Hunter Wright to Play for EOBA at Ontario Summer Games Baseball Tournament

In Baseball

By Jeff Gard/Today’s Northumberland

Fifteen-year-old Hunter Wright of Cobourg will compete for the Eastern Ontario Baseball Association All-Stars at the upcoming Ontario Summer Games in Mississauga.

Baseball action at the Games begins next Friday, July 22 and continues through the weekend with 12 teams competing, including the EOBA.

“We have a very strong organization, a very strong league so I believe with the team that we have…I believe that we have a very strong team and we’re able to win the tournament,” Wright said, adding he saw a notice seeking players for the EOBA squad and decided to try out to compare his skills to the competition. He went with the approach “I’m just going to be there, try to show that I’m able to make the team and just be me.”

The EOBA All-Stars qualified for the Ontario Summer Games by sweeping the Southern Counties Baseball Association two straight in a best-of-three series in Tillsonburg. Wright can’t wait to play at the Games.

“Just lots of good baseball, it’s good baseball to play and watch, be around,” he remarked.

Wright is a catcher and plays for the Northumberland Jacks 15U Elite team, which is competing in the Elite Baseball League of Ontario. He began playing baseball at age nine, which he considered a late start, but hockey and soccer had been his main sports to that point. It didn’t take long to become fond of baseball once he stepped on the diamond.

“I just kind of enjoyed being around friends. I hopped on a Jacks team with a couple of my close buddies and my dad really helped me get into a little bit,” he said, referring to his father Derek, who was an accomplished softball player.

Wright said having some success early on encouraged him to stick with baseball. He initially began playing middle infield positions, especially second base like his dad had, but his team needed a catcher and he decided to give it a try. That position behind the plate was his calling.

“I loved being in the game every pitch,” Wright said.

He’s worked hard at his communication with pitchers, calling the right pitches, bolstering his arm strength and using his speed and athleticism to his advantage. He works with a number of different pitchers from his multiple teams.

“It’s a challenge, but I enjoy it,” Wright said.

This weekend, Wright and the 15U Jacks competed at a tournament in Syracuse before he heads to the Ontario Summer Games.

While also competing in some high school sports at Cobourg Collegiate Institute, Wright’s main sports that consume his time are baseball and hockey.

This past season he captained the Northumberland Nighthawks U15 AA hockey team.

“I love the sport, love the intensity,” said Wright, who is a defenceman. It’s a bit different from baseball. I just love the mix.”

Wright embraces taking on a leadership role with any team he plays for.

“I kind of just learned I have a voice,” he said. “Having a ‘C’ on my jersey this past year kind of shows that guys will listen to me and I carry that over to baseball too being a catcher. You need to be a leader, you’re a quarterback back there so I just use my voice to be loud and guys will follow.”

Jeff Gard
Author: Jeff Gard

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