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Tuesday, Jun. 25, 2019
A 5-3 loss is Voyageurs best effort yet
by Randy Pascal

Early season missteps were an expected part of the process for Sudbury Baseball Academy 16U Voyageurs' head coach Brodie Jeffery and his team. Perhaps this is why the long-time Whitby native had no trouble identifying key positive takeaways in light of a winless tournament performance in Guelph to start the summer of 2018.

Throwing strikes was all that Jeffery would ask of starter Caleb Cain Plante in game one, and the youngster did just that, as the Etobicoke Rangers thumped the northern crew 15-0.

"Offensively, we started slow, which was expected, so early," said Jeffery. "Etobicoke is a good team who will be atop our league this year. They beat us, we didn't play all that bad."

That positivity carried over to game two as the Voyageurs engaged the Oakville A's in a much more compelling encounter, falling 5-3 when all was said and done. Justin Vaillancourt started on the mound for Sudbury, tossing and gem and keepings things close, his team holding a 3-2 lead late before a pair of untimely errors proved to be their undoing.

"We couldn't get it going after we got down (4-3), but it was our best effort yet," said Jeffery. In game three, starter Braden Dubé struggled to find his rhythm early, but gradually settled in as the West Toronto Wildcats blanked the Voyageurs 11-0.

"We ran into a very good pitcher who simply shut us down," stated Jeffery. The coach, however, would praise both Dubé and Liam Socransky for their work at the plate, grinding out some good solid at-bats against quality opposition.

"We are still young and still continuing to grow," summarized Jeffery. "Our tempo and speed were exactly where they needed to be. We need to string a few more hits together. Eventually, things will go our way and we will be rewarded for competing like we did this weekend."

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