The Weyburn Beavers take to the diamond at Tom Laing Park tonight for the first game of the 2024 Western Canadian Baseball League Season, with the Moose Jaw Miller Express coming to town.  

The Beavers are welcoming several new faces to the roster this year, including Ian Heck. He is a two-way player out of Sacramento, California. For him, coming to Weyburn is his first time out of the United States, and he is excited to experience a lot of new places.  

During the past collegiate season, he found himself doing a little bit of everything.  

“I pitch a lot, but I play mostly first base and third base... and I’ve also played a lot of time in the outfield for my school this past year,” Heck told Discover Weyburn. 

On the mound, he threw 67 innings, striking out 65 of the 313 batters he faced. He also went the distance in three of his starts, picking up a shutout along the way. At the plate, he had an even more impressive line, hitting .362 with six home runs and 37 RBI.  

Quentin Smith is another new face on the roster this year, coming from the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore. The town itself has already made a good impression on the freshman infielder.  

“Easy access to a lot of things, and people get along great here,” Smith said. He is also excited about seeing the country as well, as coming to Weyburn is the first time he has left the United States as well.  

Coming out of high school, he was ranked as one of the top second basemen in the state of Maryland in 2023, and in his limited action this past collegiate season, appearing in just 21 of the team’s 48 games. In his first year at the NCAA Division 1 level, Smith batted .259.  

Tyren Dorrance, from Alameda, is back for his third summer with the Beavers. He is coming off a solid season at York College in Nebraska, where he played with Heck this year.  

Dorrance is looking forward to getting the season started tonight, as they take on the Miller Express.  

“I know they were on the top of the league for our division last year, so it’ll be pretty competitive,” Dorrance said of the competition in the home opener. “It will be a good game, so we’re gonna have to bring our best.” 

Another returning player who has grown into a fan favourite over the past couple of seasons is Ryan Dauphinee. The White Rock, BC native has found comfort in returning to Weyburn each summer.  

“It was a little bit weird when I first got here, getting used to it, but now it just feels like a second or third home, so it’s very comfortable, very homey here, and year, hopefully, we can be on the winning side of things,” Dauphinee said. 

One of the other new faces this year will be in the dugout. Luke Senft is the new assistant coach with the Beavers, having spent some time with head coach Cam Williams with the University Calgary Dinos over the past few seasons. As much as he is looking forward to the action on the diamond, the bench coach is also looking forward to getting out into the community. 

“I’d really love to be able to get out there and spread the game wherever we can because I mean, that’s really what it’s all about, right? Spreading our game that we all love so much, and trying to hand it down to the next generation.” 

The Beavers will take to the field for the first time this season tonight at 7:00 p.m.