The Sarnia Braves Baseball Club will have a little Lambton College flavour to their roster when they head to Miramichi, New Brunswick next week for the 2019 National Baseball Championship.
James Grant, who is the Head Coach of the Lambon College Men's Baseball team, also serves as the Head Coach of the Braves. Earlier this month, Grant and the Braves won the Ontario AAA Championship with a thrilling 1-0 victory over the Thornhill Reds.
With the Braves, Grant will be joined by fellow Lions coaches Justin Randall, Joel Ainsworth and Lance Hart. Randall had himself a tremendous season for Sarnia. The Braves' starting second baseman hit .367 out of the three-spot in the lineup. Both Ainsworth and Hart served as coaches with the Braves.
Four presumptive Lambton College players are also heading to New Brunswick with Sarnia. Starting pitcher Eric Steeves had a fantastic summer, winning five games overall, including two in the AAA tournament semifinals over Kitchener and Milton. Righthanders Paul Sheeler and Tyler Groulx also had strong seasons and will be looking to expand on that success into the fall. McKenzie Maxwell, who hits out of the cleanup spot for the Braves, posted a .371 batting average this season.
"Eric, Paul, Tyler, and McKenzie have experienced some of the best AAA competition in the province and we really are looking forward to seeing them on the mound in the OCAA."
The Braves will begin their quest for a National Championship on Tuesday, August 22nd when they take on Nova Scotia. More information on the event, including the full tournament schedule, can be found here.
From there, the Braves will return to Ontario on the morning of Wednesday, August 28th, just in time for Lambton's first tryout that evening at Errol Russell Park, which will take place at 6 p.m.
"We are really excited to jump right into Lions baseball when we return from Nationals," says Grant. "We know that there is a lot of talent locally and we hope to put together a competitive team this year. We are ready to put in the work to get the program moving in the right direction."
"Bringing our entire coaching staff over from a successful Braves team gives us a lot of hope that how we coach as a group can successfully transfer over to the collegiate team."
Prospective student-athletes who are interested in trying out for the Men's Baseball team are encouraged to fill out the Prospective Student-Athlete form online prior to attending the tryouts.