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A Family Reunion at RE/MAX Field!


Local Brother’s Taking Inspiration From One Another!

The buzz ahead of the Riverhawks season has been steadily mounting across the city, and there's perhaps no place where it's felt more than in the Yusypchuk household.

Local brothers Michael and Andrew, who honed their skills with sessions of backyard catch in Edmonton, are eagerly anticipating their reunion at RE/MAX Field this summer. Only this time, they’ll be joining forces as teammates for the first time in their respective careers.

Recalling the moment he was offered the chance to play alongside his biggest role model, younger brother Michael couldn’t help but smile.

“I found out my brother was going to be playing in Edmonton, too, and knew this is going to be the only time we will ever be on the same team. It’s pretty special.”

Michael currently stands among Canada’s top pitching prospects, a recognition that carries great significance for a kid from Alberta.

“It’s super cool. [Alberta] has really good baseball, but sometimes we’re slept on because it’s so cold up here for eight months of the year. I just want to make Edmonton proud.”

At just 18 years old, Michael has already stacked up a series of impressive accomplishments in his young career. He's represented Canada as a member of the 18U Junior National Team and has committed to playing for Missouri State University, a Division 1 powerhouse, straight out of high school.

It’s worth noting that Missouri State just so happens to be in the same conference as Southern Illinois University, where his older brother Andrew shines on the mound. It’s a full-circle moment for a kid who has emulated his big brother’s game his entire life.

“Andrew was definitely my inspiration to start playing baseball. I'd see him out in the backyard playing catch with my dad and I kind of gravitated towards him when I was younger. I followed him, tried to do what he did, and be just like him in every way.”

And follow in his footsteps, he did. Michael is a near-spitting image of his older brother. Both are right-handed pitchers and have shared similar paths on their journey to Division 1 baseball. As teenagers, they both left home to join the Dawgs Academy in Okotoks, Alberta.

“It was tough leaving my family at a young age, but I thought it was the next step that

I needed to take into my baseball journey,” explains Michael. “A big part of the reason I made the move was that Andrew went down to Okotoks when he was younger as well and I just saw the great development that he got down there.”

Andrew’s journey has not only included a stint with the Okotoks Dawgs and Chandler-Gilbert Community College but many local squads including South Jasper Place and the Edmonton Cardinals.

“I haven’t played in Edmonton in five or six years. It’ll be awesome to play at the field that I grew up batboying at. It’s a great atmosphere with great fans, so it’ll be really, really fun.”

The mechanical engineering major credits a lot of his success on the diamond to the strong bond with his brother and family. Knowing he couldn't miss the chance, he decided to return home this summer to share this summer ball experience with them.

“My parents put me into baseball at a young age and I’ve loved it ever since," says Andrew. “They’ve always been so supportive of me and my career. I’m so excited to be able to have my family come watch me play at home this summer and get the chance to play with Michael.”

Michael couldn't agree more.

“[The West Coast League] ] is really high-level baseball that can get me prepared for college. And I can do that while I'm playing at home in front of my parents and having home-cooked meals every night.” Sounds like a win-win situation for any teenager!

Michael is excited to carry on shaping his emerging career after his older brother's example, now with the added dynamic of being teammates in the same dugout.

“I have always had the goal of following in his footsteps. Having the chance to play with him this summer will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Fans can catch the local brothers in action down at RE/MAX Field this summer! Tickets for the 2024 season are available at tickets.gohawks.ca