Playing in front of family and friends against the best the province has to offer is enough to make the most experienced baseball player nervous.
But not Adam Veitch of the Corner Brook AAA Mosquito Barons.
The Barons will host teams St. John’s, Grand Falls-Windsor and Mount Pearl when the Aquafina Provincial Mosquito AAA Championship Baseball tournament gets underway on Little Jubilee field today.
Heading into his second mosquito AAA championship, Veitch sounded like a grizzled veteran when discussing his lack of nerves prior to this event.
“When I was young I’d get nervous — but not anymore,” Veitch, 10, said Tuesday during an exhibition game at Little Jubilee field.
In fact, the Corner Brook boy said baseball is most fun when the stakes are high and the pressure mounts.
Primarily a second baseman, he said he enjoys the cat-and-mouse game of trying to tag out runners attempting to steal second base.
At the plate, he hits from the left side and says while he lacks power, he’s able to use his speed to create havoc on the basepaths.
He said Mount Pearl and St. John’s should provide a stiff test to the Barons but has confidence that on home turf at the friendly confines of Little Jubilee, the Barons could hold an edge.
“We know this field better than anyone else,” he said. “I would think that will be a little bit of an advantage for us.”
Meanwhile, teammate Jay Miller said he expects Grand Falls to be the biggest obstacle to his club’s chances at a provincial crown.
The third baseman and pitcher is heading into his first AAA tournament after playing events at the A and AA level in the past.
Miller said facing strong pitching and hitting from the central side, the Barons could still emerge with a medal should they field the ball cleanly, something he said has been a team strength this season.
Like Veitch, the strapping 10-year-old said he’s more excited than nervous about the tourney and was modest when asked to pick the best skill he brings to the team.
“I guess I’m kind of a power hitter,” Miller said sheepishly.
The Barons are coached by Jonathan Snow, Doug Piercey, Tyler Gardner and Grant Vincent.
The boys in blue hit the field 3 p.m. today for a game against Mount Pearl before facing St. John’s 9 a.m. Saturday. Round robin play wraps up 3:30 p.m. Saturday with a game against Mount Pearl.
The final is slated for 10 a.m. Sunday or if necessary, 1:30 p.m. Sunday.
For a full weekend schedule, see Scoreboard on page 10.
Meanwhile, other local teams will be on the road this weekend.
The Corner Brook Bantam AAA Barons will be in St. John’s competing in the the Pepsi U15 Bantam AAA tournament at Airport Heights Feild. Also participating are the St. John’s Capitals, Mount Pearl Blazers, Conception Bay South Raiders and Conception Bay North Bulldogs.
The winning team moves on to play in the Atlantic Bantam AAA Championships from Sept. 12-14 in Charlottetown, P.E.I.
A Stephenville entrant is registered for the Pepsi 15U Bantam AA tournament at Smallwood Field Drive in Mount Pearl. They’ll be up against the Paradise Phantoms, Grand Falls-Windsor Braves, Mount Pearl Blazers, St. John’s Capitals and Gander Pilots. The victor earns the right to compete at the Atlantic Bantam AA Championships Sept. 12-14 in Yarmouth, N.S.