Last season was a swing and a miss for the Yorkton Cardinals of the Western Major Baseball League, posting 10 wins and 38 losses, finishing last in the WMBL.

The tough season caused the team to make some big changes over the offseason, leading to some optimism for the baseball season ahead.

“This year, it’s looking up,” said returning Cardinals fielder Jayse Wilson, the team’s only full-time returning player this season.

The drastic changes include bringing in new head coach Johnny Farrington.

“It should be a little bit different from last year. We should win some games,” said Farrington at the team’s practice Wednesday, a day ahead of the season opener against the Moose Jaw Miller Express. “It should be a good summer.”

Farrington’s coaching experience stems from his home state of Oregon, where he coached the Lane Community College Titans to a second place finish in their division. He says this summer, he wants to see the Yorkton squad play as one, on and off the field.

“A team that just gets out here and grinds, and wants to get better every day,” Farrington said. “I think we can do it.”

The team’s roster this year is comprised of players from all over North America, from Alberta and British Columbia to Florida and California.

“It’s weird because you don’t see the same faces around the diamond all the time, but hopefully we’re going to see a lot of new faces and really perform,” Wilson said. “Everyone’s got to stay healthy, play some good defense hopefully, pitchers are going to throw lots of strikes, not walk guys. It’s going to be a good year.”

Despite the fresh roster, there will still be some familiar faces around. Pitcher Tyson Black from Yorkton and Kaito Farquharson from Saltcoats are both listed as affiliated players for the Cardinals this year. As for the full time Cardinals lineup, that won’t start to take shape for another few weeks as some players are still finishing up seasons in college baseball.

“The guys I know pretty well aren’t going to be here for a couple weeks,” Farrington said. “So the first couple weeks are going to be a bit of a grind.”

The Cardinals open their season Thursday night in Moose Jaw, and will open at home on Saturday against the Regina Red Sox.

Based on a report by CTV Yorkton's Stefanie Davis