Cruasaders ‘are really excited’ to represent province at baseball championship
SUMMERSIDE — It’s off to nationals for the Kensington/Cornwall Crusaders bantam AAA baseball team.
The team has been working for months to get to this point and the big week is finally here, says head coach Blair Christopher.
“The boys are all really excited right now,” said Christopher. “We’re representing the province, so there’s lots of pressure.”
The pressure is certainly high, with each province sending their best club to represent in Vaughan, Ont., at the national bantam championship, which takes place Thursday to Sunday.
The Crusaders had an early test last month when they went to New Brunswick to play a pair of games against that province’s top team.
Kensington/Cornwall came up empty in both games, but Christopher believes the experience was valuable in preparing for the national tournament.
“Both games were close. That’s what we were hoping for,” he said. “We never go into games expecting to win. It doesn’t help any. When we’re on our game, we can be tough to beat, we learned a lot from playing New Brunswick and got better from that experience.
Although this is the first time a Kensington club has made it to the national baseball championship, Christopher maintains that doesn’t add any nerves to the team.
“The guys have all played in big games before. This will be a test for us all,” said Christopher. “We know were the underdogs and we will use that to our advantage.”
The Crusaders will open up their tournament on Thursday with games against Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia.
The Crusaders are comprised of 16 players from across the province.
The roster includes Logan MacDougall and Matt Barlow, both of Summerside; Tyler MacAuslan, Kyle Picksen, Jordon Montgomery and Riley Gallant, all from Kensington, and Bennett Christopher of Margate.
Rounding out the team are Bryce Thompson, Jason MacDougall, Derian Johnson, Hunter McQuaid, Marcus Miller, Patrick Gallant, Brandon Watts and Eric Griffin.
Brent Thompson is an assistant coach with Blair Creelman as the pitching coach.