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Islanders putting pieces in place for return to senior baseball league

The Charlottetown Gaudet's Auto Body Islanders clash with the Saint John Alpines today in a doubleheader. First game begins at Memorial Field in Charlottetown at 4 p.m.
The Charlottetown Gaudet's Auto Body Islanders clash with the Saint John Alpines today in a doubleheader. First game begins at Memorial Field in Charlottetown at 4 p.m. - SaltWire Network
CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —

Senior baseball is coming back to the Island.

The Charlottetown Gaudet’s Auto Body Islanders are returning to the New Brunswick Senior Baseball League after a one-year leave.

“It’s pretty exciting actually to be back in the league,” said Peter McDonald.

He will be part of the management team with Myles Grady and Kevin McKenna while Doug Hines will handle the coaching duties. Hines grew up playing baseball and mostly recently coached the Charlottetown Fawcetts fastball teams that played locally and attended nationals, winning silver at Central Field in 2010.

“He’s heard a lot about the league,” McDonald said of Hines. “He’s watched a lot of games. He really enjoys senior baseball and would love to see it back up and running on the Island.”

The Islanders won the league championship in 2015 and finished fourth at the 2016 nationals in Fredericton, N.B. The Islanders took a hiatus during the 2018 season after they were unable to get enough players to commit.

In the fall, McDonald said, they were exploring the possibility of bringing the team back, but it needed a deeper player pool, a head coach and more sponsors.

It was a bit of a rollercoaster during the winter months with the team looking like it was coming back at times and not at other moments. Earlier this winter the team secured enough players – although they are still on the hunt for more – and Hines to handle the coaching duties. They attended the league meeting three weeks ago and were granted admission back into the five-team circuit.

A core of the guys who played for the Islanders in 2017 are returning this summer. More on the roster construction will be announced leading into opening day. The schedule is expected to be released this week, but the Islanders are planning on starting the season at home against the Fredericton Royals during the Victoria Day weekend in May.

McDonald said while not all players are able to commit to attending every game, they have a larger volume of players to manage the guys’ work schedules through the season. The P.E.I. Junior Islanders have also offered to help fill the void when possible.

The team’s title sponsor, Gaudet’s Auto Body, is back on board.

“They've supported the team since Day 1,” McDonald said.

John Dunsford (statistics) and Randy Diamond (announcer) are also back in the mix.

“It really shows you the senior team was missed,” McDonald said.

The team is still searching for people to handle some game-day duties like working the gate, running the canteen and 50/50.

Players looking for more information can contact Hines at drhines59@hotmail.com or Grady at mylesgrady@gmail.com.

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