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Baseball Islanders seeking an offensive spark

Jonathan Arsenault leads the Charlottetown Gaudet’s Auto Body Islanders hitters through the first 12 games of the New Brunswick Senior Baseball League season.
Jonathan Arsenault leads the Charlottetown Gaudet’s Auto Body Islanders hitters through the first 12 games of the New Brunswick Senior Baseball League season. - Jason Malloy

Charlottetown lineup to have new look tonight when they host Moncton in NBSBL action

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —

A shakeup is coming to the Charlottetown Gaudet’s Auto Body Islanders batting order for tonight’s New Brunswick Senior Baseball League game.

The Isles (4-8) have scored a league-low 16 runs in their 12 games this season. It includes being shut out twice by the Moncton Fisher Cats, who are tonight’s opponents. Game time is 7:30 p.m. at Memorial Field.

“We have to start manufacturing runs,” head coach Doug Hines said Monday.

The Islanders are a mainly younger squad with some of the players getting their feet wet in the senior circuit. Hines said the players have had successful careers at the collegiate and junior levels, but the senior league is another step up from those.

“Maybe the swings you normally take as a young guy have to be adjusted to the pace of play,” Hines said.

While he didn't provide the new lineup, Hines did indicate Jonathan Arsenault will be hitting higher. Arsenault is in his first full senior season, after playing with the P.E.I. Junior Islanders and The Alley Stratford Athletics of the Kings County Baseball League.

Hines had him near the bottom of the order this season as a way to try to turn the lineup over. But with the team struggling to score, he has decided to move Arsenault up.

The 22-year-old Stratford native is 7-for-18 (.389) this season with two RBI, including the game-winning single June 15 as Charlottetown defeated the league-leading Saint John Alpines 1-0.

While the Isles have struggled to score much, they are still in the midst of the playoff picture.

Moncton (3-6) is a half-game ahead of Charlottetown (4-8) in the standings. The two squads are tied with Chatham (3-6) with .333 winning percentages. Saint John leads the circuit with a 11-3 record after defeating Moncton 3-1 Sunday in the Hub City.

Jordan Stevenson gets the ball for the Islanders tonight.

The ace has gone 2-3 with a 2.03 earned-run average in five games this season. The New Glasgow righty has allowed 27 hits while striking out 30 and walking seven in 31 innings this season.

Stevenson hasn’t thrown against Moncton this season.

“He’s been lights out for the most part,” Hines said. “He’s a bulldog. We just feel we need to help him out a little more.”

The Islanders should be well rested after not playing since June 16. The Islanders doubleheader in Fredericton, N.B., on Saturday was postponed due to rain.

Charlottetown was trying to find a field to practise on Monday night. Its normal practice day is Tuesday when it doesn't play a game through the week. Charlottetown hits the road this weekend for a doubleheader in Chatham, N.B., beginning at 4 p.m.

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