April 12, 2018
The Salt Lake Community College Bruins entered the post-season Region 8 Tourney this week with a Scenic West Athletic Conference (“SWAC”) record of 21 and 10, finishing strongly with 5 straight wins. Their record is a marked improvement over their 2017 conference record of 18 and 19. Instrumental in the Bruin’s success this season has been the mound performance of former Victoria Eagle Fynn Chester.
The 6’2” 175 lb. Chester has an 8 and 0 record and leads the Bruins in ERA (2.04). In 53 innings pitched Chester has given up 35 hits, 13 walks, and no home runs. Opposing batters have hit for a measly .192 and struck out 46 times. His stellar numbers were recognized in a SWAC Pitcher of the Week awarded earlier this season and being named to the SWAC First Team All-Conference. Bruins Coach Derek Waddoups speaks highly of his freshman starter, “Fynn has been fabulous for us this spring. He has been our most consistent starter and has been clutch in big games. His composure has been key to his success and helps pick up his team. Waddoups adds that while Chester’s 90+ mph fastball is excellent, it’s “his command of the strike zone that sets him apart. He locates his fastball down and can pitch to both sides of the plate which makes his slider and change up that much better.”
Fynn’s outstanding stats and honours in his first year of college ball come as no surprise to his 2013 Bantam AAA Red Eagles Manager, Bob Mabee. Mabee, a diamond veteran with more than 40 years of coaching experience, describes the 13 year-old Fynn as a player with a great work ethic and a natural understanding of the game. Like Waddoups, Mabee remembers Chester’s unflappable demeanour in critical game situations, “Fynn was always cool and never lost his focus. There is no panic in Fynn Chester.”
In 2013, Fynn’s goal as a young Eagle was to play for the Premier Eagles. He achieved this objective in 2015 when he made the Premier team as a bullpen pitcher. His success in relief soon won him a starting position and he never looked back. In his two years playing with the Premier Eagles, Fynn amassed a 16 and 3 record with an ERA of 1.74 and a WHIP of 1.02. In 133 innings he gave up 104 hits and 31 walks while striking out 115 batters. In 2015, the Grade 10 Chester was the BCPBL’s Rookie of the Year and named First Team All-Conference. In 2016, in a playoff game against the Okanagan Athletics, Fynn threw a one hit complete game shutout, surrendering the lone hit with two out in the bottom of the seventh inning and then retiring the next batter for the win. He remembers that game as “the saddest yet the happiest game I have ever pitched!” That year also saw Fynn help the BC Selects win the silver medal in the 2016 Canada Cup.
Fynn Chester describes his years with the Eagles as “nothing but good experiences! Playing with the premier team in grade 10 gave me a lot of confidence and succeeding alongside the coaching staff and teammates made it all the more fun! I loved every player I played with and will always have a spot for them in my heart! The Eagles organization prepared me for college by teaching me what it takes to be a great teammate, and no matter what happens, if you try your best and strive to get better, you will!”
Fynn will be delivering this message in person to first-year Eagles players this spring when he returns to his Victoria home after the Bruins post-season to join his former coach Bob Mabee on the Bantam AAA Red Eagles coaching staff. The Red Eagles players will benefit from his baseball experience and will see first-hand the traits that underlie Fynn’s success with the SLCC Bruins. In the words of Bruins Coach Waddoups, “Fynn Chester is the ultimate teammate and he has helped our program. He never fails to show high character and his work ethic rubs off on the other guys.”