Canadian team represented in Sunbelt Classic

Friday, June 20th 2008, 7:17 pm
By: News 9

By Gan Matthews, NEWS 9

Its baseball time in Norman, and for the 32nd straight year teams from all over the country are competing in the Sunbelt Classic.

This year, for the first time, there's a team competing that's from outside the U.S.--and so far, the players are enjoying some surprising success. The team is from Canada.

Like all the teams participating, the guys are staying at private homes in Norman.

For these four players, the day starts with a late breakfast. Host Mitzi Roberts does the cooking--and she also likes to show the guys around.

"We take them out to eat," Mitzi Roberts said. "We give them some home cooking. We show them some of the local sites."

But the Canadians are here to play baseball--and to represent their country well.

"We have high expectations for our team, and we come down here and these guys, they're not used to playing teams from Canada," Canada team member Andrew Ruck said. "There's a lot of pressure on us, but there's probably more pressure on them to perform well against us because no one likes to lose to Canada."

The pressure didn't bother these guys last night. They pulled off a big upset against Texas.

"In the first inning, their whole team was just rowdy and cheering and being kind of ignorant," Canada team member Cam Graham said. "Then, after we got a couple of runs, it just shut them right up and it was awesome."

One thing these guys like about Oklahoma is the passion people have for baseball.

"Everyone around here just seems to love baseball, and in Canada it's hockey that's really passionate," Canada team member Jeff Gibbs said.

The 32nd annual Sunbelt Classic will conclude with several games tomorrow. All of them are played at OU's L. Dale Mitchell Park.