Fruitvale native and former Trail AM Ford Oriole infielder Joey Underwood signed with the Okotoks Dawgs of the Western Major Baseball League (WMBL).
Underwood is in his senior year at Bryan College in Tennessee, and was a standout shortstop for the AM Ford Orioles that won the 2011 Western Baseball Championships.
“I watched the Dawgs when I was younger and always wanted to play for the team,” Underwood says. “I am excited to be a part of such a great organization, and compete alongside a talented group of players.”
Underwood, a six foot, 195 pound infielder, began his collegiate career playing at the Prairie Baseball Academy in Lethbridge as a freshman in 2012, and played 16 games in the WMBL for the Lethbridge Bulls in the summer of 2012, before transferring to NAIA powerhouse Bryan College for his sophomore season.
He enjoyed a strong senior season to cap a very successful career at Bryan, batting .331 in 45 games to date with seven doubles, a homerun and 20 RBI’s. He is an igniter for the 37-15 Lions, with 16 stolen bases, while also proving to be a tough out, striking out just eight times in 124 at-bats. He is another reliable defender, committing only eight errors in 45 games.
Underwood is one of two players from Bryan College who will be coming north to Okotoks this summer, as Lions staff ace Kenny Knudsen is already signed to the Dawgs. The righty Knudsen is putting together one of the finest seasons in all of NAIA baseball, currently ranking second in wins with a 12-1 record, and seventh with his 1.10 ERA over 82 innings pitched.
WMBL showcases 11 teams from Saskatchewan and Alberta and includes college baseball players, playing what is equivalent to single-A baseball in the U.S.
The WMBL boasts a long standing tradition of creating a showcase for top Canadian professional and college prospects while at the same time offering American college players the opportunity to hone their skills in front of enthusiastic baseball fans in towns and cities throughout the Prairies.
The 2015 season starts in just one month, as the Dawgs open the season by visiting the Lethbridge Bulls on May 29th.