With a two-month delay, the season of the Ligue de baseball junior élite du Québec (LBJEQ) finally takes to the skies on Wednesday night. This will be an opportunity for Diamonds in Quebec, at the end of a calendar digest of 21 games in 30 days, to defend their title. Alouettes de Charlesbourg, however, have the urge to invite them to the party.
“This will be a pretty special one for the junior level, where the baseball is a hobby that requires a lot of time to the players. The biggest victory is that the league can compete in its season, even shortened.
“The company has a little time left over from these young people, from 18 to 22 years of age, and the fact of the review on the field brings a high level of motivation. Just for that, this season has as much, if not more, value than the other,” said the manager of the Diamonds, Dominik Walsh, whose team will begin the defense of his title tomorrow, Trois-Rivières.
A big division
For this particular season, the Diamonds will play all their games within their division, the Alouettes, the Travelers Sagunay and the Eagles of Trois-Rivières.
They have won one of the great honors three times during the past six seasons.
“You always want to be at the top. We do not accept, as an organization, a year slack. Our recruitment allows us to avoid the peak periods,” explained Walsh.
The departure of ace pitcher Vincent Ruel will not help the cause of the Diamonds, but the coach believes he has the ammunition to cause trouble.
“We have two starters injured and our four runners of the last series will not be there to begin the season. There will be adjustments, but we have the depth to compensate. Offensively and defensively, I put on one of my best alignments in recent years,” said Walsh, citing the passage Emile Boies, “the champion batter of the league, but also a launcher extraordinary.”
The Alouettes are hungry
His vis-à-vis Frédéric Lajoie will begin her first year at the helm of the Alouettes, who is familiar with the circuit after years as an assistant at Trois-Rivières and Saguenay.
“I find myself in a position that I like with the position players to be effective and strong to stick, a lot of maturity, four starters of quality and a great depth. I do not hide that we aim at the first rank. The people of the league that I talk to we see with St Eustatius as the best teams in the league”, he launched.
Even if it adheres to the highest degree the achievements of the Diamonds, Lajoie would gladly spoilsport.
“They have all my respect, but we are tired of see Quebec win. They have nothing stolen, but it was the club to beat”, he assured.
The Alouettes begin Wednesday evening in Saguenay and the first regional struggle in the face of the Diamonds will take place on Sunday, at the Stage Canac.