title.
The 6’2” 170lb outfielder, says being selected to represent Saskatchewan does not get old, even after the fourth time.
“It’s a moment of reassurance,” he said.
Huls, who turns 17 on Aug. 31, will be joined at the Canada Cup by a pair of Red Sox teammates, as Watrous’ Tyler McWillie and Nipawin’s Kyle Froehlich also made the roster.
Huls, who grew up playing with McWillie in Humboldt and played with Froehlich at various times in his career, says having those guys to go through the process together will be helpful.
“I’ve been playing ball with Tyler obviously most of my life and it’s a bond, and Kyle, I’ve known him for a couple years, and played with him for a few years and it’s just a bond that makes the team stronger.”
With this being Huls’ fourth time representing Saskatchewan in just three years, the Humboldt native says those past experiences will also serve as a huge help in his approach to the championship.
“All the past experiences just teaches you that it’s still the same game, just a different place. It’s just like playing in Humboldt or Muenster or Saskatoon.”
As for the championship itself, Saskatchewan who have been placed in Pool A with Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia.
In the last three years, Saskatchewan has been the most successful club at the Canada Cup and Canada Summer Games, winning twice and finishing runners-up a third time.
But the remaining three sides rank second, third, and fourth over the same time period.
The other pool will feature the final six teams from Manitoba, Alberta, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island, the teams who rank 5-10 over the same time period.
“It’ll be tough,” admitted Huls.
Players for Team Saskatchewan are picked based on their play throughout their season.
After a solid second year of Midget baseball, Huls says his goals for the Canada Cup are to hit for average, and play solid defensively.
“I want to help carry the team for another gold medal, make it three years in a row.”
Huls and Team Saskatchewan will open their tournament looking for a three-peat with a matchup against Team Ontario on Aug. 8.