At­lantic sil­ver for Brazil, Smith

Spa­niard’s Bay play­ers pick up medal at midget AA At­lantic cham­pi­onships

The Compass - - SPORTS - BY NICHOLAS MERCER

For any ath­lete when you travel to an­other part of the coun­try it is an added bonus to be com­pet­ing at that time.

What makes it sweeter is when the ath­lete achieves a mea­sure­able level of suc­cess.

If you want proof of that, just ask Ste­wart Brazil and Chris Smith.

The two Spa­niard’s Bay base­ball play­ers trav­elled to the At­lantic midget AA tour­na­ment in Na­pan, New Brunswick Aug. 30 to Sept. 2 with the St. John’s Cap­i­tals.

With the Caps, Brazil and Smith cap­tured the sil­ver medal at the event, los­ing to the rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Prince Ed­ward Is­land 4-3.

De­spite drop­ping the cham­pi­onship, which was the team’s only loss, both had noth­ing but glow­ing re­views about the tour­na­ment. “It was amaz­ing,” said Smith. “It was un­real,” added Brazil. Both play­ers were late ad­di­tions to the Caps, but it did not pre­vent them from fit­ting in and con­tribut­ing to the team.

Brazil had just re­turned from the At­lantic un­der-18 cham­pi­onships with Team NL, while Smith was fresh off com­pet­ing in the provin­cial midget cham­pi­onships in Cor­ner Brook.

“We bonded re­ally quickly,” said Smith.

The 11 play­ers quickly came to­gether, and it played a part in their march to the cham­pi­onship game.

The Caps’ tour­na­ment started with a 4-3 vic­tory over the host Na­pan squad. Next up was the rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Nova Sco­tia.

It was just an­other day at the of­fice for Team NL as they picked up an 8-7 vic­tory.

In the third game, the Caps de­feated PEI 7-5.

St. John’s fin­ished up the round robin por­tion of the tour­na­ment with a 9-2 vic­tory over New Brunswick.

The sil­ver medal was the only one cap­tured by a New­found­land team at At­lantic tour­na­ments this sum­mer.

“I think it was the best tour­na­ment I’ve ever played,” said Brazil.

Play­ing time

At the tour­na­ment, Smith played mostly in left field. That was un­til the cham­pi­onship game when he was thrust into right field.

“I told the coach, ‘I’ve played all tour­na­ment in left and now you want me to go out there,’” Smith chuck­led.

At the plate, Smith said he “was see­ing the ball as well” as he had ever seen it.

Brazil took up po­si­tion at ei­ther third base or short­stop for the Caps. He had sim­i­lar suc­cess at the plate as Smith.

“It was as big as a beach ball,” said Brazil.

A cap­tive au­di­ence

The boys did not feel any nerves ahead of tour­na­ment play.

“I was more ner­vous about meet­ing the team,” said Smith.

Mul­ti­ple games of the tour­na­ment were streamed over the In­ter­net. This meant the boys were play­ing in front of a larger au­di­ence, which in­cluded friends and fam­ily at home.

Nei­ther player had any com­plaints about the tour­na­ment. It was not un­til af­ter the tour­na­ment when they did.

“My arm was shot af­ter the cham­pi­onship,” said Smith.

“We didn’t even get in pool,” added Brazil.

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Photo by Nicholas Mercer/The Com­pass

Spa­niard’s Bay’s Chris Smith (left) and Ste­wart Brazil re­cently picked up a sil­ver medal at the Midget AA At­lantic cham­pi­onships with the St. John’s Cap­i­tals on Aug. 30-Sept. 2 in Na­pan, New Brunswick.

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