Veilleux finds home on Concordia baseball field
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.