Veilleux finds home on Con­cor­dia base­ball field

The Glengarry News - - Sports In The Glens - – Sean Bray

A 20-year-old Lan­caster res­i­dent has found an out­let for his com­pet­i­tive sports en­ergy, as a mem­ber of the men’s base­ball team at Con­cor­dia Univer­sity, in Mon­treal.

Grow­ing up in the county, Phillip Veilleux was a pas­sion­ate hockey player, even­tu­ally join­ing the Char-Lan ju­nior ‘B’ Rebels.

Un­for­tu­nately, though, his play­ing time was in­ter­rupted by con­cus­sions, and af­ter his third, he was forced to call it quits and hang up the skates.

As he ex­plains it, he had never played base­ball, but in 2016 took it upon him­self to train and prac­tise, in hopes of crack­ing a com­pet­i­tive ros­ter.

His dad, Ben Veilleux, who “was a great ball player in his time,” be­came his men­tor and coach.

Phillip was called up that sum­mer for a few games with the Corn­wall River Rats of the National Cap­i­tal Base­ball League to “get a taste of what it was all about.”

Last win­ter, Veilleux con­tacted Con­cor­dia coach Howie Schwartz, earn­ing the op­por­tu­nity to prac­tise with the Stingers in hopes of mak­ing the team for the fall 2018 sea­son.

Dur­ing the sum­mer, know­ing that he needed to con­tinue to hone his skills, he signed on with the Rus­sell Blue Jays of the NCBL, where he be­came a reg­u­lar mem­ber of the lineup in left field.

A few weeks be­fore Con­cor­dia’s train­ing camp opened in Au­gust, Veilleux re­ceived the e-mail he had been hop­ing for, in­vited to join the Stingers’ 30-man ros­ter.

His first league ac­tion came in a game ver­sus the Univer­sité de Mon­tréal, where he played three in­nings. Given the size of the ros­ter, Veilleux ad­mits he was thrilled to get into the match.

It got even bet­ter last week­end when he played a full game on Sept. 16 ver­sus the Univer­sity of Ot­tawa, one that went into the books as a 2-1 vic­tory.

The Stingers play in the Cana­dian Col­le­giate Base­ball As­so­ci­a­tion, a league that in­cludes teams from Ot­tawa, Mon­treal, and the At­lantic prov­inces.

Con­cor­dia stands sec­ond in the North­ern Con­fer­ence, with a 4-2 record.

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