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The Pirates ready for a full season

The Laval Pirates Chevrolet 440, who play in the Quebec Junior Elite Baseball League (LBJEQ), will start their 2022 season by visiting the Royal Chevrolet in Repentigny.

This first match will take place on Saturday May 14, at 4 p.m., at the Flavio-Prata Stadium.

Instead, the Laval residents’ first local game will take place on Tuesday, May 17, at 7:30 p.m., at Paul-Marcel-Maheu Park. For the occasion, the Tyrans de Gatineau will be the visitors.

This is a certain return to normality for the Pirates who will play a total of 42 games in 2022. Some confrontations will take place against teams in the Center division, which has not been done in the last two seasons.

Youth

Head coach Sébastien Rivest will be in his second campaign at the helm of Laval’s elite junior squad. He will be assisted by Alexandre Messier and Félix Lefebvre.

“We improved defensively during the offseason with the acquisition of Laval shortstop Samuel Presseau,” he said. In addition, this year we will be able to benefit from a full season from Kevin Griffin, who was acquired by the Pirates on July 24, 2021.

Like last year, the Pirates will count on a dozen players who will be in their first or second season in the LBJEQ. This will give young players the opportunity to establish themselves as regulars in key positions on the pitch, while last year’s rookies should be more confident and demonstrate better control of the game.

“Our strength will be defensively and on the mound,” continues coach Rivest. On offense, and this is essential, we will need our hitters to raise their level of play to make up for the loss of Olivier Mayrand and the departures of Philippe Bourassa and Jacob Carroll following trades.

Note that the price of entry for the games will be increased by $6, which represents an increase of $1 compared to previous seasons. This is the first price increase in over 15 years.

Junior AA

Like their junior elite counterparts, the Pirates of the Quebec Junior AA Baseball League (LBJAAQ) will benefit from a full schedule in 2022 with 31 games on the program.

This year, the LBJAAQ will have a total of eight teams separated into two divisions. Each team will have five games against their opponents from the same division, as well as four games against opponents from the other division.

The Pirates find themselves in the North section along with Montreal, Repentigny and Saint-Eustache.

Despite the departure of five veterans, the Laval residents aspire to participate in the post-season playoffs by relying on a core of players with a few years of experience in the junior ranks. They also have five recruits from Midget AA.

Pirates head coach Gilles Larouche will be in his fifth season at the helm of the team. He will be assisted this year by Pierre Monière and Stéphane Laviolette as well as Éric Cadieux. “The latter is an important addition to our team because of his experience and he has a few championship titles to his credit, which allows us to aspire to the big ones this year” specifies coach Larouche.

The Junior AA training season will begin on Sunday, May 15 at 7:30 p.m. The Pirates will play at Parc Paul-Marcel-Maheu and the Montreal Jets will be the visitors. Entrance to the stadium for LBJAAQ games remains free for the next season. (N.P.)

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