Fiddler's Facts: Fawcetts in key games at fast pitch nationals

Fred
Fred MacDonald
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The Charlottetown John Brown Grille Fawcetts will continue their medal hunt today in the Canadian senior men’s fast pitch championship at Central Field in Charlottetown.

The Fawcetts lost 8-1 Thursday night to Kelly’s Pub of Newfoundland and Labrador and saw their preliminary round record drop to 3-3, which was good enough to advance to the double-knockout portion of the tournament. If they are to challenge for a medal, however, they must cut down on the practical and mental errors, which have played a major role in their losses.

Head coach Doug Hines and veteran Mark Arsenault have worked tirelessly in preparing this team for the tournament and a medal is within reach. The Fawcetts have enough offence with leading hitter Jeff Ellsworth and a solid cast that includes slick middle infielder Brandon Horn, Mark Johnson, Andy Skelton and Jamie MacDonald. They played in the late game Friday night against second-seed British Columbia and will be playing today at Central Field, so let’s get out and support the local club.

In the masters’ section of the tournament, the Coors Light team has plenty of familiar faces and they could go unbeaten, at least that’s what assistant coach Charles (Chuck) Keating tells me. Crafty lefty Kenny Gormley, (I think he was Babe Ruth’s batboy), gives the locals a great chance at winning and they have lots of hitting with guys like Chris MacGregor, Gordie Cox, Shannon Ellis, Paul MacKinnon, Alan Walker, Tony Cummiskey and hard-hitting Joey Smith, who has looked great in the exhibition games.

Today should be a most interesting day at Central Field and if you get a chance how about a round of applause for guys like Hines and Arsenault for keeping the game alive here on Prince Edward Island.

Baseball

On the baseball front, the Charlottetown Gaudet’s Auto Body Islanders opened their playoffs Friday night at Memorial Field in the first game of a best-of-five series with Moncton’s Hub City.

The Islanders have great pitching but the lumber department has been weakened by injury, school transfers and players working elsewhere. They have a good nucleus of young players and could knock off Hub City.

In other baseball news, the Summerside team, coached by Rob McCormack, finished with a very respectable 4-2 record at the national AAA bantam tournament. Congrats to Robbie and his team’s great showing.

In another pleasant surprise, Dave MacIsaac’s P.E.I. Youth Selects shocked a lot of folks with their terrific performance at the nationals recently in Saskatoon. Each province sent its all-star team of their best 16- and 17-year-old players to the tournament and the local club finished sixth, losing their final game 5-3 in extra innings to perennial powerhouse Ontario.

The Island club made the playoff round with a 3-2 record, the first time they’ve advanced to the playoff round in at least a decade. This is the same tournament where Team Canada junior officials spotted Islander J.P. Stevenson and as expected coaches from many U.S. universities/colleges were in attendance.

Prince Edward Island led the tournament in overall pitching and was third in fielding, areas where the Islanders traditionally do not excel. Summerside’s Kyle Pinksen led all pitchers with a sparkling 2-0 record and both his wins were shutouts. Looks like this kid is worth watching and following. Stratford’s Darcy Affleck led the Islanders at the plate, hitting .475, and was among the leaders in that department.

MacIsaac and McCormack both played the game at a high level and both are eager and interested in developing young players in this province. Keep up the terrific work.

Golf

Ottawa Senators assistant coach Dave Cameron was at his best on the links last Tuesday at the Summerside golf club, but his team didn’t make the podium.

The event, in support of the Slemon Park Plex Arena, brought out a good sampling of NHLers past and present including Cameron, Errol Thompson, Brett Gallant, Dion Phaneuf and his good pal Gord Dwyer.

Sharp-shooting Bob Irwin has been giving a few golf pointers to Graham Robinson and it showed last week as Graham had an 84 at Fox Meadow. Graham said the third annual golf tournament in aid of the Humane Society goes Sunday, Sept. 7, 1 p.m., at Fox Meadow.

There’s a $15,000 hole-in-one, meal, prizes, etc. Contact Leanne Cail at the Humane Society or lcail@peihumanesociety.ca

At Avondale, Wendell MacEachern and Roger MacLauchlan knocked off the top-seed duo of Marty Koughan and Connor Lea in the club doubles scramble.

Connor, I think they have your number.

Hockey

Let’s not forget next weekend’s Capital Honda’s Faceoff Against Cancer hockey challenge at the CARI Complex.

Twelve teams are entered and Boston Bruins great Ray Bourque will likely be chosen as coach of the team that raises the most money for their team. Play starts next Friday. More on this next week.

For further information, contact the Cancer Society P.E.I. office at 902-566-4007. Bourque will definitely draw a big crowd.

Harness racing

Live harness racing continues tonight at Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park with a 14-dash card. Post time is 6 p.m.

Tuesday’s National Driving Championship at the CDP drew a great crowd and generated a hefty $56,000 wager. I am sure the fans and premiers enjoyed themselves. Unfortunately, New Brunswick Premier David Alward was not here due to the provincial election there. That is the one person who needed to see the racino and how it revitalizes the harness racing industry here.

Jody Jamieson defended his crown but he had a battle with Marc Campbell, who was a close second and got a bad break when Panacotta was scratched.

Tonight’s $2,400 feature has attracted a top field with horses like Narragansett, Machinthesand, Touch of lightning and five others.

Last Saturday night at Pocono, Mark MacDonald won the $25,000 preferred trot with highly regarded Maven (by Glidemaster), who had been campaigning in Europe. Maven won in a swift 1:52:3 for trainer Jonas Czernyson and second was P.E.I.-bred Waiting On a Woman, the ex-Maritime stakes trot champion. Waiting On a Woman is by Northern Bailey, who stands at Meridian Farms.

That’s great news for Meridian and any other consigners who have Northern Baileys in the October yearling sales.

The two-year-old track trot record for trot colts fell Wednesday at Summerside when Suicide Shift stepped to a sizzling 2:04:1 for Steven Shepherd and co-owner Harold Shepherd. The colt is by P J’s Nabby. In the record mile, two Northern Bailey fillies were two-three.

Also at the same track, B J Comanche (by Bo W) scored a three-year stake win of 2:03:2 for owner-trainer Bert Honkoop and driver Clare MacDonald. The other sophomore trot event went to Dusty Lane Galaxy (P J‘s Nabby) in 2:02:3.

Two-year-old trot sensation Paymenowpaymelater scored again in stakes competition for owner Wade Paconi and trainer Earl Watts and the winner is by Northern Bailey. The Super Bowl line trotter Nureyev is off to a great start as a sire as well. Windemere Ty took a new record of 2:05:4 in beating the stake two- year-olds also on Wednesday night.

Staying with trotters, at Vernon last night, Father Patrick was listed as the 5-2 chalk in the $340,000 Harry Zweig Memorial while Mark MacDonald is 7-2 with Flyhawk El Durado from the rail. No results at press time.

Fred MacDonald's column appears each

Saturday in The Guardian. He can be

reached at fiddlersfacts@hotmail.com.

Organizations: Islanders, Humane Society, Team Canada Avondale Boston Bruins Cancer Society P.E.I. Meridian Farms

Geographic location: Summerside, Charlottetown, Newfoundland and Labrador Prince Edward Island British Columbia Moncton Hub City Fox Meadow Saskatoon Ontario U.S. Charlottetown Driving Park New Brunswick Narragansett Europe The Guardian

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