The Sarnia Braves are quickly becoming the team to beat.
Sarnia’s AAA baseball club is nearing the midpoint of the Southwestern Senior Baseball league season with league-leading 7-1 record, and it won the annual Port Lambton AAA baseball tournament June 22-23.
“It’s been a really good season,” said manager James Grant. “We added a lot of pieces and I think it’s coming together pretty good.”
A standout among the five new faces in the lineup is Sarnian Jameson Hart. The Northern Collegiate grad returned to town after playing a season with Indian Hills College in Iowa, said Grant, who calls Hart an “above average, five-tool guy.”
“He can throw, he can hit, he can run,” said Grant. “He’s just added another element to our offence.”
The 6’2” outfielder opened some eyes at the Port Lambton tournament by smacking a monster 390-foot homerun in a 10-3 win over the Kincardine Cubs.
Hart also threw “a strike” from the fences to stop a Kincardine runner from scoring a double in the same game, Grant said.
The Braves have 12 games left in the regular season and three more tournaments.
The turnaround comes after a disappointing, injury-plagued season in 2018, which saw the Braves powerhouse Julian Service miss every game due to an ankle injury.
And that followed the Braves outstanding 2017 baseball season, which boasted a 45-3 record and the ‘Triple Crown’ of championships: the Lakeside Invitational, SouthWestern League and the Michigan Cup.
Grant said the historic 2017 season earned the club a lot of attention, and a number of talented prospects asked to try out.
Sarnia’s 2-0 record this year against regional titans Ilderton Red Army and Strathroy Royals is a good sign the Braves are on the right track, Grant noted.
“I think we’re confident we can compete. Ilderton and Strathroy are two of the Ontario powerhouses. Anytime we can put together a team that can compete with those two squads I think we’re really happy.”
REMAINING BRAVES HOME GAMES
Errol Russell Park, 646 Devine St.
July 3, 7:30 p.m., (vs. Strathroy Royals)
July 10, 7:30 p.m. (vs. St. Thomas Tomcats)
July 17, 7:30 p.m. (vs. Ilderton Red Army)
July 21, 2:00 p.m. (vs. Lakeside Lizards)
July 24, 7:30 p.m. (vs. Ilderton Red Army)