CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – The P.E.I. Junior Islanders host the Fredericton Royals today for a pair of games with huge playoff implications in the New Brunswick Junior Baseball League.
The doubleheader begins at noon at Memorial Field.
The two teams are fighting for third place in the five-team circuit. Finishing third would avoid the best-of-three playoff series between the fourth- and fifth-place teams, the winner of which would have to play the first-place team in the semifinal.
Fredericton (9-10) has a half game lead on P.E.I. (8-10). The Islanders only have four games left after Saturday, doubleheaders in Moncton and Saint John, N.B.
P.E.I. has been idle the last two weeks and the break came at a good time as the club was nursing some injuries.
The Isles hope to have their leading hitter, Chasse Gallant, back this weekend after missing a number of games with a shoulder injury. He will be needed as the power bat of Kyle Pinksen will be unavailable this weekend.
Youngsters Josh Myers and Connor McGregor have helped carry the offensive load while the Islanders wait to get their double-play combo of Matt Barlow and Ryne MacIsaac on track with the bats.
Porter Smith will start one of today’s games for P.E.I. on the mound with Brett Hicken or Chandler LaPorte starting the other game.