Sports

Edmundston Republicans baseball team rehires coach, brings in Dominican player

EDMUNDSTON, New Brunswick – The Edmundston Republicans baseball team, which plays in the Bas St-Laurent senior baseball league (Puribec League), has rehired the coach and signed a new, young player from the Dominican Republic.

Jean Lebel, president of the Edmundston Republicans, announced the return of Benoît Dufresne for his second consecutive year as head coach. Dufresne and the Republicans finished the 2018 season with 7 wins and 14 losses.

“When the new executive committee was chosen, we immediately saw the importance of confirming Benoît as head coach. We would like to offer our community a competitive team on the field and it was obvious that Benoît was the right person to bring the Republicans to a higher level,” Lebel said.

Dufresne said he is “very proud to be back in charge of the Republicans. We want to give the fans a competitive team on the field and be a part of the rebirth of baseball in Edmundston.”

The Republicans also announced the arrival of the first foreign player for the 2019 season — Elixander Fernandez, a 24 year old from the Dominican Republic, who will be a catcher and pitcher.

“If we sign foreign players, we want them to be good offensive and defensive players, Dufresne said. “We wanted to fulfill the needs at the heart of our team.”

According to Lebel, the arrival of Fernandez will be very useful in the growth of baseball in Edmundston. The Republicans want to use the players to revive the community’s interest in baseball and to draw young crowds.

“In the 50s, which were the first years of the Republicans, the majority of the players were foreign players that strived to become professionals,” Lebel said. “Edmundston used to be a minor league team that would provide players for Major League Baseball like the Brooklyn Dodgers (now the Los Angeles Dodgers). These players would then use their expertise to train coaches and young players.”

Season passes for the Republicans’ 10 regular season home games will soon be available and will cost $30 each.

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