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Mike Brake expected to drive in runs for Barons in quest for crown


Mike Brake’s excited about being fully committed to a run at the provincial senior A baseball crown.

Mike Brake gets in some batting practice in the cage at Jubilee Field.

His work schedule has prevented him from embracing the game for a few years now so he was limited to a couple of games in last year’s final that saw the Barons lose in six games to the St. John’s Winmar Capitals.

The 41-year-old Corner Brook native has a student summer job Monday to Friday, a result of his decision to go back to school at College of the North Atlantic where he’s tackling a three-year process operations engineering technology program.

Being able to hit the diamond on a regular basis has worked out well for him. He has been playing well to help the Hawks leap to the top of the standings in the local senior baseball league and he made his presence known at the provincial senior B baseball tournament by winning the MVP award where he helped the Barons earn the right to play the Caps in a best-of-seven final.

He realizes that the pitching he will face this weekend from the deep Caps pitching staff will be a bit tougher than what he saw at the B tourney, but he’s not about to put any pressure on him or the team to get the job done.

His attitude is to tell the boys to relax and have fun on the diamond this week.

It’s a matter of all hands playing solid on defence and the pitching staff giving the team a chance to win, he insists, but it’s no secret that hitting the ball is equally important. Coach Darren Colburne is expecting Brake to drive in runs in the role of Designated Hitter despite his ability to play a number of other roles with his vast experience and skillset.

“We just got to put the ball in play and let the other team make the tough fielding plays and everything after that will just take care of itself,” Brake said earlier this week.

Brake is expected to hit in the No. 3 spot in the order and he will have a number of big bats to support him with the Barons bolstering its roster with Grand Falls-Windsor stars David Parsons, top hitter in the B tournament who played with the Caps last year, and multi-sport athlete A. J. Whiffen.

Coach Darren Colbourne is happy to have a guy with Brake’s hitting prowess and experience on his side. He likes the fact he has enough speed and strong arms in the outfield to allow Brake to focus simply on being a consistent threat at the dish.

“Obviously it’s another big bat and all I’m asking of him is to DH and that’s a marvellous job for Mike because all he has to do is swing the bat,” Colbourne said.

The best-of-seven final gets underway today at St. Pat’s Ball Park with the Capitals hosting the first three games of the series. The opener is slated for today 1 p.m. with Game 2 slated for 7 p.m. and Game 3 will take place Sunday 1 p.m. in the capital city.

Twitter: @WS_SportsDesk

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