WINCHESTER – Founded in 2002, the Sox have been the lone member of the National Capital Baseball League (NCBL) representing Winchester.

This spring the Sox will be joined in the NCBL by a recently formed team, the Winchester Heat. The expansion Heat will play in the Tier 4 level while the Sox have moved up from Tier 2 to Tier 1.

The Heat, the brainchild of player-coach Chris Embury, applied for entry earlier this year and was accepted by the league executive who had originally advertised for two new teams, but received three applications, including the Heat whose representative attended the league’s March meeting to personally plead their case and were granted a franchise.

Embury has enlisted his father, Gary, as head coach and his mother, Colleen, as team manager, both of whom are long-time volunteers in the local sports scene.

“We have 18 committed players who are ready and anxious to start plying,” noted the manager.

The Heat’s first game against the Fighting Irish, scheduled for Sunday (May 14), was rained out. Friday (May 19) they will take on the Coyotes at the Sportsplex.

Home games

The Heat will play their home games at 8:30 pm Monday evenings at Winchester’s Morgan Field.

Thursday’s remain the home date for the Tier 1 Sox. Tomorrow (May 18) the Sox are scheduled to host the Bytown Battalion in their 2017 opener at 8 pm.

Monday (May 22), the Knights will visit Winchester providing the opposition for the Heat as they play their first-ever home game.

Winchester is a member of the 11-team Tier 4 division along with Bandits Baseball, The Naturals, Team Cuba, South End Strykers, Orleans Lynx, Braumeisters, Fighting Irish, Coyotes, Knights and Los Vampiros. The top eight teams make the playoffs.

Heating it up

Suiting up for the Heat are Ryan Embury, Chris Embury, Colton Robinson, Kyle Beehler, Tyler Hunt, Adam Konink, Colby Huybregts, Jake Byers, Cody Carruthers, Josh Stubbings, Ryan Romans, Wyatt Irven, Ryan Thompson, Justin McMahon, Justin Comeau, Eric Heldens, Josh Kirkby and Zach Herfkens.

Sox story

Last season, the Winchester Sox (17-6-1) claimed the Tier 2 regular season pennant and played their way into the final series against the third-place Metcalfe Mudd (13-10-1). Metcalfe eventually claimed the championship posting a 4-2 decision in game six.

Since then both Winchester and Metcalfe have moved up into Tier 1 joining the Nepean Brewers, Kanata Athletics, Capital City Cubs, Panthers, Kingston Ponies and the Bytown Battalion.

The Sox were to have played their first game last night (Tues., May 16) against the Cubs at the Sportsplex and followed up with tomorrow’s (Thurs., May 18) home game against the Battalion.

Winchester has welcomed the return of pitcher Jordan Havekes to the lineup, which includes veterans Chris Hart, Nik Paas, Matt Ware, Justin Morozuk, Andre Robidoux, James Shaw, Matt Uhrig, Cam Shaw, Bobby Paradis, Dave Yarwood and Adrian Delorey. Also on the roster are Tyler Bray, Ryan Clarke, Dave Forbes, Jordan Harcourt, Mike Heffer, Curtis Lacelle, Ethan Nodwell and Dominic Plaschy.