Manuel to pitch for Canada

Luke Manuel of the North Delta Blue Jays will join Canada
Luke Manuel of the North Delta Blue Jays will join Canada's junior national team in the Dominican Republic later this month.
— image credit: PHOTO SUBMITTED

The North Delta Blue Jays will have to get along without one of their top pitchers for a couple of weeks.

Luke Manuel has been invited to join the Baseball Canada National Junior Team (18-and-under) for an eight-day stint in the Dominican Republic May 23-30. The Canadian team will play a dozen games against Dominican Summer League opposition, all of which are affiliated with Major League Baseball teams.

Manuel, a student at Fleetwood Park Secondary School, has pitched a team-high 27.2 innings this season. He is ranked second in the B.C. Premier Baseball League with 39 strikeouts, and is ninth with a 1.52 earned run average.

"We are really happy for Luke," said Blue Jays head coach Brad O'Hara. "He has put in a lot of work and has become one of the elite pitchers in the BCPBL. It's nice to see him get recognized at the national level."

The six-foot-two, 180-pound right-hander will be part of the Canadian team which will arrive in Santo Domingo on May 22. A day later, they will play their first game against a rookie team from the Minnesota Twins farm system.

- The Blue Jays will play four games this weekend, hoping to improve on their 7-6 won-lost record. They will be in New Westminster to play twice against the Vancouver Cannons at 1 and 3:30 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday), then will host the Nanaimo Pirates for a doubleheader Sunday at Mackie Park.

North Delta thumped the Cannons 9-2 in their only meeting this season, and split a double header in Nanaimo against the Pirates last weekend.

Sunday's games at Mackie Park are set for 1 and 3:30 p.m.

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