The 2018 version of the Raider baseball team was one for the books. This team was assembled piecemeal in April in a year that was pegged as a rebuild on the fly year. Expected to finish in the middle of the pack of the NDA league, this team blew away all expectations. Led by the veterans of Connor Winrow, David Hurley, Andrew Allard, Parker Hamelin, Griffin Paul, and Alex Martin (for the first half) the team battled every inning to finish in 2nd place, beat Scollard twice, and make the championship final against a virtually unbeatable Algonquin Barons team.
But the other story to this team was how the team's rookies made contributions all year long. All 9 of them! Yes this year's addition of the Raider baseball team included 9 rookies! With that many rookies, and the majority of them juniors, no team has any business having the success the Raiders did against senior veteran ball clubs! And these rookies played! Chris Essery (grade 10) made a game saving catch in right field that preserved a 6-5 semi-final victory vs the Bears. Brayden Blake (grade 9) was versatile and consistent all year playing excellent defense at 6 different positions throughout the year. Wolf Gillespie (grade 9) stepped in to catch for the team, caught balls in the outfield, and found his way on base in almost every game he played. Tyler Hampel and Lorraine Hatch both scored runs in a semi-final game where every run was needed. And Jaclyn Hurley was a model player for perfect fundamentals in hitting, fielding, and base running. In fact in the final, the Barons tried to pick her off at first, at second and at third base. She eventually came in to score.
The coaching staff was incredibly impressed with the gamesmanship of this team and the manner in which they carried themselves on and off the field. They gelled quickly as a club and took great strides developmentally. They feel as though they have accelerated their rebuild process by a full year based on the growth of their young players.
And so the future of Raider baseball is as strong as ever. Next year they prove to be an even younger ball club, but don't underestimate this group. They may just surprise us all once again! Congratulations goes out to the entire team on a great season!
Connor Winrow (Catcher, Pitcher)
Andrew Allard (Pitcher)
David Hurley (Pitcher, 1st Base, Catcher)
Alex Martin (1st Base)
Marshall Point (1st Base)
Jaclyn Hurley (2nd Base)
Lorraine Hatch (2nd Base)
Parker Hamelin (Shortstop)
Griffin Paul (Third Base)
Dylan Donnelly (Outfield)
Chris Essery (Outfield, Third Base)
Brayden Blake (Utility Defensive Specialist)
Wolf Gillespie (Outfield, Catcher)
Aydan Poudrier (Centerfield)
Nolan Ladouceur (Outfield)
Tyler Hampel (Outfield)