No na­tion­als

Fawcetts not at­tend­ing se­nior na­tion­als this year

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - BY JASON MAL­LOY THE GUARDIAN

Char­lot­te­town John Brown Grille Fawcetts de­cide to not at­tend this year’s Cana­dian fast pitch cham­pi­onship.

The Char­lot­te­town John Brown Grille Fawcetts will not be play­ing at the Cana­dian se­nior men’s fast pitch cham­pi­onships this sum­mer in Que­bec.

First base­man Mark Arse­nault said the team de­cided to at­tend the in­ter­me­di­ate A Eastern Cana­dian cham­pi­onship in Nova Sco­tia and work on re­duc­ing the $15,000 debt the team has in­curred.

“We went to na­tion­als for 10 straight years. That’s ex­pen­sive and took a lot of work to get us there,” Arse­nault said.

The team had a de­ci­sion to make last year when they hosted na­tion­als: pay down the debt or bring in some im­port play­ers and try to win the cham­pi­onship. They chose the lat­ter and fin­ished third at the eight­team tour­na­ment. They won sil­ver in 2010 when they hosted the event.

“Ten years ago we were a no­name team from Char­lot­te­town. We picked up a few New­found­lan­ders to go to Lon­don, Ont., and we started to build a rep­u­ta­tion,” Arse­nault said. “We built a team that was re­spected in the Cana­dian fast pitch world.”

The team’s ini­tial goals were to earn a medal at na­tion­als and cre­ate a legacy pro­gram to keep the sport go­ing for the next gen­er­a­tion. It ac­com­plished the first goal and now wants to pay off the debt through fundrais­ers to keep the team go­ing long term.

“We’ve al­ways had great sup­port from the com­mu­nity and from our spon­sors,” Arse­nault said. “I think we’ll be OK. We’ll put a game plan in place and try and get ev­ery­thing cleaned up.”

The team plans on play­ing some ex­hi­bi­tion games this sum­mer with the O’Leary Ea­gles and Re/Max Ravens and a tour­na­ment or two in Nova Sco­tia be­fore the Eastern Cana­di­ans.

To­day the Fawcetts host the East Hants Mastodons for a dou­ble­header at Cen­tral Field at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. The Mastodons fin­ished fourth at last year’s na­tion­als.

Game 1 is ex­pected to fea­ture Craig Manuel pitch­ing for the visi­tors and Steve Langley for the Fawcetts. The sec­ond game could be a pitcher’s duel be­tween East Hants’ Justin Schofield and Char­lot­te­town’s Mitch Hardy.

“There’s two good pitch­ing matchups,” Arse­nault said Fri­day. “It’s go­ing to be some good ball to­mor­row.”

JASON MAL­LOY/THE GUARDIAN

Char­lot­te­town John Brown Grille Fawcetts third base­man Chris Arse­nault fields a ground ball and pre­pares to throw to first base for the out Thurs­day dur­ing an ex­hi­bi­tion game with the Re/Max Ravens.

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