The 10th annual Jimmy (Fiddler) MacDonald Memorial baseball tournament continues today on Charlottetown area diamonds.
The semifinals go Sunday at 11:15 a.m. at City and Kiwanis diamonds in Victoria Park with the championship game set for 1:30 p.m. at City Diamond.
Sixteen teams will be competing in the mosquito AAA tournament and they’ve been split into four divisions named Sock, Rabbit, Tex and Sput with the winners advancing to Sunday morning.
The Charlottetown Royals appear to be the class of the Island teams with a 25-2 record and are coming off a big Summerside tournament victory.
Other Island teams competing are the Richmond Red Sox, Cornwall Cougars, Sherwood Knights, Cardigan Clippers, Summerside Chevies and West Prince Mariners.
Fredericton Royals, Halifax Mets, Hammonds Plains A’s and Sherwood are in one division while Saint John Port City and Dartmouth Arrows are in the division with Cornwall and Richmond. Charlottetown meets the likes of Bridgewater Bulldogs, Kennebecasis Valley Red Sox and Cardigan. The final division is a tight one with Riverview and Tri County Angels meeting Summerside and West Prince.
In other Island baseball action, the P.E.I. Selects (under-18 team), handled by Dave McIsaac meet the Nova Scotia club in a doubleheader at 11 a.m. Sunday at Memorial Field. This is a tune-up for the Canada Cup scheduled for Saskatoon on Aug. 6, so it’s a great chance to see how our boys stack up with the Bluenose club. Dave told me the other night his team will hold its own defensively with many of the other provincial teams, especially slick shortstop J.J. Oram from Summerside.
One player we will not see Sunday morning is catcher Cole MacLaren, who Dave rates highly. He is currently playing in Ohio but will be available for Canada Cup.
Matt Barlow at second base and Jed Noonan in centrefield, both Summerside boys, provide strength down the middle, which helps any team.
As for pitching, Darcy Affleck (Stratford) and Kyle Pinksen (Kensington) are very capable, and good hitters, too.
Victoria Park is the place to be today and Sunday, so let’s get out and watch the stars of tomorrow in action at both the mosquito and junior Selects level.
The Toronto Blue Jays are making things interesting in the American League East pennant race and after taking three of four games from the last-place Boston Red Sox, including an 8-0 shutout in the Thursday afternoon finale at the Rogers Centre.
The Jays opened a four-game series Friday at Yankee Stadium and need at least a split to keep their pennant hopes alive.
The Red Sox visit red-hot Tampa Bay this weekend while the first-place Baltimore Orioles continue their series in Seattle, who bolstered their line-up this week with the acquisition of hard-hitting Kendrys Morales.
Don’t laugh but the Blue Jays, who still exhibit bone-headed base running and questionable lineup changes, can still win the East. The Jays are getting great pitching, especially from rookie Marcus Stroman and if they can stay close until Edwin Encarnacion, Brett Lawrie and Adam Lind return, they could be a big surprise.
But, ooh, the base-running blunders and the assorted line-ups, I can see those things here at Memorial Field at no charge.
The other night, light-hitting Anthony Gose was tossed out trying to steal third base with their only .300 hitter, Melky Carbrera, at the plate.
And the lineup with a hard-throwing, right-handed pitcher Rubby De La Rosa against them, the Jays sat out dangerous left-hitting Colby Rasmus (13 homers, 30 RBIs) in place of Gose (0 homers) who couldn’t hit a watermelon.
The TD Bank team of Jake Beck, Craig Cameron, Dan Roberts and Sean Corcoran captured the Islanders baseball team’s golf tournament last Tuesday at Avondale with a team score of 64.
Former Blue Jays president Don MacDougall’s club made it to the podium thanks to Tony MacKenzie’s numerous bombs, Don’s superlative close game and the putting of Wally McInnis.
I hear Pat Mella’s game is on the decline and that’s surprising since her brother Don’s is on the upswing.
The annual East End Open goes today at the same Vernon River course and it should bring out some tall tales from the Flanagan, Doyle, Duffy, Gillis, Coady clan and others who grew up in the east end of the city from Basilica church to the Hillsborough Bridge.
Former City Baseball League player Peter Dunphy is home and most likely watching his pal Dave McIsaac in the under-18 P.E.I. Selects baseball games Sunday at Memorial Field. Peter is trying to convince his football pal, Franco Harris, to visit our little Island.
The Belvedere golf course is in great shape and there was plenty of chirping after last Monday afternoon’s weekly gathering. Most likely the author was Fred Younker as he and Colin Younker took a little of the folding stuff from the regular group including ex-junior Islanders standout Dave Murnaghan.
Dr. Gord Beck has been hot lately as well with the Monday group and it’s nice to see his game gets better with age. Funny that hasn’t happened to me. Where is golf pro Dave Boland when you need him.
Live harness racing continues today at the Charlottetown track with a 12-dash card, post time is 6 p.m.
The $2,200 feature goes in Race 11 and it has attracted a top field including the very fast Windfall Blue Chip, who is on the comeback trail.
The big pacer has the five-hole in the seven-horse field and will be handled by the veteran and very capable Brian MacPhee.
The trainer is Earl Watts and his stable has been on a hot roll of late. Others in the field from the rail out are Narragansett, Balanchine, Eagle Jolt, Machinthesand, Pacific Oak and Cheyenne Ford.
Truro’s $7,500 Exhibition Cup goes tonight and it is a dandy with horses like Prosecco Brut, Junebugs Baby, Likely to Win, Duke Did It, Red Rock, Ultimate Luck, Modern Exhibit, Touch of Lightning and Astor. There are also three A divisions for three-year-old colts each at $6,920 and two $2,500 B divisions.
At Mohawk tonight, Dr. Ian Moore’s State Treasurer has the outside eight post in the $34,000 top class against the likes of Captive Audience, Ellis Park and five others.
The $400,000 Del Miller Adios final for three-year-old colts goes this afternoon at The Meadows and Casie Coleman’s McWicked is the early line favourite at 7-5.
It’s a wide-open field with horses like Lets Drink On It and Somewhere In LA in the nine-horse field. P.E.I.’s Mark MacDonald has Stevensville from post six in the Adios, a race he has won previously with Bolt The Duer.
A big congratulations to owner Casey Gavin of Tignish as his Silverwood Eagle won the three-year-old $120,000 Canadian Breeders race last Saturday in 1:50 and change at The Hawk.
Silverhill has certainly made an early impact in the race game.
Fred MacDonald's column appears in The Guardian each Saturday. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.