Shortstop Andrew Macdonald and second baseman Dillon Doucette are usually a close-working tandem for the Charlottetown Islanders, but this week the pair are at odds.
That’s because the duo and two other Islander players will be at the 2013 national senior baseball championship playing on opposing teams beginning today in Windsor, Ont.
While the New Brunswick Senior Baseball takes a break for the nationals, Macdonald will play for the league-leading Fredericton Royals and Dillon, along with pitchers Jake Beck and Jordon Stevenson, will play for the Chatham Ironmen.
“We aren’t scheduled to face the Chatham team in the round robin,’ said Macdonald, who’s slated to be Fredericton’s starting shortstop in his third stint at the nationals. “Hopefully, both teams do well and we have a chance to face them in the semifinals.
“If that happens, and we get to face one of our pitchers, that would be great for baseball in both New Brunswick and P.E.I. Then we may make some bets as to who will win. This Fredericton team is probably the strongest of the three teams I have been a part of, so I am really looking forward to seeing what we can do.”
The tournament also includes two teams from Alberta, and one each from British Columbia, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario and the host Windsor.
Today, the Royals will face Manitoba at 10 a.m. AT, while Chatham tangles with Newfoundland and Labrador at 10:30 a.m. AT.
As for Doucette’s take on a possible semifinal meeting, he’s hoping for it, too.
“It will be cool playing against Andrew and definitley be cool to win, to have some bragging rights, but it will all be fun,” he said.
Doucette is a rookie at the senior nationals and isn’t sure how much on-field time he will see.
“I have played at nationals before with the Youth Selects and the juniors this year, but this will be my first time at the senior nationals. The experience at my past nationals has been a great atmosphere and it was really cool to be able to play against some of the country’s best talent. I think Chatham will have great pitching with some good solid bats all through the lineup and should be a tough team to beat.”
Quarter-final games go Saturday while the semifinals and the bronze- and gold-medal games are Sunday.
Doucette was the New Brunswick league’s rookie of the year last season. He won the top batter award and was named all-star second baseman at the recent junior nationals in Nova Scotia.
Macdonald is a former league MVP and has anchored the Islanders infield for four seasons.
But the pair are team guys, too, and aren’t worried about numbers in Windsor.
“My personal goals for the tournament are going to be to have good at-bats and play well defensively,” said Macdonald. “I’ve been to quite a few national tournaments now and have figured out that it is great competition, but at the end of the day it is just another baseball game. It doesn’t do anyone any good to get nervous and try to do too much.”
“My personal goals are to just take care of the baseball, make routine plays and score runners or move them over when needed,” said Doucette. “I just want to make sure to do all the little things right that lead to winning some ball games.”
The New Brunswick league playoffs will begin on Aug. 29.
When They Play
Schedule for N.B. teams at the national senior baseball championship in Windsor, Ont. (all times Atlantic):
Manitoba vs. Fredericton, 10 a.m.
Chatham vs. Newfoundland and Labrador, 10:30 a.m.
Fredericton vs. British Columbia, 3:30 p.m.
Ontario vs. Chatham, 4 p.m.
Fredericton vs. Windsor, 2 p.m.
Alberta vs. Chatham, 2 p.m.
Chatham vs. Nova Scotia, 10 a.m.
Alberta 2 vs. Fredericton, 10 a.m.
New Brunswick (Fredericton), New Brunswick 2 (Chatham), Alberta 1, Alberta 2, Ontario, Nova Scotia, Manitoba, British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Windsor (host).