David McCarthy could probably live with being called the old guy if it means getting what he wants.
McCarthy, in his final year of eligibility at 20 years old, is the seasoned veteran of the Supplement Shack Junior Barons.
The Junior Barons play host to the five-team 2014 Molson provincial junior A baseball tournament this weekend at Jubilee Field.
He won three provincial midget baseball championships and a provincial crown in the peewee ranks during his minor baseball career in the city
His days in the junior ranks haven’t been as kind. He’s never hoisted the championship trophy in several attempts at the junior level so he hopes his last year will be the magical one.
“I’d love to win one. It’s been haunting us the last two or three years,” McCarthy said of his desire to win the crown. “We’ve come up short the last three years I’ve been involved.”
McCarthy is expected to provide sure hands at second base for the team and provide some clutch hits in the lower part of the lineup.
But, he’s also the oldest guy on the team so he feels it’s important he provide leadership to some of the younger guys trying to adjust to life beyond the minor baseball ranks.
He plans on leading by example for the young guys by showing hustle on the field, playing hard every inning and making a contribution in any way he can.
He likes the team’s chances as long as they play the game the way they have been taught.
“It all starts with throwing strikes. You can’t defend a walk,” he said, noting he feels the team has a potent lineup throughout so offence shouldn’t pose a problem.
“If our pitchers are on I don’t see anybody beating them to be honest. We have a good (pitching) staff there.”
Teams standing in the way of the championship quest are the St. John’s Capitals, Mount Pearl, Gander and Conception Bay North.
The Barons lost to the Capitals in the final last year.
It’s the Capitals who McCarthy feels will be the toughest test.
“I saw the rosters today and I think they are our biggest threat,” he said.
McCarthy said tournaments are all about players rising to the occasion so it will be interesting to see what unfolds on this particular weekend.
“I think your guns can be your guns all year and not show up, and you can have a role player step up and anyone can do it for you on any given day,” he said.
He just wants to be a solid guy for his team.
“Make the plays in the field and maybe come up with two or three hits a game hopefully,” he said.
The tournament kicks off Friday and wraps up with the championship final Sunday 3 p.m. at Jubilee Field. For a complete tournament schedule see today’s Scoreboard on page 14 of The Western Star.