CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – The Holland College Hurricanes quest for a national championship begins Thursday in Toronto.
Tyler Johnston is the ’Canes probable starter in the opener against the host Humber Hawks at 11 a.m. Atlantic.
“I think we have a team capable of making a statement right off the hop in our first game against a very strong Humber College team,” said the six-foot-one hurler from Cardigan. “We set our goal for the season on Day 1, now we’re ready to go chase it.”
The Canadian Collegiate Baseball Championship is a six-team tournament that runs from Thursday to Saturday.
The Hurricanes play the Collège Ahuntsic Indiens from Montreal Thursday at 8 p.m. with Ryan Abraham expected to get the ball.
“Going to nationals in Toronto is going to be special,” the Halifax native said. “We’ve all worked extremely hard leading up to this opportunity and I’m excited to see what the hard work will bring us. We feel very confident going into our first two games. If we play well it will put us in a great position come playoff time.”
Holland College went 10-0 in the regular season against university squads in Atlantic Canada.
“We’ll need a combination of good pitching, solid defence and timely hitting to be successful,” Hurricanes coach Andrew MacNevin said. “We respect the quality of the programs we’re up against but are confident in our abilities. It’s a quick tournament and momentum is key.”
The Hurricanes have had success at the nationals in the past. In the team’s inaugural season, they struggled to an eighth-place finish, but a national silver and two top-three finishes have followed since.
After tying for third last season, returning infielder Matt Barlow is ready to take the next step.
“This is by far the best defensive team I have ever played on, and if we can stay confident and execute the little things properly that we've been working on, I like our chances to have a strong championship at nationals,” the Summerside native said.
Need to know
Canadian Collegiate Baseball Championship
Where – Toronto.
When – Thursday to Saturday.
Who – The six competing teams at this year’s championship are the Holland College Hurricanes, Humber College Hawks (Toronto), Fanshawe College Falcons (London, Ont.), St. Clair College Saints (Windsor, Ont.), Collège Ahuntsic Indiens (Montreal) and Thompson Rivers University Wolfpack (Kamloops, B.C.). They are divided into two pools.
11 a.m. – Holland College vs. Humber.
8 p.m. – Holland College vs. Collège Ahuntsic.
11 a.m. – Seed 2B vs. Seed 3A.
2 p.m. – Seed 2A vs. Seed 3B.
5 p.m. – 11 a.m. winner vs. Seed 1A.
8 p.m. – 2 p.m. winner vs. Seed 1B.
11 a.m. – Fifth-place game.
2 p.m. – Bronze medal game.
5 p.m. – Championship game.
Online at www.humberhawks.ca.