The Trois-Rivières Aigles organization announces the hiring of the new team manager and former Aigles player from 2014 to 2018, Matthew Rusch.
General manager René Martin is very enthusiastic and confident for the future of the team whose league is newly partnered with Major League Baseball. “With Matthew, we are in very good hands. I have no doubts about his recruiting capabilities. What could be better than an American who settles in Trois-Rivières, who is appreciated by his supporters and who gets involved in the community to attract new players to our beautiful city?”
For Rusch, this is a great opportunity offered to him: “It has been my dream for many years! I look forward to leading the Aigles to success in the Frontier League. My goal is to have a very competitive and efficient team, but above all, a team that my community can be proud of. Trois-Rivières is my city and I will represent it to the best of my ability. Together, we will do what is necessary to have a great 2021 season”.
The retirement of number 22
In 2019, the Aigles retired Matthew Rusch’s jersey to highlight his involvement and his performance on the field. Author of 31 wins, 445 strikeouts, a Can-Am League championship, Matthew Rusch was one of the top pitchers in the history of independent baseball. In 14 seasons in professional baseball, he had a massive 1,134 strikeouts. He also served as head coach for the Cascades de Shawinigan in the LBMQ in 2019 and 2020, leading his team to the final for two consecutive years.
A well-established selection process
A selection committee was set up beforehand to determine who would be the new manager of the team. Formed by the general manager René Martin, the former manager of the Aigles Pierre-Luc Laforest, the former Major League player Éric Gagné and the former commissioner of the Can-Am League Miles Wolff, the committee interviewed several candidates. It was Matthew Rusch who stood out and got the job.
The pitching coach position is given to Kyle Lafrenz, catcher for the Aigles from 2014 to 2017, who also chose Trois-Rivières to live there. “Kyle was by far my first choice for this position. He brings his professionalism, knowledge and love of baseball. Coaches should be leaders, teachers and role models for our young players. Kyle is more than qualified in all these areas and he is undoubtedly a valuable element for the organization,” said Rusch.
The organization, which is entering its ninth year, is beginning to forge its history and become anchored in the heritage of Trois-Rivières. “It’s fun to bring back players we know, who have already played for the Aigles and who have adopted our region as their home”, added René Martin, Managing Director.
Founded for the 1993 season, the Frontier League is the largest and longest running independent professional baseball league. An official Partner League of Major League Baseball, the Frontier League features 15 clubs stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River and from the Ohio River to the St. Lawrence Seaway. The Frontier League annually moves the most players into Major League Baseball organizations of any of the independent leagues.