Red Sox face Royals on Friday morning
RICHMOND – Weather permitting, it will be an all-P.E.I. clash to open the Atlantic mosquito AAA baseball championship tournament here on Friday.
© Jason Simmonds/Journal Pioneer
Richmond Red Sox catch Ed McNeill receives a pitch during the recent Baseball P.E.I. provincial mosquito AAA baseball championship in Summerside.
The Richmond Red Sox will take on the Charlottetown Royals at 9 a.m.
“We just want to go in and play every game like it’s our last one, and let the cards lie where they may,” said Red Sox head coach Dwayne McNeill.
The Red Sox prevailed 5-4 in a thrilling final game of the provincial championship in Summerside on Sept. 1. The Royals, meanwhile, will be P.E.I.’s representative in Richmond.
To further illustrate just how close the Royals and Red Sox are, the teams tied for first place in the regular season with identical 15-3 (won-lost) records. However, the Royals were awarded top spot based on a better record against the Red Sox.
St. John’s (Newfoundland and Labrador), Dartmouth (Nova Scotia) and Fredericton (New Brunswick) will round out the five-team tournament.
Following is a look at the five teams:
Richmond Red Sox
Overall, the Red Sox posted a record of 26-6 in 2013.
Richmond also won the Cornwall tournament, defeating the Royals 6-4 in the final.
The Red Sox defeated Dartmouth 4-3 in the Fiddler MacDonald tournament in Charlottetown earlier this year.
“They have a really strong ball team, and I’m sure some of the other provinces do as well,” added McNeill.
Darren Gallant and Darren Hutchinson are McNeill’s assistant coaches.
This year’s edition of the Royals features five returnees – Jack Clark, Keegan Duffy, Tobias Hood, Matt Power and Tanner MacLean – from the 2012 provincial mosquito AAA champions that went on to win a silver medal at the Atlantics in Glace Bay, N.S. MacLean was the top pitcher at last year’s Atlantic championship.
Five of the Royals’ seven newcomers this season played on last year’s provincial mosquito AA champions. They are Matt Dunn, Alex Graham, Nick Matte, Brock MacDonald and Jake Squires.
Matt McQuaid and Fineas Carragher round out the roster, which is coached by Jeff Squires, Jason MacDonald and Kevin MacLean.
St. John’s posted a perfect 5-0 record en route to capturing the Newfoundland and Labrador provincial championship.
Jacob Reid was the most valuable player of the provincials, Devon Murphy was named the top pitcher and Camren Cumby was the top hitter.
St. John’s captured two of three other tournaments they competed in this summer.
Well-known softball player Colin Abbott, who was a fan favourite while playing in tournaments in Summerside over the years, is the head coach of St. John’s.
The Arrows’ roster is comprised of players from Dartmouth and Cole Harbour.
Eleven of the 12 players will graduate to the peewee ranks next year, and Dartmouth features a very versatile roster. For example, all 12 players have pitched and eight players have experience behind the plate as catcher.
The Arrows’ focus is to play as a team and learn from each other.
Former Summerside Western Capital Brent Grant coaches the Royals, who are comprised of 12 players.
Fredericton won the Ken MacDonald tournament in Miramichi, N.B., earlier in the summer.
When They Play
Atlantic mosquito AAA baseball championship schedule:
Friday, Sept. 13
9 a.m. – Richmond (Host) vs. Charlottetown (P.E.I.).
11:15 a.m. – Fredericton (N.B.) vs. Dartmouth (N.S.).
1:30 p.m. – St. John’s (N.L.) vs. Richmond.
3:45 p.m. – Charlottetown vs. Fredericton.
Saturday, Sept. 14
9 a.m. – Dartmouth vs. St. John’s.
11:15 a.m. – Richmond vs. Fredericton.
1:30 p.m. – Charlottetown vs. Dartmouth.
3:45 p.m. – St. John’s vs. Fredericton.
Sunday, Sept. 15
9 a.m. – Richmond vs. Dartmouth.
11:15 a.m. – Charlottetown vs. St. John’s.
1:30 p.m. – Tiebreaker, if necessary.
3:45 p.m. – Championship game.
Note: If no tiebreaker is necessary, the championship game will be moved up to 1:30 p.m.