Members of the McMaster Marauders baseball team is lending a helping glove out to the host of the 2019 Canadian Little League Championships.

While many Marauder student athletes are getting in a little bit more sun and fun at a beach, pool or taking a last second vacation, a couple of Marauder ball players are joining their head coach, Adam Strongman, in coaching the Ancaster Little League’s all-star team.

Middle infielder Brandon Chong and catcher Thomas McWhitner have been working with Strongman’s squad through the selection process and right up to the tournament, preparing them for a chance to take a trip to Williamsport, PA for the Little League World Series.

Not only have the Marauder duo been helping out with the tournament team, they have also assisted Strongman in running various baseball clinics through the winter and spring months. Chong has spent his time working with the infielders while McWhirtner has been working with the catchers and first basemen.

Chong and McWhirtner aren’t the only two Marauders helping. McMaster’s pitching coach Ed Ivy has also put in some time with the Ancaster squad at practices.

When you watch the players as Ivy is talking to them, they are just soaking in the wealth of information they are getting from him which will benefit them not only in the tournament but as they progress through their playing days.

Strongman has found that having his Mac players out to lend a hand has been great for the Little Leaguers. “My players love having the Mac guys out. (They) can relate to them, the Mac players are good sounding boards for the team and the Mac guys preach the same things I do but it is in a different voice.”

“The more opportunities that the boys have to work with the older players plus coaches, it benefits all the players. The interactions are second to none and everyone is learning.”

For Chong, he is drawing on his experience in playing in the Canadians as he passes on his knowledge to the players of today. “This experience had been amazing. Getting to share my baseball knowledge to younger kids is such a great pleasure to have. It has brought back memories to when I was in Little League playing in the same tournament in 2010.”

You would think that the kids would the ones excited as the tournament draws closer, but it seems like Chong is a bit more excited. “I am honestly more excited for this than the kids are for the tournament. I’ve been telling the kids what I got to experience during the tournament and finally they get to do it. I still remember shaking Don Cherry’s hand after he threw out the first pitch in the final game.”

McMaster has not been the only OUA school represented at the workouts. Danny Inglis, a former Little Leaguer himself and a recent graduate from the University of Waterloo, has also helped. Inglis has been involved in all aspects of the practices which Strongman says “has been an awesome addition” along with the Marauders players.

The Ancaster team will be competing at this year’s Canadian Little League Championships which will be held in Ancaster, Ontario during the first ten days of August.

You can get more information on the championship tournament by clicking here.

It is a great sight seeing the OUA guys volunteering their time to coach a youth team. In a few years the current crop of OUA players could head back to watch their team play as alumni and likely see some of these Ancaster players playing on the same fields they did knowing they had a small part in their development in getting them to that point.

Win or lose on the field, it will be some of the moments off of it that will be lasting memories not only for the Ancaster team but the six other teams that will be competing in this year’s tournament. However, it will be just one team that will take that step further and advancing to Williamsport for the Little League World Series in August.