Pla­cen­tia gets soft­ball clinic from two of the best

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - Nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER TC ME­DIA nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Fresh­wa­ter’s Stephen Mul­la­ley and Pla­cen­tia’s Jeremy O’Reilly were in Dunville last week to hold a free soft­ball clinic for young ath­letes in the area. The ath­letes got a crash course in hit­ting, field­ing and throw­ing from two of the best from this prov­ince.

The Bob Van Impe Sta­dium in Saska­toon, Sask., has a pretty strong con­nec­tion to New­found­land soft­ball.

More specif­i­cally it has a con­nec­tion to Pla­cen­tia soft­ball ath­letes.

Fresh­wa­ter na­tive Stephen Mul­la­ley helped lead Team Canada to a 2015 ISF Men’s World Fast­pitch cham­pi­onship at the same field last sum­mer. It was one of two gold medals for the team.

Mul­la­ley got hot at the plate and in­flu­enced plenty of good vibes amongst team­mates dur­ing the tour­na­ment.

It led to suc­cess and now, four ball play­ers from Pla­cen­tia are hop­ing light­ning strikes twice at the field and they can come away with a na­tional ti­tle.

Brent Hat­field, An­drew Kelly, Joel Nash and Jor­dan Pomeroy were named to this prov­ince’s un­der-18 men’s ast pitch team head­ing to Saska­toon Aug. 9-14 for the un­der-18 Men’s Canadian Fast­pitch Cham­pi­onships.

“It’ll be pretty cool to play on the same field where (Stephen) Mul­la­ley played,” said Nash.

To say Pla­cen­tia’s in­flu­ence is a large on the ros­ter may be an un­der­state­ment. They make up a fourth of the team’s 13-man ros­ter. Hat­field’s fa­ther Bill is also on the coach­ing staff.

He won a na­tional ti­tle in the 70s and the younger Hat­field is hop­ing to re­peat that ac­com­plish­ment come Au­gust.

“It’d be cool to du­pli­cate that on the same field,” said Hat­field.

Plenty of ex­pe­ri­ence

This isn’t the first time these play­ers have earned spots on a pro­vin­cial team. Each have been on the pro­vin­cial radar for the past cou­ple of sea­sons.

In pre­vi­ous years, Kelly, Pomeroy and Hat­field have played to­gether, while Pomeroy and Nash have also been on the same NL team be­fore.

How­ever, this’ll be the first time all four will be on the same ros­ter. It’s some­thing they dis­cov­ered only a cou­ple of weeks ago.

“It’s a lot bet­ter hav­ing the four of us there,” said Kelly.

It’s not the first time they’ve been on a soft­ball field to­gether. The four­some was a key part of Laval High’s AAA male soft­ball pro­vin­cial ti­tle last fall.

When they get play­ing time, the Pla­cen­tia four will be spread around the field. Hat­field and Pomeroy are mid­dle in­field­ers by trade, while Kelly will man cen­ter­field for Team NL.

Nash will ei­ther suit up be­hind the plate or get some time in at right field.

The four will spend the sum­mer get­ting their reps in with their team at the in­ter­me­di­ate league in St. John’s.

“It makes it eas­ier (with all four) when it comes to trav­el­ling for the league,” said Nash.

Hang­ing out at the ho­tel is one thing with these tour­na­ments. The bus rides, prac­tices and time spent with your team is some­thing all play­ers look for­ward too.

The Pla­cen­tia group ex­pects to have a good time in Saska­toon. How­ever, there is one thing they can all agree on when it comes to the tour­na­ment.

“All of that is pretty cool, but it’s the games that are al­ways ex­cit­ing,” said Pomeroy.

“Just get­ting on the added Kelly. field,”

NI­CHOLAS MERCER/TC ME­DIA

Jeremy O’Reilly watches on as a at­tendee of a soft­ball camp takes a swing at a ball.

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