Fawcetts not attending senior nationals this year
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.”
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.