The Swift Current Indians had one of the dominant pitching staffs in the Western Major Baseball League last summer with a 3.23 team earned run average while holding opponents to a .243 batting average. The return of starter Michael Noteware and reliever Cody Chartrand from the Lewis Clark State College Warriors should go a long way to help make the Tribe contenders once again in 2014.
Lewis Clark State is considered one of the top programs in all of college baseball and is a perennial NAIA powerhouse with 16 national championships. The Warriors currently have a 35-6 record and having two of their top right-handed pitchers returning to Swift Current will give coach Joe Carnahan a pair of dependable arms that he can rely on.
Chartrand, a Nanaimo, B.C. native, will return to Indians for a third consecutive summer after anchoring the bullpen in 2012 and 2013. He led the team with five saves and 1.06 ERA during his rookie season and followed up with four saves and a 2.64 ERA last season while averaging over a strikeout per inning throughout his WMBL career. Chartrand added two postseason saves with a 1.92 ERA over 4.2 innings in four appearances.
The hard throwing right-hander is in his first season with the Warriors and is currently ranked fourth on the Canadian Baseball Network Draft List and the ninth ranked prospect in NAIA according to Perfect Game.
Chartrand is off to a good start, he is 3-0 with a 1.75 ERA while averaging more than a strike out per inning and leading the team with four saves and is holding opponents to a .211 batting average.
Chartrand provides the Tribe with a proven veteran on the pitching staff who has experience both in the bullpen or as a starting pitcher.
“Cody has done an outstanding job for us these past two seasons and we are looking forward to having him back for another season,” said coach Joe Carnahan in the team’s roster announcement. “He loves to compete, has very good mental make-up and has good stuff. This spring he has been low to mid 90s with a good slider. Aside from what he does on the mound he has an outstanding work ethic and is a great teammate. I am very excited to have the opportunity to coach him for another summer.”
Noteware, a Tujunga, California native, returns to the Tribe to follow up on an outstanding rookie season. He had missed the 2013 season with the Warriors but joined the Indians and helped anchor the starting rotation. Noteware posted a 4-1 record and held opponents to a .201 average, fifth best in the WMBL last summer. He was very effective in the postseason, making two starts with a 2.70 ERA with 14 strikeouts over 13.1 innings pitched.
Noteware has continued his dominance into the spring season with the Warriors where he is 5-1 with a microscopic 1.26 ERA through 57.1 innings pitched. He has struck out 56 batters while only walking 15 and is holding opponents to a .200 batting average.
“He commands four pitches, controls the running game and loves to compete,” said Carhanan. "He is currently having an unbelievable season for one of the top programs in America. He is a guy that every time he takes the mound you know he is going to give you an opportunity to win, and with Note the bigger the game is the better he is. I am very excited that he will be back to anchor our rotation once again.”
The Indians will open the WMBL regular season on May 9 in Melville against the defending league champion Millionaires, followed by their home opener on May 31 against the Weyburn Beavers.