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Barons veterans believe young guns will play key role in chase for provincial junior baseball crown

Power
Power - Contributed

Two veteran guys with hopes of winning a provincial junior A baseball crown in their final year of eligibility are feeling upbeat about their chances of going out in style.

Matt Colbourne and Kyle Power, both 21 years of age, will be gunning for the provincial crown when the Corner Brook Junior Barons host the four-team provincial Junior A baseball championship this weekend at Jubilee Field.

Colbourne, a first baseman who may see some innings of pitching relief, and Power, a fleet of foot outfielder, were members of the 2016 Corner Brook Junior Barons roster that won the provincial title.

“At least we got a taste of it,” Colbourne said Tuesday.

Power and Colbourne have been fixtures on the Junior Barons roster since 2012.

Colbourne actually coached a dozen or so of his teammates in minor baseball and remembers joking with parents that he would play with their sons in the provincial junior A championship in his last year and it’s pretty cool that it’s about to unfold at the friendly confines of Jubilee Field.

Both guys believe the team is in great shape with depth in all areas, especially in the pitching arm with four or five guys who are capable of throwing hard and hitting the strike zone on a consistent basis.

They also agree that the young guns in the mix are gifted players who have earned their way because of their hard work and dedication.

“The young guys on our team are more driven to win a championship than I ever seen,” Colbourne said.

Power is expected to be in the starting line-up patrolling centre field so he knows he will have to be at his best to help the team achieve success, but it’s the young talent that have come up through the minor system that have really impressed him and makes him believe a run at the championship is quite possible if they play the kind of baseball they are capable of playing.

“We got young guys taking over some starting positions from some of the older guys and I like to see that,” Power said. “When we won in 2016 that’s kind of what we had going on. We had young guys step up and that’s what you have to do to win these tournaments. Young guys have to play and everybody has to perform.”

Winning a second title before they graduate from the junior ranks is something both guys are excited about and they believe it would be great to do it at home.

Power recalls the disappointment of losing 2-1 to St. John’s in the final four years ago at Jubilee Field. It was a heartbreaking moment and he doesn’t want to live it again.

Having family and friends on hand to support the team is something he believes will work in his team’s favour so he’s beaming with confidence.

“It would mean everything. I know what it’s like to win,” Power said. “I’m excited. It’s going to be cool.”

The quest for the provincial Junior A baseball crown gets underway Friday with the Barons tangling with the CBS Raiders in the tournament opener slated for 6 p.m. at Jubilee Field.

Schedule:

FRIDAY, JULY 20

at Jubilee Field in Corner Brook

6 p.m. — Corner Brook Barons vs CBS Raiders

8:30 p.m. — Mount Pearl Blazers vs St. John’s Capitals

SATURDAY, JULY 21

at Jubilee Field in Corner Brook

10 a.m. — Corner Brook Barons vs Mount Pearl Blazers

1 p.m. — CBS Raiders vs St. John’s Capitals

5 p.m. — CBS Raiders vs Mount Pearl Blazers

8 p.m. — St. John’s Capitals vs Corner Brook Barons

SUNDAY, JULY 22

at Jubilee Field in Corner Brook

11 a.m. — Final or Tie-Breaker

2 p.m. — Final (if necessary)

Colbourne
Colbourne

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