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Corner Brook trio proud to wear provincial colours at national baseball tournament

Liam Smith delivers a pitch during a Western Intermediate Baseball League game Wednesday night at Jubilee Field. Smith, along with Aaron Purcell-Pilgrim and Nick Park, will represent Newfoundland and Labrador at the 2017 national 18U baseball championship in London, Ont., later this summer.
Liam Smith delivers a pitch during a Western Intermediate Baseball League game Wednesday night at Jubilee Field. Smith, along with Aaron Purcell-Pilgrim and Nick Park, will represent Newfoundland and Labrador at the 2017 national 18U baseball championship in London, Ont., later this summer.

Wearing a jersey with Newfoundland and Labrador on the crest is something many promising baseball players in this province put on their list of things to accomplish when coming up through the ranks.

It’s a chance to prove they are among the best the province has to offer in their respective age group and most often a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see how their skillsets stack up against some of the bigger powerhouses in the country on the national stage.
Three talented players from Corner Brook have earned a spot on the provincial 18U team that will compete at the 2017 national 18U baseball championship scheduled for Aug. 17-21 in London, Ont.
It’s the biggest stage for all three players at this juncture in their young careers and head coach Aaron Flood is pretty pleased to have them on board.
Flood, a Corner Brook native who is now teaching in St. John’s, provided The Star with a scouting report on the three members of his team in a recent telephone interview, and we also asked the players for their thoughts on being named to the team and what they feel they bring to the diamond.

Aaron Flood

Coach Flood
Liam Smith
— Size and strength on his side
— A strong shortstop/third baseman with good hands
— Versatile player who can provide relief for the pitching staff
— A good contact hitter

Aaron Purcell-Pilgrim
— Stands out as a solid lefty pitcher who consistently throws a lot of strikes with a deceptive delivery
— Can provide defensive ability at first base when not pitching
“He’s got the nice different lefty spin on his fastball and he’s got a good mix, so we’re looking forward to working with him,” Flood said.

Nick Park
— A solid defensive outfielder with good arm motion
— His bat earned him his way, so he could see time in the designated hitter role
— Swings the bat like a grown man
“It was loud. It was a different sound from the ball of the bat when he hit it,” Flood said.
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Liam Smith
WS-13-24062017-baseball-nationals-Smith-mug-cq.JPG
What does it mean to you to have the opportunity to represent your province on the national stage?
“It’s a big deal. I’ve never played for the province before and it’s going to be nice to go out and represent Newfoundland. It feels good to be recognized and it makes me feel like I’m a better player.”

Liam Smith.

How do you see yourself making a contribution to the team and what do you hope to accomplish on a personal level?
“Just do the best I can and help the team out whenever I can. I think I’m an all-around good player. I don’t do anything special or anything better than anyone else. I just contribute wherever I can.”

Aaron Purcell-Pilgrim

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Aaron Purcell-Pilgrim
PIC 2 : WS-13-24062017-baseball-nationals-PurcellPilgrim-mug.cq.JPG
What does it mean to you to have the opportunity to represent your province on the national stage?
“It’s my first time and it’s really such an honour to be representing the province at such a high level.”

How do you see yourself making a contribution to the team and what do you hope to accomplish on a personal level?
“They sort of got me as a pitcher, so that’s where I need to help the team. Just pick up a few innings here and there to hopefully give the team a chance to win.”

Nick Park

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Nick Park
PIC 4: WS-13-24062017-baseball-nationals-Park-mug.JPG
What does it mean to you to have the opportunity to represent your province on the national stage?
“It’s awesome. I went last year with the provincial Under-15 team and it was a good time, and I’m very excited to go again. It was an awesome time. The nerves are calmed down a little bit. Last time I was a little bit nervous, but this time it’s my second time, so I should be OK.”

How do you see yourself making a contribution to the team and what do you hope to accomplish on a personal level?
“I’d like to say I’m more of an offensive threat at the plate instead of a defensive player. I’ve always thought of myself as somebody who would rather have a bat in their hands than a glove. That’s what I spend most of my time working on, really.”

dkearsey@thewesternstar.com
Twitter: WS_SportsDesk
 

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