Members of the P.E.I. champion West Prince Bantam AA Aces are, front row from left, Justin Thibodeau, Liam Gilks, Brayden Handrahan, Ryan Smith, Parker Butler, Brayden Arsenault; back row, coaches Jack McCabe and Dwayne Gilks, players Dallas McCue, Cody Ellsworth, Dawson Sellick, Luke Oliver, Bryden Smith, Michael Callaghan, Chance Pitre and coaches Wayne Sellick, Dwayne Handrahan and Mike Dean. Missing is Diego LeClair. The team plays in the Atlantic championships this weekend in Cardigan and Morell.
CARDIGAN -- The strong pitching Dwayne Handrahan, coach of the West Prince Bantam AA Aces baseball team was able to count on all season is what he will be looking for again this weekend when his team plays in the Atlantic championship in Cardigan and Morell. Play commences Friday at 1 p.m..
The Tignish-based team went through the regular season with 14 wins, one loss and one tie. They had a 2-1 record in the provincial round-robin play-offs and went 2-0 in the provincial finals.
The Aces defeated Bedeque 9-0 in the cross-over game and they won 13-3 over Cardigan in the provincial final. As host team, Cardigan joins the Aces in the five-team Atlantic championship.
“It was a great year,” said Handrahan, “The boys played well all year.” He was especially impressed how they were able to limit their errors throughout the regular season and play-offs.
While several players saw pitching duty, four players shared most of the workload, Michael Callaghan, Cody Ellsworth, Chance Pitre and Diego LeClair. Catching duties were largely shared between Brayden Handrahan and Brayden Arsenault.
Several of the players on the team are graduates of the Pee Wee team that hosted the Atlantics last year and finished second.
Key differences with this year’s roster are stronger pitchers, and more of them, and a much larger coaching staff. While Handrahan did the coaching on his own last year, he has the support and assistance of Dwayne Gilks, Wayne Sellick, Mike Dean and Jack McCabe this season.
Friday, 1 p.m. - Hosts (Cardigan) vs PEI (Aces), at Cardigan diamond.
Saturday, 10:30 a.m. – NS vs Aces at Morell diamond
4 p.m. – Aces vs New Brunswick at Cardigan Diamond.
Sunday, 11 a.m – Aces vs Newfoundland at Cardigan diamond.
Tie-breakers, if needed, go Sunday at 1:30 p.m. and the top two teams meet in the final at 4 p.m.
(There is a contingency plan in place in case Friday’s games get rained out. In that case the Aces’ round-robin games would be played Saturday at 8, 10:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. and on Sunday at 11 a.m.)