Brett Braybrook helped revive his hometown Virden Oilers and continues to play important roles for the ball team.
Last week the Oilers went 1-1 to kick off their fifth season in the South West Baseball League since it was revived. Braybrook plays centerfield and also serves as co-manager with Des Koop.
“Brett can track a fly ball with the best of any center in our league,” Koop said. “One of his strengths is being able to take control in the outfield by helping out our corner outfielders with every batter.
“At the plate, Brett is an extremely scrappy batter with very quick speed.”
Koop said the best part of co-managing with Braybrook is that both of them are extremely competitive and share the love of the game. He also praised Braybrook for being organized and said his dedication is second to none.
Braybrook played one season for the Oilers in Grade 12 before the team went away. For years, he suited up for the Reston Rockets with Koop. As traveling partners, they often talked about starting up a team in Virden once a diamond was built.
They succeeded in doing so. The Oilers have been successful since their return. Braybrook acknowledged that with arm issues he might not have many years left as a player. He said the core of the team keeps him going and he has enjoyed seeing his offspring around the team.
“My two young boys Avery and Jax spend countless hours for diamond maintenance, visiting businesses for sponsorship, being bat boys, practices with the guys, and going for pizza with the guys after,” Braybrook said. “They absolutely love the guys and wear their Oilers apparel. Those two absolutely love being around the group as do I.
“I can’t thank the men enough for how good they are to my boys. I remember being the stick boy for the senior hockey team the years my dad coached. It is something you remember forever. I am glad to give those boys that opportunity.”
Last week the Oilers opened the 2019 campaign with a 5-0 shutout of the Reston Rockets on May 21. Jeff Peel allowed only two hits over seven innings and had two hits. Teammate Shane Keown also collected two hits.
The team’s May 24 game was postponed. On May 26, Virden fell, 7-0, to the Hamiota Red Sox on the road. Hamiota’s Brady Waddell allowed four hits over six innings before Kayden Sutherland came on to wrap up the shutout.
On Wednesday, May 29, the Oilers hosted the Rivers Comets but just couldn’t get on the scoreboard, losing 8-0.This Sunday they’re on the road in Souris.
The Expos opened the season last week with a 1-1 record.
The Elkhorn Expos fell in their first game, 11-5, to the Rivers Comets. After trailing 4-0, the Expos pushed five runs across home plate in the fourth inning. However, the Comets scored seven in the bottom of the inning and went on to prevail. Taylor Sanheim was two-for-three at the plate for Elkhorn.
At home on May 26, the Expos beat the Deloraine Royals, 12-6. Elkhorn jumped out to a 5-1 first inning lead, added two runs in the second and five more in the fifth. Jake Poole of the Expos was three-for-four, including two doubles, with four runs batted in. Teammate Josh Martin had a home run. Tyler Wood and Mike Stevenson had two RBIs each. Damon Bajus picked up the win on the mound for the Expos.
The team is on the road this weekend. They play in Hamiota on Friday and at Hartney on Sunday.