HIT MAN: Cain McClelland in action at the Australian MLB Invitational in Lismore last year. He will play for FNC in the Timberjacks carnival starting today.
HIT MAN: Cain McClelland in action at the Australian MLB Invitational in Lismore last year. He will play for FNC in the Timberjacks carnival starting today. Brendon Beacom

Best baseballers from across the country gather in Lismore

SOME of the best baseballers from across the country will take part in the annual Hurford Hardwood Timberjacks carnival at Albert Park, Lismore, this week.

The three-day competition starts today with 26 teams competing from Under-12s through to Under-20s.

Far North Coast will be represented by the likes of brothers Cain and Seth McClelland in the Under-20s and Australian softball representative Lachlan Coe in the Under-16s.

Pitcher Riley Cooper was recently selected in the Australian Under-12 team and was part of the FNC line-up that won the NSW Country championship earlier this year.

It earned them entry into the Australian Little League Championship in Lismore.

The Timberjacks carnival has been running for several years with the focus on participation, having fun and learning new skills rather than just winning.

"It's our biggest carnival and we promote it as a friendship series where players can learn and develop,” FNC Under-20s coach Brad Donald said.

"The kids get extra time pitching or a chance to go to catcher, which might not happen at the bigger carnivals.

"We still treat it as a proper carnival and there will be some expectations on our Under-12s after what they've achieved this year.

"They're a great little team and they punched above their weight in Little League Championship.

"We had a talent pool of around 20 to pick from and they beat some of the better teams that have 500 in their region.”

Queensland will field two female teams while another one is coming from Newcastle.

"It's great to have female participation and Queensland use it as a development pathway for its state team,” Donald said.

"I'd like to think more of our players will go on for rep honours and we're lucky to have some very committed coaches.”

Finals in each age division will be played on Sunday.



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