Maybe little rest will be a good thing for the Charlottetown Gaudet’s Auto Body Islanders when the squad hosts the Moncton Mets in New Brunswick Senior Baseball league action tonight at 7:30 in Charlottetown.
A good thing, perhaps, because there’s little time to think about the Fredericton Royals two-game sweep of the Isles (10-10) over the weekend in Fredericton.
And Islanders’ head coach Allison Macdonald won't put too much weight on the sweep. After all, he said, the losses were as much about geography as style of play.
“(We’re) fine. (It’s a) small field in Fredericton (and) with the wind blowing out is a recipe for disastrous results. Their fly balls become home runs and our small ball attack will be at a disadvantage. We play them in August over here and will match up nicely,” said Macdonald.
Tonight, Moncton (11-7) poses its own problems for Isles’ starting pitcher Brody MacDonald (3-0 with three saves, 1.62 ERA). Jordan Stevenson will be available for two innings out of the Islanders bullpen.
The Mets, half-a-game behind the first-place Royals, have won two straight games and seven of its last 10 games. Moncton leads the season series with Charlottetown 3-1 and won the last meeting 5-2 in June at Memorial Field.
“Moncton has good pitching, good defence and good speed on the base paths. Brody will limit base runners and being a lefty will make it difficult for them to steal,” said Macdonald. “If we can make the defensive plays we should give them a good game.”
And maybe the Isles’ manager isn’t overly worried about the recent outcome in Fredericton because the league is close this season, just 2 1/2 games separate the fourth-place Charlottetown and the Royals, so no one is really out the race.
“If we win, we’re only a game behind them (Moncton) in the fight for third place. Should be a barnburner.”
In other league news, Islanders first baseman Jeremy McKinnon and Moncton's Justin Cormier are the player and pitcher of the week, respectively, in the league.
McKinnon hit .727 (8-11) with a double and a home run while scoring three times, stealing a base and driving in a run. McKinnon is second in team batting average (.354) and fourth overall behind team leader Morgan MacLean (.411). MacLean is second in the league in batting average.
Cormier tossed a three-hit, 3-0 shutout over the Chatham Ironmen. He struck out three Chatham batters and walked one.