SUMMERSIDE – The Summerside Chevys will look to cap off a memorable season this weekend.
The Chevys, who went 13-1 (won-lost) in the P.E.I. Peewee AAA Baseball League regular season, earned the province’s berth in the Baseball Canada national Atlantic peewee championship by winning the provincial crown in Summerside on Aug. 24. The Charlottetown Royals are the host team for the 13-under tournament, which will be played at City Diamond and Queen Elizabeth Park.
“We are upbeat going into this tournament,” said Chevys head coach Dale MacDougall in an interview with the Journal Pioneer on Wednesday. “We have a real good shot at taking a few games.
“As long as we make the semis, we should be in good shape. The boys are excited, they practised hard all week and they can’t wait to hit the field.”
A total of eight teams from P.E.I., Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador will compete. With the Newfoundland and Labrador Team Two team dropping out, the Kentville Wildcats were added to the schedule as Nova Scotia Team Three.
The Chevys open round-robin play against the Halifax Braves (Nova Scotia Two) on Thursday at 12:30 p.m. The Chevys play twice on Friday – against Kentville at 8:30 a.m., and Fredericton (New Brunswick One) at 3 p.m.
“We are going to be in tough,” admitted MacDougall. “Hopefully, the bats can come alive and good things will happen.”
Placement games and the two semifinals, featuring the first-place team in each pool facing the second-place team in the other pool, will be played on Saturday. The bronze-medal game is Sunday at 10 a.m., with the championship match set for 2 p.m.
“It’s bat nine, play nine and you are obviously going to go with your best players, and it’s the same for the other teams also,” said MacDougall. “We have a couple of good pick-ups, and hopefully they will make a difference.
“We have a really good team, and we are just going to go out and play hard.”
The Chevys have added pick-ups Nicholas Havenga of the Cornwall Cougars and Jake MacLaren of the Sherwood Knights for the regional competition, and both have practised with the team all week.
“We went over a lot of pitching drills and went over some rundowns and we obviously did a lot of hitting,” said MacDougall. “You can never get too much of hitting.”
Pools for Atlantic peewee AAA baseball championship:
Dartmouth Arrows (N.S. One)
Charlottetown Royals (Host)
Kennebecasis Valley (N.B. Two)
St. John’s (N.L. One)
Halifax Braves (N.S. Two)
Kentville Wildcats (N.S. Three)
Fredericton Royals (N.B. One)