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Eastern Express captures Atlantic mosquito AAA baseball crown

The Eastern Express Mosquito AAA team won the Atlantic Championships in Charlottetown Saturday. They went 3-1 and defeated the host team, Capitol District Islanders 10-5 in the championship game. Justin Smith was the winning pitcher for Eastern. Eastern won the Tip Off Tournament, the provincials and finished 14-3 in regular season. From left, front row, are Kaleb MacKenzie and Thomas MacEachern. Middle row, from left, are Drew MacDonald, Callum Thomson, Brae Johnston, Justin Smith, Tyson McGrath, Logan Gregory, Mason Power, Rowan Walker, Cayle Coffin, Ethan Lowe and batboy William Coffin. Back row, from left, are coaches, Jeff McGrath, Darren MacEachern and Josh Coffin.
The Eastern Express Mosquito AAA team won the Atlantic Championships in Charlottetown Saturday. They went 3-1 and defeated the host team, Capitol District Islanders 10-5 in the championship game. Justin Smith was the winning pitcher for Eastern. Eastern won the Tip Off Tournament, the provincials and finished 14-3 in regular season. From left, front row, are Kaleb MacKenzie and Thomas MacEachern. Middle row, from left, are Drew MacDonald, Callum Thomson, Brae Johnston, Justin Smith, Tyson McGrath, Logan Gregory, Mason Power, Rowan Walker, Cayle Coffin, Ethan Lowe and batboy William Coffin. Back row, from left, are coaches, Jeff McGrath, Darren MacEachern and Josh Coffin.

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - Cayle Coffin said it’s hard to describe what winning the Atlantic mosquito AAA baseball championship feels like.

Cayle’s Eastern Express defeated the host Capital District Islanders 10-5 in the title game on Sunday in Charlottetown.

Justin Smith was the winning pitcher for Eastern, which also won the Tip Off Tournament, the provincials after finishing 14-3 in the regular season.

“It feels awesome,’’ Cayle said. “We celebrated by pouring water on the coaches. We drenched the coaches. It was an awesome weekend.’’

His father Josh, one of the coaches on the Express squad, said it really is a surreal feeling.

“The boys started off really well and they kept the pressure on. They played strong,’’ Josh said. “There was barely an error all weekend. The boys just made the simple plays and got the win.’’

The Express beat Summerside to capture the provincial championship and just kept rolling from there.

Josh Coffin said he can’t say enough about the pitching his team got.

“Justin Smith pitched our final game today and took us into the fifth inning which was what we wanted from him. He pitched an excellent game,’’ Josh said, also heaping praise on others such as Mason Power and Thomas MacEachern. “We had some real strong pitching, guys that took us right deep into the game.’’

That doesn’t mean the offence didn't play a big role, too. Tyson McGrath and Rowan Walker were consistent through the weekend.

“It just seemed like the whole team came together. If a couple of guys weren’t batting as well the rest of the team picked them up,’’ Josh said.

The Eastern Express’ big win was officially recognized prior to the Kings County Baseball League championship series, which got underway in Peakes Sunday. Both teams, Stratford and Peakes Tee, lined up on their respective foul lines to honour the accomplishment.

Jeff McGrath, another Express coach, said they got hot at the right time.

“We won eight of 10 games between the provincials and the Atlantics to go on to win this championship,’’ McGrath said. “It was an all-around team effort. I would say it’s the first time a team east of Charlottetown has won a mosquito AAA Atlantic championship in the last 35 to 40 years.’’

Melissa Coffin, Josh’s wife and Cayle’s mother, said the entire community is proud of the team.

“Most of these kids come from baseball-loving families with a lot of the dads or other family members former KCBL players and most of the dads said today that in all their years they have never been part of an Atlantic championship so it was a celebration all around,’’ the proud mother and wife said.

dave.stewart@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/DveStewart

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