Lo­cal ballplay­ers show­ing their stuff at re­gional and na­tional com­pe­ti­tions

Cape Breton Post - - SPORTS - BY CAPE BRE­TON POST STAFF sports@cb­post.com

The time has come for the boys, and girls, of sum­mer.

Tour­na­ment sea­son has ar­rived for Lit­tle League base­ball and many of Cape Bre­ton’s best young ballplay­ers are on the diamond in hopes of pro­gress­ing to na­tional, and even in­ter­na­tional, cham­pi­onships.

Re­gional play­downs are un­der­way in Syd­ney Mines for two of Lit­tle League Canada’s four di­vi­sions.

“Yep — there’s a lot more age groups than there used to be,” said long­time Glace Bay base­ball coach Henry Boutilier.

In­deed there are. In ad­di­tion to the orig­i­nal Lit­tle League di­vi­sion, now known as Ma­jor (ages 10-12), there are di­vi­sions called Ju­nior (13-14), Se­nior (14-16), and Big League (16-18). All have re­gional and na­tional cham­pi­onships, be­fore the win­ning teams rep­re­sent Canada in their re­spec­tive Lit­tle League World Se­ries.

Boutilier is busy this week with the Nova Sco­tia ‘Ma­jor’ Lit­tle League cham­pi­onship go­ing on in Syd­ney Mines. Ad­di­tion­ally, the North­side com­mu­nity is also host­ing the ‘Ju­nior’ cham­pi­onship. Teams from Syd­ney Mines, Glace Bay and Syd­ney are com­pet­ing.

Mean­while, the Cape Bre­ton Dodgers are pre­par­ing to head to Cal­gary on Thurs­day for the 2015 Big League Cana­dian Cham­pi­onships. The win­ner of the seven-team com­pe­ti­tion will ad­vance to the Big League World Se­ries in Easley, South Carolina, at the end of July.

“The boys are ex­cited and look­ing for­ward to a good week of base­ball,” said Dodgers man­ager Derrick Hanna.

How­ever, he knows the com­pe­ti­tion at the na­tional event will be tough.

The Dodgers will be buoyed by the ad­di­tion of pitcher Lo­gan Aker, who is in his sec­ond sea­son with the Syd­ney Soon­ers of the Nova Sco­tia Se­nior Base­ball League.

The Cape Bre­ton squad that is rep­re­sent­ing the At­lantic Re­gion will kick off its six-game round robin sched­ule on Fri­day when they take on Al­berta.

The round robin will run through July 22 and the top four teams will ad­vance to the semi­fi­nals that will be played on Fri­day, July 24. The tour­na­ment wraps up the fol­low­ing day when the cham­pi­onship game will be played.

And, fi­nally, lo­cal play­ers fall­ing into the Se­nior age cat­e­gory make up the ros­ter of the Cape Bre­ton Cubs.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

The Cape Bre­ton Dodgers are head­ing to Cal­gary, where they will rep­re­sent the At­lantic Re­gion at the Big League na­tional base­ball cham­pi­onships. Front row, from left: Chris­tian Jar­dine, Jor­dan Barnes, Jor­dan Samp­son, Tay­lor Slade, Robert Par­sons, Austin MacIsaac. Back row: Chris Os­mond (coach), Tyler Rose, Nathan Doyle, Christo­pher Os­mond, Lo­gan Aker, Adam Mac­Don­ald, Ryan Law­less, Derrick Hanna (man­ager). Miss­ing from photo: Pa­trick La­hey and Blaine Samp­son (coach).

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