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P.E.I. men's softball team drops two contests at Canada Games

WINNIPEG, MAN. – Team P.E.I. lost both games on Saturday as men’s softball made its return to the Canada Games for the first time since 2005.

The two losses came in different fashions, a close 6-2 loss to Nova Scotia and a 17-3 drubbing at the hands of the host Manitoba squad in a game ended after four innings due to the mercy rule.

Head coach Mark Quinn said now it’s a matter of rebounding.

“Short memories and move forward,” he said. “The nice thing about tomorrow is, it’s tomorrow – it’s a new day.

“Tomorrow we have two games with an opportunity to finish the day tomorrow at .500.”

P.E.I. was trailing Nova Scotia 4-2 into the seventh before a couple of errors led to their Maritime counterparts adding a couple of insurance runs. The Manitoba game wasn’t nearly as close, as the host squad jumped ahead 4-0 with only one out in the top of the first off starter Logan Gallant.

Jonathan Arsenault, the Game 1 starter, came in in relief to face the seventh batter of the inning and got the Island squad off the field after Manitoba sent nine hitters to the plate.

Manitoba added four more runs in the second and Avery Arsenault came in to pitch the third and fourth innings.

Manitoba put three more runs on the board in the third to make it 11-0 through 2.5 innings. Arsenault hit a two-out triple and scored on a wild pitch to get P.E.I’s first run in the bottom of the inning.

Manitoba responded with six in the fourth with the big blast being shortstop Anthony Keeper Jr.’s third home run of the game.

Quinn appeared to be heading to the mound when Arsenault said he was OK and wanted to continue. It was an indication the team’s centre-fielder understood it was important for him to get the team through the rest of the game to save the staff’s arms for later in the week.

And while it was a blowout, there were some positives.

Logan Gallant started the fourth with a single, Nolan Hicken beat out an infield single and Sam Walsh followed with a two-run single.

Quinn said the message to his guys after the second inning was it was the first day of competition, go out have good at-bats and score as many runs as possible.

“We’re not going to be hanging our heads or pack it in,” he explained after the game.

Matt Lange had a single, Stephen O’Shea had a double as part of P.E.I.’s six-hit attack.

Megwan Muswaggon earned the win, striking out three and walking one.

Keeper was Manitoba’s offensive leader, going 3-for-3 with a walk and eight RBI. He added another home run later in the day, as Manitoba lost 7-2 to Nova Scotia in a game that was 2-1 heading to the fifth.

Prince Edward Island had four hits against Nova Scotia’s ace Alex Anthony, including singles by Arsenault, Gallant, O’Shea and Ty McAdam. Arsenault and Parker Ronahan each had an RBI.

Arsenault allowed four runs on eight hits in 4 2/3 innings. He struck out two and walked three. Gallant threw 2 1/3 innings and allowed two runs, one of them earned, on three hits and a walk.

Prince Edward Island plays British Columbia today at 4 p.m. Atlantic and New Brunswick at 7 p.m.

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