Ready to play

Corner Brook baseball play­ers look­ing for­ward to play­ing on na­tional stage

The Western Star - - Close To Home - BY DAVE KEARSEY THE WESTERN STAR [email protected]­ern­star.com Twit­ter: WS_S­port­sDesk

Corner Brook has three play­ers headed to the un­der-15 na­tional baseball cham­pi­onships

Be­ing from the west coast some­times makes it tough for bud­ding baseball play­ers from Corner Brook to stack up with those in the St. John’s area, but ev­ery year it seems there are a few gems who leave no doubt they be­long with the elite. This year is no ex­cep­tion. Three promis­ing baseball play­ers from the Corner Brook mi­nor sys­tem — Braden Lock­yer, Lu­cas Park and Geordie Walsh — have earned a spot on the pro­vin­cial Un­der-15 male team that will play for the Ray Carter Cup at the 2017 15U na­tional baseball cham­pi­onship be­ing held next month in Sum­mer­side, P. E. I.

Lock­yer has ex­pe­ri­ence on his side as one of the team’s re­turnees, but his two bud­dies will ex­pe­ri­ence the game at the na­tional level for the first time so it’s the big­gest stage they ever per­formed on.

Coach David Coates, a Con­cep­tion Bay South na­tive, is thrilled to have the Corner Brook trio on board for the jour­ney be­cause he’s been re­ally im­pressed with the strong work ethic and re­fresh­ing at­ti­tude they bring to the di­a­mond on a con­sis­tent ba­sis.

Coach Coates pro­vided The Star with a scout­ing re­port on the three play­ers ear­lier this week and the play­ers them­selves shared their thoughts on wear­ing New­found­land and Labrador’s colours at the na­tional level.

Coach Coates Bro­gan Walsh

— A con­trol/lo­ca­tion pitcher with good move­ment

— Ex­pected to play some in­field and out­field in­nings

— Has good foot­work and hands with re­ceiv­ing the ball — A good con­tact hit­ter — Blessed with speed — Works hard and has a great at­ti­tude

Q: What does it mean to you to have the op­por­tu­nity to rep­re­sent your prov­ince on the na­tional stage ?

A: It’s an hon­our re­ally to be se­lected out of so many kids who went to the try­outs. I will be happy to rep­re­sent New­found­land the best I can.

Q: How do you see your­self mak­ing a con­tri­bu­tion to the team and what is it you hope to ac­com­plish on a per­sonal level?

A: I would like to bring any­thing I can re­ally, whether it’s they need a hit or need me to field or pitch, or what­ever it may be be­cause I like to fill in any spot re­ally. I am look­ing for­ward to get­ting some knowl­edge from the ex­pe­ri­ence.

Coach Coates Lu­cas Park

— Ex­pected to play short­stop and maybe some in­nings in the out­field

—Has a very strong and ac­cu­rate arm throw­ing across the di­a­mond

— Good foot­work and good hands make him a de­fend­able fielder

— Works hard and has a good at­ti­tude

Q: What does it mean to you to have the op­por­tu­nity to rep­re­sent your prov­ince on the na­tional stage?

A: Any time that you can rep­re­sent your prov­ince for any­thing it’s just spe­cial. You just know that you are one of those peo­ple that get the op­por­tu­nity. It makes me feel like all my hard work is be­ing re­warded for all the time I spent prac­tic­ing.

Q: How do you see your­self mak­ing a con­tri­bu­tion to the team and what is it you hope to ac­com­plish on a per­sonal level?

A: Even if I don’t play I’m there to sup­port every­one and cheer on the team, and at the end of the day that’s all that mat­ters. I play short­stop and I’m a good con­tact hit­ter so that would be the strong­est part of my game.

Coach Coates Braden Lock­yer

— Known as a power pitcher who throws hard

— A threat with the bat with the abil­ity to hit the long ball

— Great reads on fly balls so he will see some time in the out­field

— Ex­pected to pro­vide lead­er­ship to the group as a sec­ondyear player

— Works hard and has a great at­ti­tude

Q: What does it mean to you to have the op­por­tu­nity to rep­re­sent your prov­ince on the na­tional stage?

A: I’m look­ing for­ward mostly to the ex­pe­ri­ence be­cause of the great ex­pe­ri­ence I had go­ing last year. Watch­ing some of the other teams out there you learn a lot from it. It means a lot to be go­ing be­cause grow­ing up I al­ways wanted to play for my prov­ince and it’s lots of fun go­ing out play­ing against teams from other prov­inces.

Q: How do you see your­self mak­ing a con­tri­bu­tion to the team and what is it you hope to ac­com­plish on a per­sonal level?

A: I think I bring speed and a re­ally good arm from the out­field to the team. At the end of the day I just hope I play well and en­joy the ex­pe­ri­ence.

DAVE KEARSEY/THE WESTERN STAR

Braden Lock­yer has a toss with Lu­cas Park at Ju­bilee Field on Tues­day af­ter­noon. The two, along with Bro­gan Walsh, will be play­ing with New­found­land and Labrador’s U15 male baseball team at the 2017 U15 na­tion­als next month.

Lock­yer

Park

Walsh

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