Islanders travel to Fredericton, N.B., today to play Royals
First place will be on the line today when the Charlottetown Gaudet’s Auto Body Islanders play the Fredericton Royals.
The doubleheader begins at 4 p.m. in the New Brunswick capital. This will be the teams’ final regular season matchup of the year after splitting the first six games.
“They’re going to be big games for us,” Charlottetown coach Keith Craswell said Friday afternoon. “We’d really like to get those two games tomorrow.”
Fredericton (16-8) had a half a game lead on Charlottetown (14-7) before playing the Fisher Cats Friday night in Moncton. Results were unavailable.
Brody McDonald (3-1, 1.77 earned-run average) and Jordan Stevenson (6-0, 2.06 earned-run average) will start today for the Isles, but the order had not been decided Friday.
Craswell said Jacob Beck and Dan O’Shea are not available for today’s games, but the team can turn to Dylan Beck, Tyson Blue and Taylor Larkin, if needed on the mound.
Playing in Fredericton causes visiting teams to make adjustments with the fences 303 feet away from home plate down both lines at Royals Field. By comparison, Memorial Field is 320 feet down the lines.
Craswell said the shorter dimensions in Fredericton can lead to more home runs, but also results in outfielders playing deeper to take away gaps.
Charlottetown has a six-game win streak on the line today. Craswell said his team’s hitters have swung the bats better recently after a slow start from a 10-day layoff.
“We’ve seen everybody four, five, six times now and pitchers are starting to pitch them a little different,” he said. “They’re going to have to start making a few adjustments and I’m sure they will.”
Islanders play seven games over the next nine days.
“It’s going to be a busy week for the guys, but we’ll worry about tomorrow and worry about next week when we get there,” Craswell said.