Peewee Chevys send strong message

Jason Simmonds
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First-place team plays best ball of season in final two games

SUMMERSIDE – The Summerside Chevys put an exclamation mark on what has been a dominating season in the P.E.I. Peewee AAA Baseball League on Sunday.

The Chevys outscored the opposition a combined 27-4 en route to winning the Baseball P.E.I. provincial peewee championship for the 13-under age group at Queen Elizabeth Park in Summerside.

“It’s a great feeling,” said Chevys head coach Dale MacDougall, who, along with Steven Noonan, Richard Beaulieu and Adam MacArthur, coached the Chevys to back-to-back provincial championships. “I knew we could do it right from the beginning of the season.

“We had the boys who could do it, we had great pitching and our defence was awesome.”

Three-way tie

The Chevys, West Prince Mariners and Richmond Red Sox all finished round-robin play with identical 2-1 (won-lost) records. With each team beating the other, the tiebreaking formula was implemented and resulted in West Prince awarded first place and Summerside second.

In the semifinals, the Chevys pounded out 20 hits in a 14-2 win over the Charlottetown Royals, who finished second in the P.E.I. league, while the third-place Cornwall Cougars rallied from a 12-8 deficit in their last at-bat to defeat the game and short-staffed Mariners 18-13. West Prince played the provincial championship tournament with just nine players due to an injury and vacation while teams could use a maximum of 12 players.

That set the stage for the championship before a big crowd at the Very Important Volunteer Field, and the Chevys rode a strong performance from Bennett MacArthur at the plate and in the field to a 13-2 victory.

MacArthur gave up just five hits, struck out eight batters and batted 3-for-4, including a double, over-the-fence home run, and drove in three runs. Ethan Beaulieu (2-2, two doubles, walk) and Marcus Gauthier (2-2), who relieved MacArthur and recorded the final three outs, also swung hot bats.

“The boys played awesome,” assessed MacDougall. “I think it was the best they played all year.”

Hot bats

MacArthur (4-4, three RBI), Beaulieu (3-3, double) and Blake MacKinnon (3-3, double) keyed the Chevys’ attack against the Royals.

“The boys worked hard in practice the last two weeks,” said MacDougall. “We did a lot of batting practice, and it really showed here today (Sunday).”

Winning pitcher Ben MacDougall fanned nine batters over six innings, and Dylan Thomas finished up on the mound.

Extra pressure?

After going 13-1 (won-lost) in the regular season, did the Chevys feel any extra pressure being the top team?

“You feel a little pressure, but you have a really good feeling in your heart when you a bunch of guys from one to 12 who can hit the ball,” answered Coach MacDougall, who was especially proud to call the championship a total team effort.

“Everybody was involved,” he continued. “We made some great defensive plays, and everybody hit the ball, which was great to see, and they all delivered big hits.”

Atlantic championship

Next up for the Chevys, who are a combined 32-5 in regular-season and tournament play, is the Baseball Canada national Atlantic championship in Charlottetown from Sept. 4 to 8. Based on winning the provincial championship, the Chevys will go in as the P.E.I. No. One team while the host Royals will be P.E.I. No. Two.

“It’s a great feeling. I knew we could do it right from the beginning of the season. We had the boys who could do it, we had great pitching and our defence was awesome.” Chevys head coach Dale MacDougall

The Chevys, who were presented with the Mitch MacLean Memorial Trophy during a post-game ceremony, will continue to practise regularly in preparation for the regional tournament.

“We are going to keep things pretty simple, just keep it the way we have been going,”

 said Coach MacDougall. “We are allowed two pick-ups and we haven’t made our decisions yet, but they will definitely help us out.

“We are looking forward to the Atlantics in Charlottetown.”

Twitter.com/JpsportsJason

Results

Baseball P.E.I. provincial

peewee championship scores:

Friday, Aug. 22

Round Robin

Summerside 11 Kensington 4

Charlottetown 9 Stratford 4

West Prince 7 Richmond 3

Cornwall 6 Sherwood 3

Saturday, Aug. 23

Round Robin

Richmond 10 Summerside 9

Sherwood 9 Charlottetown 8

West Prince 14 Kensington 4

Cornwall 26 Stratford 6

Summerside 10 West Prince 4

Charlottetown 8 Cornwall 1

Richmond 10 Kensington 5

Stratford 9 Sherwood 7

Sunday, Aug. 24

Semifinals

Summerside 14 Charlottetown 2

Cornwall 18 West Prince 13

Organizations: Richmond Red Sox, Baseball Canada

Geographic location: Summerside, Queen Elizabeth Park, Charlottetown Kensington

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