Staying on message
Charlottetown aims for steady line toward the playoffs as the NBSBL regular season wraps up
With just nine games remaining in the Charlottetown Gaudet’s Auto Body Islanders’ regular season, the team’s head coach has a simple message for his troops.
“Keep improving on defence. We’re pretty sure we’re going to get good pitching every night, so we have to do what we can do to scratch out a few more runs,” said Keith Craswell.
That message gets tested Tuesday when the Islanders (7-16) host the Moncton Fisher Cats (12-10), the New Brunswick Senior Baseball League’s top-scoring team with 125 runs.
Game time at Memorial Field in Charlottetown is 7:30 p.m.
It’s no secret the Islanders don’t score a lot – the offence has produced a league-worst 67 runs.
But it’s also no secret the Isles have three quality starting pitchers in Brody McDonald, Jordan Stevenson and Jake Beck, who’ve helped the squad keep runs down (93 runs against) and the Isles competitive.
The left-handed McDonald (0-4-1, 2.59 ERA) starts Tuesday and Craswell said he’s happy where the staff is.
“With Jordan Stevenson and Brody McDonald you know what you’re going to get. Jake Beck (has pitched well but) has
been kind of a hard-luck loser,” said Craswell. “Brady Arsenault and Colin Arsenault came up from junior this year, and they’re coming along. I expect them to get better.”
The last two Moncton Charlottetown meetings have produced wild games. Charlottetown won 9-3 at home on July 11, and then lost in Moncton 11-1 on July 19.
And despite last weekend’s split with the Chatham Ironmen (Charlottetown outscored Chatham 4-3), the Isles’ bats have improved since July 1 and scored an average of 4.7 runs per game over those 11 games.
That’s up from the 1.25 per game Charlottetown notched in its first 12 games.
All of which makes Craswell happy with the post-season looming.
“The bats are really getting going. I like the way we’re trending right now.”
Charlottetown faces Chatham on Thursday in Chatham at 7:30 p.m.