Dillon Doucette is looking forward to being part of the first Holland College Hurricanes home baseball game today in Charlottetown.
“It’s going to be exciting,” the Peakes native said Friday. “I thing it’s going to be a really good day tomorrow. I think we’re going to come out flying.”
Ever since he heard about the team in January, he thought about playing college ball in his home province.
“One of the first things I thought of was how great it would be to be a part of the first Holland College baseball team,” said Doucette, who played at the Prairie Baseball Academy in Alberta.
Holland College (6-1) will host the Cape Breton Capers (2-5) for a doubleheader today with games at 1 and 4 p.m. and the St. F.X. X-Men (0-5) Sunday for a 4 p.m. game. All three games are at Memorial Field.
“It will be an exciting weekend being able to play in front of our home crowd,” said head coach Andrew MacNevin. “We’ve been looking forward to these games since the season started. We hope to see a big crowd out to the field to support our players.”
The Hurricanes have played the first two weekends of their inaugural season on the road. They lead the Canadian Collegiate Baseball Association’s Atlantic Conference by 1 1/2 games over Dalhousie and UNB.
Doucette, a second baseman and one of the Hurricanes’ captains, said the team plays well defensively and its starting pitchers have been going deep into games.
“You know you’re going to get six solid innings out of them,” he said.
Offensively, he said, the lineup is deep and most times seven of the nine hitters are threats to steal a base.
“We manufacture runs. It just seems like we always have runners on second and third,” he said.
Summerside right-hander Brady Arsenault (2-0) is expected to be the starting pitcher in Game 1 while left-hander Rod Langille, from Florenceville, N.B., gets the ball in Game 2.
Summerside’s Colin Arsenault (1-1) is scheduled to start Sunday’s contest against the X-Men.
Doucette credited MacNevin’s leadership in the program’s initial success.
“He takes it serious,” he said. “We’re there to play ball and there to win some games. It’s been a great experience so far.”
While pleased with the early season showing, Doucette said he thinks the team can, and will, improve.
“It’s good to see what’s happened already,” he said, but “I still don’t think we have played to our fall potential.”
Doucette worked in Newfoundland and Labrador during the summer and only played about a dozen combined games with the Charlottetown Gaudet’s Auto Body Islanders and Peakes Bombers of the Kings County Baseball League.
“It certainly wasn’t a regular summer for me,” he said. “It was the first time I’ve been away from ball for that long in five or six years and I won’t be doing that again.”
Admission is free for all Hurricanes baseball games.