CHARLOTTETOWN – Teammates from the 2013 Canada Games have committed to the Holland College baseball team for its inaugural season.
Brady Arsenault, who pitches and plays third base, and outfielder Dominique Ryan are the latest to join the Hurricanes on the diamond.
“I’m a starting pitcher that can help the team with my experience and in a leadership role,” Arsenault said. “I can log innings on the hill, and if needed assist in the infield.”
Arsenault recently finished a year at the Prairie Baseball Academy in Alberta and is spending the summer as a member of the P.E.I. junior team.
“Brady has already attained valuable collegiate baseball experience,” said Hurricanes head coach Andrew MacNevin. “His great baseball instincts and understanding of the game will allow him to be a go-to player in demanding situations, and we look to him to contribute significant innings on the mound for our program.”
The Summerside native was captain of the Island’s Canada Games team and the Baseball P.E.I. male athlete of the year. He also played at the Tournament 12 in Toronto as a member of the Atlantic team that won the competition.
In 2011 and 2012, the right-handed pitcher was a member of the P.E.I. Youth Selects and he’s attended seven national minor baseball championships.
“Playing at home and knowing how competitive our team will be is exciting,” Arsenault said. “Thanks to coach MacNevin’s strong recruiting class our team will have a chance to compete every day.”
Ryan, who will also play Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA) volleyball for the Hurricanes, is looking forward to the fall.
“I’m very excited to be a dual-athlete,” he said. “I’m going to help out anyway I can on the ball diamond and the volleyball court. I’ve watched the Hurricanes for . . . many years and it’s very exciting to know I’ll be throwing on the Hurricanes uniform this fall.”
MacNevin is glad to have Ryan as a part of his roster.
“Dominique possesses remarkable athleticism and speed on the base paths making even the routine play difficult by applying pressure on our opposition,” he said. “Having also excelled in the classroom, he is a great example of the type of player we are looking to bring into our program and I am confident his determination and work ethic will transfer to continued success on the baseball field at the varsity level.”
The Hurricanes were accepted into the Canadian Collegiate Baseball Association’s Atlantic Conference for the fall of 2014 earlier this year. They will compete against Maritime universities, including Saint Mary’s, St. Francis Xavier, UNB, Cape Breton, Dalhousie and Crandall.
The team’s training sessions have been well attended, and the team expects up to 60 players to attend training camp on Aug. 30 to try to make the team as a walk-on. Their season begins on Sept. 13.
The team has up to 12 more players committed, but is awaiting final paperwork to be submitted before they are announced.
“Coach MacNevin has done a fantastic job recruiting the best baseball talent available,” said athletics and recreation director Albert Roche. “We’re extremely pleased with the level of professionalism he’s shown in assisting with the creation of this new program.”
Ryan, graduating from Charlottetown Rural High School this month, was a three-time high school volleyball all-star, a provincial champion and provincial tournament MVP during his high school career.
He will play for his father Joe at Holland College, which is hosting the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association men’s volleyball championship in March.
“I have coached Dominique for the past three years in high school, so I know what type of player he is and what skill set he can bring to the team,” Joe said.
“In high school he was a primary passer for every ball that came over the net, and I don’t see this changing in college. He was a very consistent player in both the front and back court, but with the team losing our ACAA libero of the year (Brandon Boyce), I can see Dominique possibly filling this role and hopefully having as much success as Brandon.”
Dominique is a recent recipient of the Dave (Eli) MacEachern award for his dedication to excellence in sport.