Eagles hosting three-team tournament
O’LEARY – The top men’s fastball teams in Atlantic Canada will compete here at Ellis Field this weekend.
The East Hants Mastodons, Charlottetown Fawcetts and the host Summerside Chrysler Dodge Eagles will participate in a three-team tournament on Saturday and Sunday.
“We are super excited to get started and to have quality teams like East Hants and Charlottetown to kick-start our season,” said Eagles co-coach Jeff Ellsworth.
The tournament will feature a round-robin format, with the second- and third-place teams playing a semifinal game on Sunday morning. The winner will face the first-place team in the championship game.
“Every game this weekend will be quality ball, from the pitching to the hitting to the defence will be high class.” says Ellsworth.
The Eagles are preparing for a busy summer as their road takes them from a tournament here in O’Leary to Quad Cities, Iowa, in early August to compete in the 40-plus team North American Fastpitch Association (NAFA) World Series.
“We have won the Eastern Canadians the last three years, so we wanted to take it to another level to test our abilities,” said Ellsworth. “We have a generally young squad. so we felt NAFA was a step in the right direction for our ball club to see where we matched up internationally.
“Teams from around the world will be in attendance such as Japan, Argentina, Mexico and many others.
“This weekend will be a great test for us to see where we are at. East Hants and Charlottetown are proven ball clubs, and will provide excellent games for us to measure where we are at and to help us best prepare us for what’s to come in August.”
The Eagles will also participate in tournaments in Charlottetown, East Hants, N.S., and Guysborough, N.S
The Eagles will also host the Team Canada men’s softball team in O’Leary on Monday, Aug. 25, at 6:30 p.m.
The Eagles will also defend their Eastern Canadian crown in Fredericton, N.B.
“We are super excited to get started and to have quality teams like East Hants and Charlottetown to kick-start our season.” Eagles co-coach Jeff Ellsworth
World-class pitcher Mitch Hardy, Steve Noonan and Jamie Betts lead the pitching staff while Troy Ellsworth and young star Jordan Knox anchor the catching position.
“Teams are usually blessed with having one good catcher; our squad is very solid having two quality catchers that have the ability of calling great games and handling the pitchers very well,” noted Ellsworth.
The Eagles took a major blow when TJ Campbell took a position out west to work, leaving a huge hole on the right side of the infield. Longtime fastball player John Ellsworth has agreed to suit up for the Eagles in 2014 solidifying the middle infield once again. He will be joined by rock-solid shortstop Jesse Macintyre, who is a younger member of the Eagles.
Darcy Harris and Ryan Perry, who provide excellent defence and leadership, anchor the corners on the infield.
On the grass, the Eagles have lots of options as power-hitting Jason Smallman, speed demons Joel Rogerson, Avery Ellsworth, Jordan Costello, veteran Curtis Reilly and newcomer Mike MacIsaac will provide some offence and defence on both sides of the ball.
Veteran Eric Gavin handles the coaching staff, and Alan Clark is handling the managerial duties.
This weekend’s tournament schedule:
Saturday, June 7
3 p.m. – East Hants vs. Charlottetown.
5 p.m. – East Hants vs. Eagles.
7 p.m. – Charlottetown vs. Eagles.
Sunday, June 8
11 a.m. – Semifinal: second-place team vs. third-place team.
1 p.m. – Final: semifinal winner vs. first-place team.